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"We're a passionate, motivated and highly driven team of professionals who care deeply about delivering results. Honest and transparent in our thinking, we only engage with brands if we believe that there is a genuine opportunity to grow their regional business..."
...and that's where it all starts.
We encourage you to make contact and send through details of your brand (any presentations and marketing material you may have) together with retail packaged samples. We meet monthly to review brands, presentations and samples. Retail packaged samples are appreciated as images and blurb can sometimes not do justice to your offer. When considering the scalability of a brand in our markets we try to look through the eyes of the consumer (retailer/distributor) on how your offer would be received and communicated in store/online. Packaging plays an important part of the customer journey.
After receiving samples we set about reviewing the offer in detail, looking at the competition we have in the market and identifying gaps where your offer fits. This could be your product features, benefits, design or an area that is currently under represented in the retail, etail and B2B verticals where we focus regionally. There is no charge to you for an initial review or our considered opinion on the market potential for your brand (we are also happy to return any samples or materials sent should we not progress).
If we believe that there is an opportunity based on what we have learnt in our communications with you and our initial research and analysis of the market (consumer, competition, channel) we will happily progress with your guidance to a deeper stage of preparation to get ready for launch.
1. [STRATEGIC PLANNING]
Once we have agreed to progress, during the preparation phase of the project we work on a fixed fee retainer basis. Fully transparent and working to a set project plan which explains the cost of time we invest to build a strategic plan. After the initial setup and once key business development efforts are in full swing, the commercial model traditionally adjusts to prioritise results and we move to a reduced fixed fee and % of sales model. Flexible to your needs and timescales, our focus remains true however to deliver results, reduce costs, increase sales and be rewarded for success
Whilst it would be far easier to pin our retainer to a fixed value (£), we do not consider this to be a fair approach as the workload and time invested in the planning stage varies considerably according to the brands we work with. Some brands are more evolved in their thinking and social media and digital marketing will be a simple local activation exercise - for others we will need to build assets from scratch. Similarly work involved in competitive analysis will be less involved should we be active in those categories (with non competing products).
ROI is an important measure for both of us. Our goal is to move to a % of sales model as quickly as possible. Due to the amount of work that goes into your project in the planning phase it is not possible to work without a retainer - we do hope that you understand this. Alternative options are available to you (commission only Agents, or Distribution managed centrally ) - we have shared our thoughts and experiences of these routes to market here.
1. [STRATEGIC PLANNING]
Deep dive into your competitive product mix in country; including features and benefits, design, placement, performance (sell through) and pricing (to consumer and retail/etail/distribution). Market size and opportunity $ established to validate project.
Full report sent to brand.
Competitive warboard included in master presentation identifying gaps in ranging / opportunities.
COMMERCIALS | SUPPLY CHAIN
Terms and commercials review. Margin analysis to ensure retail, etail and distribution requirements are achievable. Logistics and supply chain review - MOQ for orders. Review 3PL facilities (if necessary to support smaller regions and countries - drop ship for e-commerce). Model pricing up from cost / back from retail. Look at MDF requirement for local brand/partner needs. MDF will support regional sell through program.
Presentation creation incl. brand background, successes, USP's, current market and channels / success. Local market analysis and gaps. Marketing plan, Sell Through plan (merchandising, training)
Presentation localised to initial launch markets and is tailored to the approach best suited to the channel. Etail/Retail and country specific deck that is approved and signed off by brand.
Identify launch partners and regions. Learn from your experiences in developing an executable plan that delivers results for partners. Investigate and resolve localisation and compliance related issues. Launch partners to be aligned with brand values.
Etailers represent (on average) 20% of sales of consumer products across EMEA (percentage varies across APAC) engaging with the right channel partner is critical to balance (and not jeopardise) the traditional bricks and mortar business. Poor reviews and fluctuating pricing to be avoided.
SELL THROUGH PLAN
Retail sell through. Creation of instore assets that will educate and excite consumers at the point of sale. Existing partners will create mock up's of display options that will be built into the retail plan. Sell in is not a measure of success, sell through is what moves the needle on brand performance and longevity.
Digital marketing and social media. The ground work needs to start before retail selections. Partners look to brands to drive awareness of the offer before committing to products and retail programs. Seed key influencers and reviewers of your product categories with samples and manage online/offline content to generate interest. Begin social media campaigns to drive excitement and demand.
Project validation with trusted key accounts to ensure that the product, presentation and program exceeds channel requirement for selection.
