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Building a Controlled Brand Image for Wholesalers & Distributors.

There's an old saying in business: "You can't sell a product, you can only sell a solution to a problem." When it comes to wholesalers and distributors, this is especially true. These businesses are often seen as middlemen – necessary, but not particularly exciting. Thanks to the power of branding, this is changing. A strong brand strategy and identity can help wholesalers and distributors create an image of trust and reliability, which in turn will help them connect to and engage with customers. In this blog post, we'll talk about the importance of wholesaler and distributor branding and how we've created powerful brand identities for businesses like yours.

Brand strength is becoming more and more important in today's business world. The power of branding allows companies to differentiate themselves from their competitors in a way that's memorable and meaningful, creating added value for customers. A properly aligned wholesaler or distributor branding strategy can help these businesses compete with other market options by differentiating them in the eyes of their customers. Branding also helps establish a distributor as the expert. Customers may have multiple choices but will gravitate towards the partner that appears more capable and informed.

On the surface, having a well-polished visual identity, branded collateral, and web presence will strengthen customer perception of your brand. Rounding out your brand’s experience with customer-focused processes, messaging, campaigns, and initiatives will provide customers with a reason to believe in your brand. If we've said it once, we'll say it a million times: your brand’s purpose should be the driving factor in all decisions – whether it's marketing, promotions, or even how your delivery driver interacts with customers. Creating this alignment can seem intimidating as wholesalers and distributors begin the branding process; however, with the right foundation, decisions become easier and easier down the road.

The good news is that brand perception can be controlled, but you have to start with a clear understanding of what your brand stands for and align every aspect of your business to uphold your brand’s core promise. If you live up to that promise at every touchpoint, customers will associate your brand with a functional and emotional benefit. Consistency is key here and if you miss the mark, your reputation could be at risk.

Let's take a look at a recent rebranding project where Quill worked with a century-old laundry equipment distributor to give them the upper hand in the market by highlighting the truths of their organization through branding.

Harry Miller Laundry was founded in 1921 and, over the past 100 years, built a reputation of trust and reliability rooted in the personal touch of family operations. Although customers were happy and business was good, the current CEO noticed that the distributor’s brand identity didn't reflect the essence of the company's core values and rich legacy. Being a forward-thinking leader, he decided that the centennial year was an optimal time to refresh the brand's identity and start the next hundred years on an intentional footing.

It was clear during our brand discovery and strategy process that the fundamental things Harry Miller Laundry was already doing on a daily basis didn't require an overhaul. They truly did operate like a family business and had a loyal customer base that trusted them. They did, however, need a visual identity and brand voice to reflect the brand promise – something even an inexperienced customer would understand.

The refreshed brand identity is based on the idea of "heritage meets innovation." It's a juxtaposition that speaks to Harry Miller Laundry's long-standing history as a laundry distributor and their commitment to always being on the forefront of the latest industry advancements. Paired with outstanding family-feeling customer service, the experience came to life when paired with a fresh visual identity applied to every touchpoint that makes the company feel and sound like an established yet forward-thinking organization. Check out the blog where we give a behind the scenes look at the process we used.

The takeaway for wholesalers and distributors is that it's never too late to take control of your brand. It may seem daunting at first, but with a clear understanding of what you stand for and the dedication to stay true to your values, every branding and business decision becomes easier. Start by taking a look at all aspects of your customers’ experience and be honest with yourself. Is everything deliberate and consistent, or are you sending mixed signals? Even a hundred years into business, you can still pour a new foundation for your brand. You can use our brand strategy checkup to see how your brand scores.

If you want to strengthen your brand this year, the best time to start is now. Contact Quill Creative Studio to speak with a brand strategist today.