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[WE ARE INVISIBLE]
"You won't find Hutton when searching online - nor will our brands shout about working with us, and we certainly don't share our experiences working with brands externally. Why?"
The high cost to enter new regions (and risk/exposure) presented a unique opportunity to develop a business model that relied on discretion. Our goal is to become a part of your team; to blend seamlessly within your existing sales, marketing and product teams adding value in shaping your global business - results at a regional level that deliver sustainable long term brand growth in new markets.
Each member of the HUTTON team has been personally involved in scaling a brand on the international stage. We have experience of what works best and perhaps more importantly we have learnt from experience the pitfalls that many brands encounter when trying to grow a business geographically far from the center.
The hard truth is that the regions you are looking at for future growth rely on a local presence to drive sales, manage relationships (with resellers and distributors) and build awareness of your brand.
And that in a nutshell is our model. We provide a "virtual business development team" that looks, feels and is committed as your own human resource. To that end when we present ourselves externally we are you - we don't talk about HUTTON, we talk about YOU.
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Growing your international footprint presents a real opportunity to create a more balanced business less dependent on domestic sales. This was the motivation for our current partners and almost universally the motivation behind our professional (employed) experience in the past.
As a manufacturer you have a number of immediate routes to market:
- Your own resource
- A distributor
- A sales (commission only) agent
To help you navigate the choices open to you (and hopefully strengthen your interest in working with us) we have shared some of our own personal experiences; from your side of the table, to help you review the options.
Regardless of which option you select, I wish you all the very best with your future plans and look forward to seeing your brand on shelf.
Looking to develop your business internationally? Building your regional presence creates a more balanced business less dependent on domestic sales and generates incremental revenue and profit. Building a global brand has challenges (geographical, financial, cultural). We have identified some of the most common approaches that brands take in scaling an international footprint and the Pro's and Con's of each.
1. [DIRECT HIRE]
Thinking of your own team in EMEA or APAC? Costly but effective. An employed team deliver focus, live company values, and adopt vision of a business. Present a professional vision of the business that inspires confidence in retail/etail and distribution partnerships.
Average UK Salary: £32,000
Car Allowance: £0.00
Recruitment Fee: £8,000
Average UK Salary: £35,000
Car Allowance: £0
Recruitment Fee: £8,750
COUNTRY MANAGER (MD)
Average UK Salary: £107,000
Car Allowance: £7,000
Recruitment Fee: £26,750
YOUR OWN TEAM
- A dedicated resource
- No issues around information flow (COGS, NPD etc.)
- Help to grow the brand and shape global business.
- Requires a heavy investment in time and money to find right team
- Requires a legal entity to be created for tax purposes
- Fixed operating costs - car, phone, computer, salary, office
- Employment contracts and employment law.
- Extended period before ROI seen.
(managed from HQ)
A route favored by many in the early stages of expansion. The team at HUTTON also work closely with regional distribution partners for in country fulfillment. Over the last 20 years we have identified what we consider to be the best in class partners in different regions and different categories. However, this approach relies on leadership and ownership of the brand at country level with retail/etail partners. Distributors typically carry multiple brands and rely on the support that they receive to drive brand and category growth.
- Live trading accounts with key retail and etail accounts in country.
- Logistics infrastructure including returns management.
- Multiple brand partners (often in same category).
- Focus on brands that deliver on the ground support.
- Rely on brands to support brand awareness and sell through iniatives in stores.
- Frequent visits required.
- Distributor owns the relationship with retail partner rather than the brand.
2. [DISTRIBUTION PARTNER]
Looking to manage your regional business through a distributor? Whilst a distributor provides valuable access to key retail and etail accounts in country they rely on brand support to drive awareness, sell through and (ideally) customer relationship.
3. [SALES AGENT]
A commission only agent CAN provide early and speculative revenue in new markets. Your offer/brand is a commodity that will be traded to realise an early ROI on the time that the agent employs. No brand building/sell through support. Little visibility to actions.
PURE PLAY AGENT
(paid on commission
A results paid sales agent views the brands that they carry as a commodity that needs turning quickly to yield a return on their investment of time.
Juggling multiple brands simultaneously they will present different options to a retail partner (or distributor) in the hope that there is interest. In calculating a ROI a sales agent will focus on the immediate opportunity with little thought of consequence down the line - after all a brand can be replaced with another should there be no longevity in this approach.
- Cost of service.
- No focus on consumer.
- Brand doesn't receive focus, rather is included in a "bag pitch".
- Negative impression from retail buyers.
- Focus on independent trade, rather than national retail due to the time in closing opportunity.
- No strategy on growth, products are traded for a quick return.
- Customers are assets so little transparency on actions.
- Here today gone tomorrow mentality to brand relationships.