TrackStreet Blog

MAP Enforcement as a Marketing Tool

Posted by Andrew Schydlowsky (TrackStreet) on Aug 25, 2017 9:07:35 AM

Why Your Pricing Enforcement Program is a Great Way to Grow Your Resale Channel and Boost Trust with Reputable Retailers.

You already know that when unauthorized, unscrupulous resellers undercut you and your authorized channel by selling your products below your Minimum Advertised Price (MAP), Unilateral Pricing Policy (UPP) or your other price protection programs, this can negatively affect your brand in many ways.

To name just a few of the potentially damaging consequences a rogue reseller can wreak on your company:

-   It can undermine your brand’s reputation with customers and prospects

-   It can weaken your relationships with your reputable, authorized resellers — who are honoring your pricing policies and will therefore justifiably feel that they are being undersold unfairly

-   It can cause some of your all-important brick-and-mortar sellers to cease stocking your products in their stores — which could cost you an invaluable channel for your brand to be introduced to new customers

-   It can make it far more difficult to open new accounts, when a simple internet search shows that there's no margin to be made on your product line

 

Let’s discuss that last point: When an unauthorized company sells your products below your MAP, UPP or other pricing programs, you risk developing a reputation for not protecting your authorized dealers and their margins, which will make it much more difficult for you to open new doors and grow your retail distribution.

                                                                                                                

MARKETING YOUR PRICE ENFORCEMENT PROGRAMS CAN HELP YOU GROW YOUR CHANNEL WITH THE RIGHT RESELLERS

A valuable but rarely-noticed lesson here is the fact that the opposite will be true as well: If you develop and enforce robust and reliable pricing protection policies such as a MAP or UPP, or both, you will be more likely to find new, reputable retailers interested in selling your products based on the merits of your product; not on price, and helping to build your brand. What’s more, if you publicize your pricing protection policies, you will be even more likely to find and recruit the right resellers and to grow your sales channel.

In other words, your reseller enforcement program — such as your MAP — is a valuable marketing tool as well as a way to protect your brand.

 

4 IDEAS FOR PUBLICIZING YOUR RESELLER ENFORCEMENT POLICIES

 

  1.   Send out a communication to your existing resale channel announcing the policy and your enforcement strategy

When you’ve implemented a new Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) — or if you already have one in place but haven’t publicized it yet — you’ll want to send out a notification of the policy to all of your existing resellers and distributors, as well as to any businesses with whom you have been discussing a resale or dealer relationship for your products.

(Note: These ideas will also work for a UPP, Authorized Dealer Program, etc. But for simplicity, we’ll assume you are launching a MAP policy.)

The tone of your message should be upbeat and enthusiastic, and it should explain that you are launching this new pricing policy to protect both the brand’s image and the interests of all authorized resellers. Indeed, you will want to start your communication with this message — to protect your valued partners, you are implementing this new policy to ensure no resellers are able to undersell them.

Your communication should also include the actual MAP policy — which itself should be written clearly, briefly and as free of dense legalese as possible.

For ideas about what you’ll want to include in your MAP policy’s verbiage, contact us anytime.

 

  1.   Issue a press release to announce your new pricing protection policy

This is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to have your MAP policy featured in the publications that your industry’s resellers, dealers and distributors read.

It’s also a great opportunity to reinforce the message I’ve suggested in idea 1 — namely to let potential resellers know that your company is implementing this new policy to protect both your brand image and the interests of all of the authorized resellers in your channel.

A properly worded press release announcing your new MAP policy can both introduce your brand and products to a wide range of new potential resellers, and at the same demonstrate to those resellers that yours could be an attractive product line to carry because the brand itself will protect them from being undersold.

This is also an ideal time to mention your brand protection partner, as publicly aligning your brand with a firm that's well known for enforcing MAP policies validates your efforts and sets the tone for your market.

 

  1.   Publish your MAP prominently on your brand’s website

When a potential reseller visits your website and clicks on your “Partner,” “Reseller” or “Dealer Program” page, they should see a prominent message alerting them to the fact that your brand will protect them against being undercut if they join your resale channel.

Perhaps include a “WE PROTECT OUR AUTHORIZED RESELLERS” headline with a “Read our MAP Policy” link below.

Whatever specific language you choose, you want to convey to a prospective reseller reading your site that you treat your channel partners with respect and care. The more prominently you can present this message, the better.

 

  1.   Send reports to your channel about your ongoing pricing enforcement efforts

You can also leverage your pricing program as a marketing tool by communicating with your resale channel on a regular basis to show them how you are policing the pricing of your products and protecting them against unauthorized resellers undercutting them.

With the right MAP monitoring platform, for example, your MAP enforcement service will be gathering minute-by-minute data on how your products are being sold across the web — including by unauthorized resellers.

If you can show your channel of authorized resellers how your monitoring system is having significant success in preventing MAP violations — and how you are quickly shutting down those instances that your system does catch — this can go a long way toward increasing confidence among your resellers, and trust in your brand.

One important takeaway here is to notice that these measures for marketing your MAP policy to grow your resale channel will cost your company very little. Indeed, several of the ideas listed here — such as sending communications to your resale channel — won’t cost anything other than your time.

 

BEFORE YOU PUBLICIZE YOUR MAP POLICY, DEPLOY THE RIGHT MAP ENFORCEMENT SOLUTION

And of course, if you deploy the right MAP monitoring solution, you will find that this won’t cost you very much either.

If you’re interested in deploying a comprehensive monitoring, protection and enforcement of your products being sold on Amazon — as well as across virtually all other online marketplaces — contact TrackStreet now.

Topics: MAP Enforcement