Executive Briefings

Be Mindful That Changes in Brand, Business Alignment or Marketing Strategy Affect Distributors

When a supplier makes a major change to its corporate structure, brand name, and/or go-to-market strategy, the implications for its distributor base can be significant. In most cases, these changes present both challenges and opportunities for the companies that are out on the front lines selling the manufacturer's products on a daily basis.

Be Mindful That Changes in Brand, Business Alignment or Marketing Strategy Affect Distributors

When European lighting giant OSRAM created LEDVANCE to run its general lamps business, it was aware of the impact on suppliers, says Matt McCarron, vice president of LEDVANCE's Industrial Commercial Channel. In fact, the subsidiary continues to work with its distribution base.

"We have tremendous relationships with all of our trade partners and we don't take those relationships lightly," says McCarron, whose team began reaching out to electrical distributors in 2015 to discuss the upcoming changes and what those changes meant for the manufacturer's distributors. "We didn't have all of the answers, but we knew the basic directionality of the carve-out and what it was going to look like. We began talking to the distribution network about what they loved about our company and about how those components were going to remain intact after the conversion was completed."

Mark Corcoran, LEDVANCE's executive advisor, says the manufacturer has been "over-communicating" its plans for more than 18 months now, and that it continues to help its trading partners adjust to the changes and new directions. To help ensure the smoothest possible transition, the company formed a distributor advisory council in October 2015. "We brought six of our top distributors into our brand-new headquarters at that point in time," says Corcoran, "and talked to them about the direction of our company."

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When European lighting giant OSRAM created LEDVANCE to run its general lamps business, it was aware of the impact on suppliers, says Matt McCarron, vice president of LEDVANCE's Industrial Commercial Channel. In fact, the subsidiary continues to work with its distribution base.

"We have tremendous relationships with all of our trade partners and we don't take those relationships lightly," says McCarron, whose team began reaching out to electrical distributors in 2015 to discuss the upcoming changes and what those changes meant for the manufacturer's distributors. "We didn't have all of the answers, but we knew the basic directionality of the carve-out and what it was going to look like. We began talking to the distribution network about what they loved about our company and about how those components were going to remain intact after the conversion was completed."

Mark Corcoran, LEDVANCE's executive advisor, says the manufacturer has been "over-communicating" its plans for more than 18 months now, and that it continues to help its trading partners adjust to the changes and new directions. To help ensure the smoothest possible transition, the company formed a distributor advisory council in October 2015. "We brought six of our top distributors into our brand-new headquarters at that point in time," says Corcoran, "and talked to them about the direction of our company."

Read Full Article

Be Mindful That Changes in Brand, Business Alignment or Marketing Strategy Affect Distributors