Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Barefoot Wine Founders

By Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey – Barefoot Wine Founders

5 Methods to Boost Your Brand's Relationships in the New Year

5 Methods to Boost Your Brand's Relationships in the New Year 150 150 MIchael and Bonnie Harvey

At this time of year, your key players are considering making changes, changes that could positively or negatively affect you. What better time to recommit yourself to the people who keep your brand together, and prove that you have their best interests at heart? Let them know why and how much you appreciate them. Remind them how much time and resources you’ve saved them. Make sure they know you don’t take them for granted.

Who are your key players, anyway? Why are they so crucial to your brand? They are the ones who think they’ll get ahead when you get ahead—they’re your strategic allies. It’s in your mutual best interest to work closely, make allowances for one another, and ultimately enhance each other. Your commitment should be clear as day.

Your Suppliers. Let them know how you’ve improved your procedures and policies to be easier to work with, and how you’ve increased your business with them. Open up to them. Share your future plans, and show how they fit in with your goals, which will enrich your relationship. Make sure to thank them for any allowances they’ve made to cut your costs and risks. Consider a long-term relationship based on future deliverables and concessions. Let them know what’s necessary for you to increase your volume with them. Ask them how you can improve your communication and relationship.

Your People. Congratulate your staff on a job well done throughout the previous year. Validate their improvements, and inspire and empower them to do even better. Include them in your business’s challenges. Prove that they are crucial to your business’s development and success by asking for their thoughts and suggestions. They should feel like it’s their business, too. After all, your people are your company’s most valuable assets. Your success is apparent in how they improve their skills, how they achieve security, and, most obvious of all, their paychecks. Take the time to plan out the upcoming year and what it means to their jobs and your company as a whole. Make sure to let them know that you, their coworkers, and your customers depend on them.

Your Retailers. Present a business report that shows how well your products sold in their stores throughout the last year. Show them your rate of growth in the previous year. Remind them of any and all allowances, refunds, or returns they received. Prove your reliability and your promotion of sales in their stores. Reflect on your community fundraisers and in-store demonstrations in their territory, and how you’ve contributed to increasing sales in their stores. Thank them for displaying your products and make sure they know how important they are to you and their community.

Your Middlemen. Whether they’re brokers, distributors, or jobbers, they allow your product to be available in spots you can’t cover. Thank them for prioritizing you and your brand. Demonstrate how your sales grew and became more important to them. Share your plans for growth over the coming year and where they fit in. Prove you appreciate them by committing early in the year to have representatives work in their territories to promote your brand’s awareness.

Your Consumers. This is the perfect time to launch a customer loyalty program, increase value, and give discounts. Thank your consumers not just for purchasing your brand, but also for suggesting it to friends and family. Utilize this opportunity to reaffirm their purchases with marketing materials that show the growing popularity of your brand, and the improvements you’ve made. Find out which charitable causes they hold dear, and donate goods and services to them. Let them know that you’re a member of their community, giving them a social reason to choose your products.

You can make a great impression at this critical time and set the stage for the new year by replenishing your commitment to your key players. Remind them how much you mean to them, and appreciate how much they mean to you. Make sure they know you are there for them—now and in the upcoming year!

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