HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT DISTRIBUTION CHANNEL
The manufacturer of a product would have to continuously work on getting new supplies of his product to the market. To ensure this, he would have to employ distributors or contract independent distributors to help him supply to retail outlets. He would have to weigh the pros and cons of each of the distribution professionals to see which one is fitting. It could be that the manufacturer needs to find new markets and thus needs to contract a wholesaler who has the connections to hundreds of retail outlets and could even network with other wholesalers in finding new markets. It could also be that the brand has market enough and can handle the distribution of the goods to thousands of retail outlets – an example is Coca Cola. It could even be that the manufacturer has an impressive online presence and can get retailers’ orders through that platform. Whichever way it is; the manufacturer has to think about the distribution channel of the products.
Normally, the distribution channel is the chain of intermediaries and businesses involved before the products get to the final consumer. These intermediaries involve distributors, wholesalers, rack jobbers, snack jobbers, the logistics companies, the internet and many others. The product must move swiftly and smoothly within this chain to ensure timely arrival for the benefit of the final consumer.
Choosing the right distribution channel is essential to any product manufacturer. What would turn out to be the right distribution channel depends on the kind of products in supply. For instance, a snacks producing company should want to employ a snack jobber to help with the distribution. A snack jobber is a distributor that deals in snacks. The snack jobber is not the employee of a particular company but performs the role of supplying retail outlets with snacks from different companies. It is a snack jobber that would always be at delivery at a snack bar or as the Caribbean would call it: snackette.
A major factor to consider is the popularity of the product or the brand. Apart from the essential duty of the manufacturer to do advertisement, he has to be able to get people interested in the goods. People may be curious if the product is from a popular brand and may buy it, but this curiosity hardly works for brands that are not well known. The latter may have to involve the services of rack jobbers. Rack jobbers are the brand marketers of a company who occupy a space at a retail center where they exclusively sell the products of their brand. Rack jobbers would meet final consumers on a daily basis and can convince them on the benefits the product has to offer. Last minute decisions can be made with the persuasion of a rack jobber on the exciting features a product has to offer.
Choosing the best distribution channel involves knowing the status of the brand and knowing the product. The best distribution channel is relative to these.