In order to be successful at marketing goods and services, many factors come into play for manufacturers. Selling products at a consistent, specified price or an agreed minimum cost as well as the overall brand experience are two of the most important. Whether you are a reseller or the maker of products, you need to know the difference between minimum advertised pricing (MAP) and brand compliance.
What is MAP?
MAP is determined by the manufacturer and is a specific price set for a product or, alternatively, the minimum price you can charge for an item. Specifying a MAP enables the product’s maker to continue making a profit since this strategy minimizes the chances of damaging price wars. Since resellers are encouraged to report any competitors in the marketplace who might be violating the MAP standards for a particular item, the playing field is more likely to remain level. Over time, customers can be guaranteed a product that stays on the market because it has remained profitable enough to be maintained and even upgraded if necessary. Resellers know that they will not be unfairly undercut by rivals, and manufacturers can maintain the sales that they require to keep the product relevant and even expand their offerings.
What is Brand Compliance?
You can think of brand compliance as the big umbrella under which MAP monitoring rests. After all, making sure that MAP is maintained is only one way in which the brand is portrayed by retailers. In addition to price, resellers have a great deal of freedom in the graphics, text and messaging they use to portray the brand. All is definitely not fair when it comes to commerce, and many retailers ignore scruples in their zeal to make sales at any cost.
Brand compliance monitoring involves a number of components:
- MAP monitoring to track price violations over time
- Honest representation of the brand in home pages, promotions through screen shots of emails, social media posts and product pages
- Assortment compliance by tracking all products each retailer offers over time as well as monitoring the availability of new products and new product introductions.
In a nutshell, brand compliance ensures that the company’s image and message are put across consistently to all customers and for every relevant product they sell regardless of where in the world the vendor may be.
Why Does Brand Compliance Matter?
Brand compliance ensures that even the independent retailers who interact with the company present that manufacturer’s core values in a way that conforms with the company’s image and mission. When customers see consistent look and feel, fonts, and logos and messaging tone, the credibility of the brand will be bolstered. No one wants to give their money to an entity that seems shady or fly-by-night, and brand compliance is the best fortress that can be built to protect against that legitimate consumer fear.
When you take the time to promote brand compliance, there are no losers. Consumers pay a consistent, steady price for the products they value and want to continue to buy over time thanks to MAP compliance. In the bigger picture, customers and resellers can rest assured that they are doing business with a company they can trust that will be providing high-quality products for the long haul. When the buyer’s experience is consistently positive, manufacturers will find that loyalty increases and sales elevate.