craft brewery financial training

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work ” Mary Oliver

In a sea of craft beer brands how do you get your distributor to pay attention to you?

You’ve got great beer, you’ve signed up a distributor, and now it’s time to drive sales into the market. Only one problem, your distributor is not focused on your brands.

Beer distributors typically carry hundreds of brands and thousands of SKUs. How do you stand out in this crowd? What steps can you take to get your distributor to pay attention, focus on your brands, and drive sales of your products?

As a CFO for a beer distributor, I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t to get your beer off the pallet and onto store shelves. Let’s focus on what works.

  • Understand roles and expectations: what the distributor does, doesn’t do, and what you must do in order to drive sales.
  • Set execution and outcome goals up front. Be clear about execution goals and outcome goals: what the distributor will do and what they intend to achieve.
  • Follow the Repole Rule: Everyone has to make money. The brewery, distributor and retailer all have to make money in order for your brand to get the attention it deserves. Great beer alone won’t get it done.
  • You must have a presence in the market and do real work to help the distributor and retailer grow your brand. Running reports and demanding product placements alone won’t get it done.
  • Be the business partner that you want the distributor to be. Respect the work that they do, and expect the same in return.

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