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For brands that sell through retailers, Brand-to-Retailer (B2R) marketing can be one of the most influential ways a brand promotes its products. And before we dive into if it’s right for your brand, let’s define what B2R is.

What is Brand-to-Retailer (B2R) Marketing?

If you’re wondering what exactly we mean when we talk about B2R marketing, we’re describing an optimized marketing effort where brands leverage their retailers in co-branded campaigns to build preference over other competing brands with those retailers. B2R marketing essentially boils down to the loyalty and connection a retailer demonstrates towards your brand.

Today, with so many brands to choose from, the focus for brand marketers is to keep themselves top of mind. That makes one question constant: “How can we get more of our products in the hands of consumers?” It’s a good question. One that keeps all great brand marketers and agency strategists up at night. So, let’s see if B2R can help.

Is B2R Marketing Right For Your Brand?

To better understand if your brand could benefit from a B2R Marketing strategy, ask yourself the these four questions:

1. What percentage of your overall sales comes from your retailers?
For most brands, more than 90% of their sales come from their retailers. Whatever the percentage, if you answered “the majority,” B2R could be the way you optimize your marketing efforts in 2012. So, let’s move forward to some more questions.

2. Other than your own brick and mortar stores, how do you currently help your retailers market?
Maybe you provide branded print assets and/or online media assets. Could be that you’re heavily involved in social media content communication to retailers. Whatever the case, your marketing tools need to be easily obtainable, customizable and deployable by your retailers.

3. How eager are your retailers when it comes to helping you market?
If your retailers are lacking in enthusiasm, or if you’re unable to engage 10% or more of your retailer base, then it’s an issue of a loss of connection and perceived value between you and your retailer. This is a dangerous place to be, but there are plenty of ways to bounce back.

4. Could your brand benefit from a stronger relationship with your retailers?
For many brands, a retailer is an advocate of the highest level of importance. So, don’t ignore them, help them. Harness their networks. Market through them. Include them and just watch what happens!

So, what do you think? Is a B2R marketing strategy right for your brand?