Beverage Brand Building


“Difficulties in brand building in the current beverage environment”

Beverage Brand Building


The proliferation of brands across all segments; beer, wine, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages makes the development of new brands extremely challenging.

In many cases manufacturers of new products have difficulty even getting a response to their inquiries. More often than not you must take advantage of market relationships to clear that hurdle.

The difficulty for any new product is primarily the “hook” to gain the distributors’ attention and interest over the clutter of products being pitched on an almost daily basis. Relationships will get you a meeting but then it comes down to the uniqueness of the product itself or its packaging to stimulate further interest.

Now you have the decision makers’ attention but it better be “in the bottle”. A quality product with a pleasant taste profile is key to the next step. The distributor of today is far more discerning than in the past.

Lastly you must be able to commit to supporting the sales and merchandising efforts of the distributor. The challenge for all brands is to get “share of mind” from the salespeople. Involving the management team in creating programs supporting the brand gives the team “ownership” of the program and increases the chances of success.

The days of distributor = automatic distribution are fading fast. In this time of overcrowded brand portfolios there can be no success without support.

The one rule I would advise all new product owners to practice is to be patient and make good choices in distributors. Having a distributor want your product is not enough, you must want them equally as much for your brand’s growth.

You need to understand their strengths and weaknesses, and how they fit in the potential distribution network as you extend beyond the market they service. The process is after all a marathon not a sprint.



Article has been contributed by our Wine Broker Partner 

KMS's CEO, Nick Stefanizzi
Professional History

Nick has worked in various position at Capital Beverage (a distributor), Heineken USA (as a supplier), Anheuser Busch wholesaler (as a distributor) and understand the expectations of a distributor and the supplier.

Nick can help BTN Gold members expand their distribution via his brokerage services.

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