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Experience the BrandSource White Glove Welcome

March 11, 2024

Experience the BrandSource White Glove Welcome

With you every step of the way

 

We know how big a deal it is to change buying groups. The thought of making the switch can sometimes be enough to keep you where you are, even if it’s not the best fit for you. That’s where BrandSource’s white glove welcome comes in. 

Change is scary; joining BrandSource is not

Our promise is that joining BrandSource will be the second-easiest thing you can do. (The first easiest will be to watch your bottom line grow as you implement the tools and platforms you have access to as a member.) Our white glove welcome is designed to make sure your transition to BrandSource is easy, seamless and successful. 

Region managers and member relations pros

Our staff of experts will walk you step by step through the transition process, making sure you have everything you need. It starts with the initial onboarding call, during which you’ll meet the team members who will shepherd you through the change. This is also when we identify what your key needs are and start planning how to meet them. 

MTEQ tools

One of the greatest benefits of BrandSource membership is your access to the full suite of digital marketing techniques developed by AVB Marketing. During your transition, you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about them and talk through which ones will most benefit you right out of the gate and how to best implement them. 

White glove checklist

 

What are some of the items you’ll go over with your transition team? Get a load of the options you’ll be presented with: 

 

      • AVB Marketing
      • BrandSource Financial
      • Margin enhancements
      • Consumer Financing
      • Expert Warehouse
      • ServiceSource solutions
      • Vendor programs

Exceptional care and attention

 

No matter what your needs are or what your past experiences have taught you, our white glove onboarding process will make it simple to be part of the best buying group in the independent retail industry for appliance, mattress, furniture and electronics dealers. 

 

We live by our mission: It’s all about the member. Our commitment is to put those words into practice from your first moment with the transition team. To find out more about the white glove onboarding process and what it would look like for you, or for more about the benefits of BrandSource membership, click below.  

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What’s the hubbub about HUB?

March 8, 2024

What’s the hubbub about HUB?

An ally in the race to boost profits and beat your competition

HUB is your in-store CRM tool, providing business owners, sales people, support teams, merchants and customers access to the information they need exactly when they need it.

The next generation of e-commerce

When you have all the resources you need at your fingertips, you can seamlessly guide product decisions with shoppers, access comprehensive product data and communicate effortlessly with customers. 

CRM functionality

Beyond being a powerhouse for product data, HUB is equipped with a comprehensive CRM tool to help you optimize your customer interactions by: 

    • Storing customer contact details
    • Tracking in-store visits
    • Allowing you to leverage this information for strategic follow-ups

Create a HUB quote for the selected products, effortlessly emailing it to the customer with attached spec docs, eliminating the need for printing them out in the store. 

Every communication through HUB is logged, providing a comprehensive history for efficient follow-ups and customer interactions.

Team management 

Once your customer interactions are in HUB, leverage this data to efficiently manage your sales team.

    • Monitor closing rates through HUB’s robust reporting features.
    • Effectively oversee your sales pipeline by evaluating products, promos, customer visits and incoming texts and emails.

Additional benefits

    • Price tags have accurate and consistent information that you need.
    • Promotional history provides previous and upcoming promo schedules.
    • Inventory availability reports are right at your fingertips.
    • Quote tracking gives you the ability to reference historic sale conversations.
    • Price adjustments provide you the ability to make changes on the fly.
    • Competitor pricing gives you the visibility to help make the sale.

Seamless integration with MTEQ tools

We know that members who participate fully in our suite of tools see at least a 30% jump in traffic to their online store. That’s why HUB is fully integrated with all our other platforms, including LINQ, SYNC, ALTA, KIOSQ, digital price tags and more. 

See it all and manage it all on one centralized platform

HUB is continuously evolving, shaped by what members need and designed to help you boost your bottom line. Click to find out more about HUB and all the benefits of BrandSource membership.

