445 – How To Deal With Distributors with John Foster of Ragged Branch

Now that we have our own bourbon with Pursuit Spirits, we’re learning first hand how distributors can make or break your brand. There’s a huge learning curve to understanding the lingo and just being able to communicate on the same page. But this can be maddening if you choose the wrong distributor that doesn’t give you any attention and let’s your brand go stale. We invited Johnny Foster to come back on the show to give us insights on how to work best with distributors. Johnny was a guest back on Episode 227 when he was a part of Smooth Ambler but now he’s at Ragged Branch and leads their sales and distribution. He gives the pros and cons of selecting large versus boutique distributors, how to spend smartly on incentives, and targeted marketing funds. Ultimately though, motivating partners comes down to building authentic relationships through regular visits and communication.

Show Notes:

  • Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about the export market.
  • What are you doing today at Ragged Branch?
  • How do you motivate distributors without losing your damn mind?
  • How do you tell a story and justify a higher price tag versus the big 6 staples?
  • What can smaller distillers do to appeal to distributors?
  • How do you guide people on choosing a distributor that is big or small?
  • How do you spend money with a distributor through incentives and programs?
  • What does it cost to get in-store displays?
  • What dollar amount per case do you put towards programming?
  • What makes a company look attractive for acquisition?
  • What are successful methods for marketing and getting product off the shelf?
  • Where do you put focus on chains vs independent stores?
  • How do you protect yourself from contracts?
  • Support this podcast on Patreon

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