Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Power of Distribution

Distribution contributes to customer brand insistence in two ways. First, it increases brand accessibility so that brand preference is more likely to be converted to brand purchase. But, more importantly, it increases brand exposure, which increases brand awareness. So distribution affects two of the five customer brand insistence drivers. Brands such as Coca-Cola, KFC, McDonalds and Starbucks rely on this as an important driver of their brands’ successes.

If you slightly preferred Coca-Cola to Pepsi, and both are available in the same place, you would purchase Coca-Cola every time. However, if Coca-Cola was not available but Pepsi was, you might purchase Pepsi instead.

The only situation in which extensive distribution may not be right for your brand is if it is positioned as an upscale or luxury brand. Limited distribution in limited upscale places can add to the cachet of “exclusive” brands. Certainly, those brands would lose their allure if they were available in the mass channel, and especially in discount chains such as Wal-Mart. Some brands would even suffer from being available in well-known department stores. Consider how broadly and where Armand de Brignac Champagne, Bugatti, Desvall, Herm├Ęs, Rolls Royce, Savoir, Tesla Motors or Vilebrequin brands are sold.

But even extremely upscale brands can benefit from increased exposure to their target audiences. But the places where they are available are handpicked to scream exclusivity.

(c) 2014 by Brad VanAuken. Excerpted from Brand Aid, second edition, available at and

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