We are a Mexican company that develops tequila brands for European Latin American investors who would like to enter the US market. We need advise on marketing and distributor sales.
No. But here are my two cents.
Look only for a company who does not rely heavily in one other products besides what would be yours.
Also, don't select a distributor who has a similar product as yours. You put them in a bind, even if they say they won't be affected in their decision making of who to put in a shelve.
Shelves are very very valuable real estate and chances are you will struggle to get yours in a shelve if your distributor has a similar product established with them or a brand that vendors see now as synonymous of their distributor label.
Maybe even consider picking up a starting company or individual and build as your own extension..requires more capital upfront but you control the distribution rights and operational expenses which benefit the long run.
I've been running a startup in the alcohol industry for the past 2 years. It's a difficult market. Shelves are full of brands competiting for space. You'll need to have something that really differentiates yourself from more established players. You'll probably have more success with a small, startup distributor. I know the owner of Altamar Brands. He already carries Tequila Ocho, but he might be open to other brands or know distributors looking.
Let me know if I can help in any way or you'd like to find a time to chat.
Start with the Alcoholic Beverage Bodegas in NYC. The owners can make big decisions and some own lots companies. Y ademas, la majoria hablan espanol.
I have a lot of experience in Guadalajara (Tonala, Tlaquepaque, and Tejuila, Mexico). There must be 1,000 brands there. How old is your brand? Digame mas.
I am not trying to sell you on calling me. Really, I am pretty busy with my businesses and consulting. However, I need more info before I could have a greater impact in helping you.
Ask, Ask, Ask, then Ask again.
Here is $10,000 worth of information for free and in a nutshell.
Concentrate on the 3 M's. There are actually 7, but 3 will do for now. These are Market, Message, and Media. They come in that order.
Who is your target market (customer, clients, buyers, users, etc.)?
Tailor your laser focused message for this target market.
What is the best media mix to get your message to that market?
Here's what you do...first, make it an offer that is so incredible that they cannot resist. Secondly, do all the work for them. Make it so easy to make the purchase now that they can do it virtually without effort. Thirdly, give them an incentive to act right now. Fourthly, offer an almost unbelievable guarantee. Fifth, offer a bonus for acting now. There are many other incredible steps, but these steps should help the novice to the professional sell anything.
Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, you have to focus on selling to only one person. You can actually sell to one person at a time while selling to millions at a time. They are one and the same. Don't get off track, what we call digital marketing selling is just selling in print. And that has not changed since Cluade Hopkins wrote "Scientific Advertising." Really long before he wrote the book.
The secret to success: I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with some of the biggest names in business, celebrities, actors, entrepreneurs, business people, and companies from startup to billion dollar operations. The number one reason for their success is doing what they know and love while doing it in new, creative, and innovative ways.
Ask, Ask, Ask. Have thick skin and learn from each "mistake." In a short while, the market will tell you what you need to do and who and what you need to ask. But get started now even if that just means asking a contact on LinkedIn.
While you are thinking, think big and think of something at least 1% better, newer, or different. And being cheaper is not a winning strategy.
Make decisions quickly and change decisions slowly..unless you are actually going off a cliff.
Remember these two 11 letter words...persistence and consistency. They are two of the most important tools ever invented.
Treat everybody you talk to and everybody you meet (including yourself) like each is your number one million dollar customer.
Bootstrap when possible and reasonable. Read "How To Get Rich" by Felix Dennis. Or better yet just remember the camel's nose in the tent story.
However, sometimes you just need to make a deal.
Listen, in any business you have to take some chances and some risks. Make sure you don't need a license and go for it. Remember, timid business people have skinny kids. Paraphrased from Zig Ziglar.
Best of luck,
Take massive action and never give up.
Michael Irvin, MBA, RN