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BrandSource Financial: Investing In your success

March 8, 2024

BrandSource Financial: Investing In your success

Boost your bottom line with the best economic value proposition in the industry

 

BrandSource Financial was created 14 years ago to answer members’ call for an in-house financing program. Since then, BSF has become a vital component of BrandSource’s suite of benefits for members.

Improve your sales and cash flow

There are many reasons to participate in BSF for your independent appliance, furniture, mattress or electronics business.
Let us answer a few frequently asked questions to prove our point.

How does it work?

Rather than paying vendors direct for inventory within 15-30 days, BrandSource Financial finances invoices on scheduled payment terms. Length of financing is typically over a 60-90 day period, though display or show floor orders may have 6-12 month terms. Our system is completely automated for order approvals and invoice payments, which streamlines members’ payables process.

How does it help you make more money?

BrandSource Financial turns over program profits to members in the form of annual dash distributions. Right now, payout is at half a point or 50 basis points, which translates to $500 back for every $100,000 in annual volume financed through BSF. On average, participating members get an ACD of roughly $6,500 each, and many dealers receive well over $25,000.

Who makes the decisions?

Like BrandSource, BrandSource Financial is member-owned, which means decisions are made by and for members. What’s more, BSF never requires exclusivity. In fact, most BrandSource members use a second resource in addition to BSF, such as a vendor or third-party provider, which provides even greater liquidity with generally more credit facilities.

Isn’t signing up a big hassle?

No! With an effortless e-Sign application process, you’ll be off and running. BrandSource Financial also provides step-by-step assistance and a user manual.

Our secret weapon for member dealers

With more than 60 vendor partners participating and rave reviews from users, BrandSource Financial has a record you can trust and the industry clout you need. Would your business boom with an assist from BrandSource Financial? Click to find out more about BSF and all the benefits of BrandSource membership.

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Why work with a buying group?

February 28, 2024

Why work with a buying group?

 By Anastasia Stefanova 

A Buying Group Can Make a Big Difference
in Your Store’s Success

 

Many furniture retailers saw their best years during the pandemic. Making home more comfortable, work-friendly or fixing the things shoppers have been putting off suddenly become a necessity. Best of all, they had the expendable income to do so. Retailers didn’t need to do much to see the traffic flow into the store.

 

As the pandemic continued, we took more and more people out of the market — shrinking our potential pool of available shoppers in the area in a short span of time. The slowing economy did the rest — tying off the remainder of the shoppers’ purse strings with a knot.

 

Retailers needed to pivot drastically and not just return to basics, but come up with new ideas to reduce costs, improve (or at least maintain) revenue and streamline inventory/operations in ways they have previously not had to consider before. Many have identified the need for partners that can alleviate some of the ebbs and flows of operating in the furniture retail space.

 

Buying groups are advantageous partners that can help reduce the costs of doing business and provide a set of resources to generate future business growth.

 

Buying Power to Reduce Costs

There’s power in numbers! Buying groups pool resources in a way the individual store is not able to. Working on behalf of the collective, they are able to negotiate volume rebates and discounts for retail members that they would not be able to negotiate on their own. These savings are often a massive benefit to the retailer – especially when trying to be conscious of the bottom line. Apart from better pricing, access to new inventory and lines can also sweeten the pot for dealers operating on a slimmer budget.

 

Programs and services to drive business

Participation with a buying group often means access to valuable resources through vetted business partners (sometimes at a discount). From career resources and marketing to consumer financing and credit card processing, buying groups can help you streamline a plethora of business needs like operations, inventory, financing and even staffing.

 

Networking opportunities to share knowledge

Probably the most invaluable benefit of working with a buying group is the access to other retailers. This opportunity to network, learn from one another and hear solutions from others who have been in their shoes can generate a wealth of new business ideas and solutions for pervasive pain points. Networking alone can stimulate a slow business into a thriving one.

