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5 Ways to Maximize Profits in the Holiday Season

BTN interviews Brian Rosen on how Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries can maximize their profits in the holiday season.

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I look at the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl.  The game is tied and either team can win.  It will come down to the team that is best prepared and strongest.  The super bowl happens every year and pits the 2 best teams in the NFL and the 4th quarter happens every year in our business and pits the best brands against each other for consumer attention and dollars.

From a brand perspective, it is very likely that you will sell 40%+ of your goods in the last 10 weeks of the year.  So what you do, how you present and how you sell and your distributor/ retailer relationships all matter now.

The holiday season is set up with the previous 8 months of sales success. Very few brands are made this time of year but rather in the other 40 calendar weeks.  I scoff when suppliers say that January and February are slow.  We believe the opposite, that it is time for retailer programming and supplier meetings.  It can be argued that 1st Quarter is really Pre-Season for brands.

Looking at the months ahead this what we are believing 

1. Pricing- when brands present it is important to know and understand the competitive landscape.  Knowing your 5 competing brands is critical to your profit play.  I would also add that being able to communicate why you are more sell-able than a competing brand will allow you to maintain price stability.

2. The Watch- brands to not spend time in stores often enough when they are not on sales calls.  Go to a good account, watch customers, watch the traffic pattern, watch what happens at check out.  Make sure you know where dead retailer spots are and where hot spots are.  This is relevant because to increase your selling velocity and thus your selling profit you can help the account w a position that will benefit both you and them and keep your price strong.

3.Tastings- Remember, buying and selling are different.  The rate that you sell out of an account allows you to discount less coming into an account.  The less discount the more profit you will achieve.  Tastings is a sure fire way to increase the SKU velocity and make for less discounting the retailer has to do to move an item.  The faster the item moves the more inclined the account is to buy it.  That inclination will lead to a better front line price structure.

4. Forecasting- Producing, selling and maintaining inventory levels at your distributor are all critical.  I would say of the three, forecasting is the most important.  How much you produce against how much you sell are all key indicators of higher profit levels.

5. Plan for Over Time or the next game- Our whole business is geared for Christmas time but there is always January.  If you feel as though you cannot execute well in the crunch time than plan for the next year.  Suppliers often rush with the “we need to hit holiday” mentality but the true reality is that the same 12 months will begin January 1 and planning for the next Christmas is better than blowing and rushing this Christmas.

There will always be ways to run a more profitable brand.  They happen all year and not just holiday time.  I can point to the adage of supplier asking me if they need to be as WSWA.  My answer is the same, if you are a good brand that is selling, the distributor will find you know matter what time of year.  In this current case, if you are well managed and did all your prep and pre-work, the 4th quarter will be easy, profitable and a winner.

About Brian Rosen:

Brian Rosen

Brian is one of a handful of three-tier experts in the USA. Voted "Ones to Watch" in Beverage Dynamics Magazine. Rosen works with brands, distributors, producers and marketing/ position companies to bring brands to market all over the USA.
Rosen has worked with Americas largest consumer companies including Cohen's Fashion Optical (Top 10 Retail Optician/ Nationally, COO) Target, 7-11, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LevelVision, Fallas Parades, Lulu Lemon, Anheiser Busch, National Wine Distributors, Global Adult Beverage brands.
Brian is globally regarded as THE leading authority in the three-tier system, retail off-premise, team leadership, marketing, merchandising, ECOMM and go to market strategy.

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