Columnists

The Power of Collaboration, From All Perspectives

ColumnistsAug 30, 2022

The Power of Collaboration, From All Perspectives

Kendra Bridelle and Ashley Davis Sigman share both the brand and retailer outlook on what “working together” really means.

Ashley Davis Sigman, left, is vice president of Davis Jewelers in Louisville, Kentucky, while Kendra Bridelle serves as vice president of sales for Judith Ripka.
The true power of collaboration is when multiple parties work together toward a mutual goal.

Some might say the goals of a brand and a retailer differ but at the end of the day, the end goal is the same—profit.

In this follow-up to our June article on the three keys to a successful retailer-brand partnership, we take a look at what the words “collaboration” and “partnership” mean to both the brand and the retailer.

The Brand’s Perspective, from Kendra Bridelle
I can’t tell you how many times a retailer has said to me, “This is my investment. Your brand is only looking out for itself. What is your brand investing?”

This is where understanding the power of collaboration comes in; partnerships are a two-way street. 

Brands that invest in the following items are not just looking out for themselves. They are investing in the future of their retailer partnerships because a one-time sale is not going to sustain a business.

Those items are: 
• Creative assets
• Advertising and marketing 
• Displays and point-of-sale materials
• Tips for training and merchandising 
• Co-op advertising credits
• Travel expenses related to sales support
• Event support and giveaways
• Incentive programs
• Inventory to quickly replenish sold merchandise 

These expenses add up quickly but are worth every penny if a brand wants to succeed in today’s retail environment. 

It is the understanding of the words “collaboration” and “partnership” that ends up making the difference. 

Collaborating means connecting with a lot of people—not just the brand and the retailer, but the brand and the entire retailer’s staff, local groups within a particular market, their friends, etc. 

The more people you collaborate with, the more successful both the brand and the retailer will be to ensure profit.   

 Related stories will be right here … 

The Retailer’s Perspective, from Ashley Davis Sigman
Profit only occurs after collaboration with the brand and then implementation of multiple sales and merchandising strategies to ensure success. 

After success occurs, you can’t just stop, however. 

You must continue to fuel the success, like adding more coal to the boiler of a locomotive. It won’t run on the tracks without the continual pressure to move it forward. 

And if the conductor is not manning the train, you run off course or, even worse, off the tracks. Now in this case running off the tracks won’t hurt you physically, but it certainly does financially. 

A good buyer understands how to calculate if a brand is worth their showcase space value. At the end, it comes down to dollars and cents. 

Buyers, you need to ask yourselves: Is your investment working? Are you seeing turnover? Are you holding margin? 

Has your team bought into the brand? And, are you promoting new collections to your clients frequently? 

Does this all make sense? If so, your cents turn into dollars and you see profit.

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