 

Additional resources to lighten the load

Retailers are busy and often wear several hats within the organization. Working with a buying group can help retailers get much needed manpower and sometimes full teams of support to help with regular business operations, marketing, or other business areas that require a dedicated employee.

 

Partnerships to drive growth

Regardless of retailer size, a buying group will be a powerful partner for furniture dealers looking to grow their business. With a large partner (and peers) by their side, business growth becomes a clear destination versus a trial-and-error experience. Leadership, guidance and consultation help facilitate critical business decisions while optimizing the overall business budget. The best part is having all of these solutions under one roof versus navigating multiple partner relationships without any synchronicity.

 

Tools to enhance processes

With the right tools in place, business can become easier to manage, market and operate. From CRM systems and websites to showroom tags and digital signage, buying groups may have a variety of technology solutions that improve the way retailers do business. Not only do these tools help customers down the sales funnel, but they also simplify the process for the internal sales teams.

 

Choosing the right partner should be a process of evaluation. This means evaluating your own business, sales and marketing strategies and evaluating the buying groups themselves. Every furniture retailer will have unique needs and pain points that require solutions.

 

The right partner is available for any and every furniture retailer. Before selecting a buying group partner, ask some of these questions:

  • What benefits are provided as part of my membership?
  • What are my problem areas and where do I need the most help?
  • What tools are available to solve my business needs?
  • Do they understand my unique needs and have solutions for them?
  • What pieces may this buying group be missing?
  • What additional services may I require with additional growth?
  • Are services provided in-house or through third parties?

Buying groups have been powerful resources for furniture and mattress retailers even prior to the current economic times. However, with the rampant price-sensitivity in the market, increases to cost of doing business and the reduction of available shopper audiences, dealers may need to toss the playbooks of the past for a more strategic, cohesive approach to operating business.

 

A partnership with the right buying group can significantly improve overall store performance and cut costs, while putting you amidst a group of peers and leaders that all think alike.

 

 

 

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Women in Business: Empowerment & Inspiration

February 26, 2024

Women in Business: Empowerment & Inspiration

Why Highlight Women in Business?

 

Independent appliance, furniture, mattress and electronics businesses have one thing in common: They’re primarily male-led. At least, they used to be. As women continue to take on leadership duties in management, sales and service departments in member businesses, BrandSource sets aside time and talent to encourage, empower and inspire the women in our unique industry.

Resources and rewards to help women succeed

Women in Business is a group of professional independent retailers who come together during BrandSource events to empower, educate and inspire one another to grow and succeed. With a focus on topics such as leadership, thriving in a male-dominated industry and perfecting the work-life balance, the group is a powerful force for members.

National Events

At each national event — spring Summit and fall Convention — there is a special session set aside for the Women in Business group. Sometimes it’s a speaker, sometimes it’s a special fun event, but it’s always designed to give the women of BrandSource a little something extra.

Women in Business Award

Every year during Summit, one especially deserving woman is presented with the Women in Business Award. Geared each year to highlight the special talents and accomplishments of the winner, the award celebrates the unique gifts and achievements of the women who are succeeding in business and leading the way for the next generation.

Women in Business Newsletter

Direct to your inbox every quarter, the newsletter offers links to podcasts, blogs and Instagram feeds that are full of ideas and resources to help women build their success. There is also a Q&A with one woman each time, getting her unique perspective on career, success and challenges.


Women in Business was created in 2014 to address the issues of women’s empowerment, education and inspiration within the traditionally male independent retail industry. The real benefit of participating in the group is the sense of community and sisterhood that comes from sharing experiences, challenges and support.

Women in Business is community of BrandSource women who understand your challenges and believe in your success. Click below to learn about it and all the benefits of membership.

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BrandSource events help members win

February 26, 2024

BrandSource events help members win

BrandSource events: The secret ingredient
to members’ success

Independent retailers who participate in BrandSource events reap the benefits in many ways. These gatherings — whether with a handful of regional neighbors or thousands of colleagues at national events — are always ground zero for great new ideas, guidance and support.

