Do you have any advice for dealing with distributors who are the middle man and do what they want with your brand in that market?

Question

Do you have any advice for dealing with distributors who are the middle man and do what they want with your brand in that market?

This question was asked during our Brand Appeal webinar. You can watch the webinar at http://opentoexport.com/info/webinars/#brandappeal

Answer

Hi Sabrina

Its your brand and you should have in place a distribution agreement which allows you to state clearly at the beginning what is expected of them.
If you don’t, then have you got proof of what they are expected to do ? eg meetings notes;brand guidelines; proof of logos you have sent them; visit reports etc.
Managing brands and distributors/agents is a fundamental part of export management .
Gilio
http://www.exportadvisory.com/

Answer

Hi Sabrina,

The phrase that got my attention was “do what they want with your brand” – if you’ve got a distributor who isn’t following your brand guidelines it can lead to all sorts of problems. For example in Intellectual Property law relating to trade marks, if your distributor doesn’t follow guidelines and as a result your brand identity is inconsistent with your registration – maybe using a different colour or even an altered logo with or without a strapline, then your trademark registration is vulnerable to being struck off. On a more simple level, they are diluting your marketing message if they don’t adhere to your guidelines.

You should have strict brand guidelines which are followed in every territory where you trade, and if your straplines have to be translated, then you should manage this process and seek registration of the translated trademark.

Best of luck,

Ben Wyatt – Founder and CEO www.technical-translations.co.uk

Answer

Hi Sabrina

I’m a lawyer and have worked on many distribution agreements. The reality is that you should look at that first to see what it says.

If you have not got an agreement or thinking of one, I would strongly suggest that you consider instructing a lawyer.

Contact me if you need anything more.

Kiley

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