MYPRODUCT6 Power of Brand. Priceless!

1.Situation

In the deep crisis period of 2008 -2010, I coordinated a commercial team in Veteco, in charge with sales, market and distribution of one of the most known and appreciated super premium pet food brands from Romania: Royal Canin. During the collaboration between the distributor and Royal Canin the key results delivered by Veteco (volume, value) were in accord with the expected business development plans agreed by the parties, plans I directly contributed to.

Royal Canin kept permanently under his radar the Romanian pet food market due to its growing potential. Nevertheless until 2010 its business model implied the work with distributors to supply specialized pet market channels: pet shops, veterinary practices and pharmacies.

In light of the very good results delivered several years in raw by the distributor, Royal Canin decided to change its distribution model, moving from working with distributors to directly selling their products.

2.Task

As a result of this situation, we decided to find another pet food producer in order to exclusively import and distribute its products and to continue competing on the Romanian pet food market on pet specialized market channels: pet shops, vet practices and pharmacies.

We found Company X as being the most desirable partner for Veteco due to the quality of their product portfolio, history and heritage (major player on its origin market from Europe) as well as its future development plans for the Romanian market.

The key challenge was to replace the sold volume of Royal Canin with the volume from Company X ranges as those brands compete on the same pet specialized market channels, even if Company X brand on the Romanian market had limited presence and awareness.

3.Action

After selling for years Royal Canin’s ranges all commercial, sales, logistics, distribution, procedures, relations with clients as well as the experience and knowledge of sales agents were exceptionally well developed, well dimensioned and well implemented.

Basically we were using for developing Company X operations in Romania the same platform and same working approach that delivered results with Royal Canin. Moreover being a brand less known on the Romanian market we implemented many actions to create brand awareness and support sales.

4.Results

In spite of the commercial team’s dedication and all the efforts and instruments placed behind, the delivered results for Company X operations in Romania were not in line with expectations, reason for which at a certain moment we decided to exit pet food distribution business and to fully concentrate on Veteco’s core business: exclusive import and distribution of Merial’s medical veterinary products, business ran by the company from its beginning until today.

5.Key Learnings

This was a learning lesson and the entire company understood the power of brand. Sales agents specially, because clients that yesterday were our best ‘’friends’’ ordering Royal Canin products, closed today their ‘’business door’’ when we came with another product, with similar quality but with limited awareness on the Romanian market.

I address this example to professionals that want to move to a new job too. Probably you and your team put the same dedication, same determination, same skills, same knowledge in your work, no matter the place you are acting in. But many times the difference between your final results and benefits simply comes from the brands or products you work with.

So pay attention when you accept a new job!

Notification: MYPRODUCT reflects my real professional experience and expertise as well as my subjectivity. I do have a profound respect for all the companies I collaborated to and for all the people I worked with. It is not my intention to approach any sensitive, confidential or offending information related to companies, projects or people. If you the reader deduct or recognise companies, projects or people in my examples, I kindly ask you to respect MYPRODUCT and my professional and ethic approach and to not share any detail, information, situation, name, company.