Step 6: getting into the
It is a 'motherhood statement' to say that if the customer can't get the product or service, it is highly unlikely there will be a sale. All marketing efforts will come to nothing if the customers can't get the product or experience the service. Some companies distribute directly to the final customer, others use different types of middleman, such as retailers and wholesalers. Service delivery can also be made in many different ways, such as face-to-face, electronically or by post.
Yet, the majority of marketing executives, in our experience, do not take the issue of distribution, the physical supply, seriously. The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the importance of distribution as a part of a customized brand proposition.
Distribution has in many companies an off-centre role. Production and sales are seen as important, how to get the product from A to B, that is, 'something someone somewhere will take care of'. In many cases the actual physical distribution may well be outsourced for good reasons, but where to deliver and how remains a key part of the customized brand strategy for reasons mentioned in the Introduction.