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Is Your Channel Network Set up for Success?

Rachel Reed
1/30/20 12:19 PM

Just as consumers form relationships with brands they consume, buyers and sellers within the context of distribution channels are entangled in ‘brand’ relationships. In order to motivate and sell within a distribution channel, these relationships need to be cultivated and nurtured to build long-term loyalty.

Robust and customized channel loyalty is critical–whether your organization is working to expand the channel and customer base or increase category sales. To start, consider where your efforts are with these questions:

What kind of relationship do your channel partners have with your brand? What kind of relationship do your channel partners have with your organization? Do the two align? 

Do your channel sales reps embody your organizational values and goals? Do they identify with your company? 

Is your channel marketing and sales inhibited by identity instability?

Our data points to perceived instability of the corporate partner as a key antecedent of identity separation between the upstream owner of the brand and the brand itself.1

What kind of relationship do your channel partners have with your brand? What kind of relationship do your channel partners have with your organization? Do the two align? 

Do your channel sales reps embody your organizational values and goals? Do they identify with your company? 

Companies looking to benefit from brand relationships must align their brand with a social identity desired by their relationship partner. “What steps can a manufacturer take to align their identity with that of the brand?” 

Provide channel enablement to your networks

Channel enablement is the practice of providing members of a partner network with the right content (product, company, customer information, etc.) and tools to effectively market and sell your products. 

By building a channel loyalty program to bolster your values and sales goals, you not only widen your lines of communication to reach distribution and sales channels, but also create an opportunity to improve or build a channel enablement strategy, collecting valuable data points along the way. 

 

1 Lawrence, B., & Kaufmann, P. J. (2019). Channel members’ relationships with the brands they sell and the organizations that own them. Industrial Marketing Management83, 148–161. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2018.09.003

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