Set initial business review meetings >
[VALUE OF THE PLANNING STAGE]
The three questions you are always asked:
1. Tell me about the brand, the products and their USP. [localised presentation] Where do they sit versus our current offer? What gaps do they address? [competitive analysis]
2. What has the brand done to drive in country footfall into stores/online/increase awareness of their technology? [marketing plan]
3. What are your plans to educate consumers on the features and benefits of the offer and convert interest in store to purchase? [sell through plan]
PARARE NON OMITTAT | FAIL TO PREPARE, PREPARE TO FAIL
2. [BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT]
First stage preparation and planning complete, focus now shifts to the customer. During the ideation phase (working with you) we identified the key channel prospects that regionally establish credibility for your brand within assigned strategic markets, now the initial meetings take place. At this point HUTTON shift our cost of service to a smaller fixed retainer (travel and administrative expenses) and a percentage of sales revenue that rewards success. Using a simple rate of return formula - this is where you see the initial ROI. Reduced expenses, reduced investment with incremental revenue.
Whilst every meeting is unique and requires adjustment in the approach that we take to secure selections, we have detailed below the "standard" sales cycle employed. Important to stress that whilst the "sell in" to a new customer for your brand is the start point, the most important part of the journey is the "sell through" support that we have built into our model. The sell through program adopted (localised) delivers tangible results to the retail/etail partner (which mitigates any request for funding or listing fees) and for our brand partners delivers ongoing business - rather than "one hit" sales. Our value to both the partner who has confirmed selections, and to you our brand partner is not only in securing a regional footprint but our focus on delivering repeat business and brand growth.
1. SELL IN | TARGETED PARTNER (1)
Present brand and assortment to identified regional partner, focus on market, opportunity and support. Confirm supply route (direct or through distribution) Identify preferred distribution partner and set date for final review meeting. If distributor is not a current partner (unknown) ask regional partner to make introduction.
2. SELL IN | DISTRIBUTOR MEETING (1)
Meet with nominated distribution partner to agree terms on lines customer has nominated for inclusion in range plan. Work with commercial team (within distribution) to pull together a proposal that delivers against the needs of the partner. Proposal to include models of interest, detail marketing support, and activities at store level that will drive sales.
3. SELL IN | TRI PARTY MEETING (2)
Follow up meeting with regional partner WITH distributor. Secure selections, agree timings and merchandising needs to educate/drive sales at the point of sale. Regional partner to provide contacts within the business for operations/training/pos placement and delivery.
Agree measurements for success, agree sell through reporting and next meeting date.
4. SELL IN | DISTRIBUTOR MEETING (2)
Finalise terms and support package. Confirm roll out date and work with you on demand plan/forecasting to ensure stock availability. Initial orders placed to support retail launch.
Set date for review meeting.
5. SELL THROUGH | RETAIL OPS MEETING 1
Meet with operations director (contact provided by commercial contact) to agree access to stores. Agree training plan. Merchandising review and requirements (space and guidelines) Set date for POS review and approval.
6. SELL THROUGH | ASSET CREATION
Working closely with you leverage your existing brand assets (in store displays) or use our agencies (FOC) to pull together merchandising assets that will create theatre and drive education in store. Process already started in ideation phase. Your off on visuals and create mock ups.
7. SELL THROUGH | RETAIL OPS MEETING 2
Sign off on POS mock ups with Retail Partner - agree timings and method of placement. Finalise training plan and start date (once goods land in store). If partner has a merchandising lab - visit.
Review current colleague KPI's and if possible look to add brand/product assortment to store measure of success. Does the retailer incentivise sales? Look at options.
8. SELL THROUGH | DISPLAY PLACEMENT
Manufacture, and placement of retail POS in stores.
9. SELL THROUGH | TRAINING DELIVERY
Once goods land in store, and retail POS placed to support sell through, begin training roll out regionally (or if possible centrally).
10. SELL THROUGH | TRAINING REVIEW
Using sell through numbers at store level identify stores that need further training focus.
3. [ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT]
Quarterly business reviews conducted with existing retail partners to evaluate performance vs success metrics established during initial meetings. Present NPD to build assortment within store and strengthen account relationship, promotional planning and management, data analysis, collaborative marketing leveraging their platforms, ongoing colleague engagement and training. Lead for all customer related issues. Liaise with the brand cross functionally to ensure that account queries and needs are being answered and managed. Revenue/budget targets established, feedback to brand on performance vs goal. Forecasting and demand planning to ensure stock availability.