Retailer misconduct can be intentional or unintentional and range from not serious to very damaging to a brand. In this section on protecting your brand, we have already discussed several very serious ways that retailers can engage in serious misconduct including discounting and product diversion. However, here are some other possible problems to be on the lookout for.
- Representation of your brand in an amateurish way, perhaps with badly written sales copy or non-professional images.
- Bad/rude customer service.
- Refusal to handle returns and refunds according to your policies.
- Not handling your product properly (for example, not refrigerating a product that requires it).
- Selling expired product
- Manipulation of your label (examples: adding retailer contact information or removing expiration dates)
- Altering or manipulating your product in a way that reduces quality.
Here is the thing that we at Cobblestone Trade want you to always remember about retailers: it should be a privilege to sell your products. In the internet age, you do not need any particular retailer; they are almost all expendable. Furthermore, you most certainly do not need or want a bad retailer. That is true whether they are criminally bad or just careless with your products. There are good retailers that will treat your brand with respect, follow your rules, and provide great service to the people interacting with your brand.
If you have bad retailers, ditch them. You probably will not lose revenue and in the long run, your brand will be stronger.