 

In addition to industry-leading marketing technology, the best retail programs in the business and countless other benefits, BrandSource events are invaluable for members who want to win their markets and beat their competition.

BrandSource events give members unmatched advantages

Summit: The first national BrandSource event of the year

Every year, BrandSource and its affiliate groups — ProSource, Intercounty, NEAG and Mega Group BrandSource Canada — collaborate on a major in-person event that includes a huge EXPO trade show, education and training for members in their respective industries and networking opportunities. Summit is where members learn what’s new and what’s ahead in the industry, meet with vendors and get incredible buying opportunities at the Stampede.

Convention

August is when BrandSource members gather for the national Convention, an event that offers an incredible lineup of manufacturer trainings, educational sessions and social networking events. There’s also the two-day EXPO trade show and Stampede buying event.

Region meetings

Region meetings are as important to members’ continuing growth and success as national BrandSource events, as these smaller and more intimate gatherings give members greater access to guest speakers, vendor partners, AVB staff and other industry experts, and provide additional opportunities to share best practices with area businesses.

Women in Business and Young Professionals

These specialty groups offer unique networking and enrichment events. Women in Business, for the increasing number of women in the traditionally male independent retail industry, hosts a special event during national BrandSource events featuring an inspiration speaker or experience. Young Professionals, the 40-and-unders who make up the next generation of the independent appliance, furniture, mattress and electronics retail industry, have a variety sponsored networking and educational events every year.

 

Taken together, BrandSource events provide a unique benefit to members that is unrivaled at other buying groups. We know what it takes for retailers to leave their businesses, so we strive to make every event worthy of the sacrifices they make to attend. We like to say you’ll return home with at least one idea you can put into practice immediately, but the truth is you’ll go home with a pocket full of actionable concepts that will change your business for the better.

What impact could BrandSource events have on your business? Click below to find out how membership can impact your bottom line and boost your business

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ALTA: Best-in-class website solution for independents

February 16, 2024

ALTA: Best-in-class website solution for independents

Maximize Your Online Presence
with an ALTA Website, the
Best-in-Class Website Solution
for Independent Retailers

ALTA, our website solution, is a key component of the MTEQ suite of tech tools for independent appliance, furniture, mattress and electronics dealers. It is designed specifically to provide the analytics you need to make smart decisions and capture more eyeballs and more sales.

6 Ways ALTA Elevates Your Sales Game and Gives You a Competitive Advantage:

1. ALTA’s SEO magic drives organic traffic to your online store

The ALTA platform includes built-in SEO tools for 30% more traffic – which translates into more conversions
and higher sales.

2. Streamlined shopping: How ALTA enhances customer experience

The most-used tools on your website are always at your customers’ fingertips.

3. Increase sales with ALTA’s strategic product placement and merchandising

Boost the products you most want customers to see, such as special promotional products, to the top of the search results so they get more attention.

4. Boost your average cart value with ALTA’s merchandised add-ons, cross-sells and packages

Increase your average cart value and ensure consumers have everything they need for a complete purchase experience with easily merchandised add-ons, related items and over 9,000 pre-built packages and groups.

5. Seamless transactions with ALTA’s wide range of payment options

This includes popular options such as PayPal, Amazon Pay and an array of credit card and other buying options.

6. Data-driven decisions: Unveiling insights with ALTA website solutions analytics tools

From near-live dashboard data to granular information about how shoppers are interacting with your site — and
much more — you’ll have all the information you need to increase sales.

 

Ready to revolutionize your online retail experience? Take the first step towards maximizing your sales potential with ALTA today.

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Learning from last year to win 2024

February 5, 2024

Learning from last year to win 2024

DO YOU HAVE A CHECKLIST FOR SUCCESS?
YOU CAN START BY LOOKING AT WHAT WORKED IN 2023

Now that Q1 is fully underway and the glow of the holiday season is behind us, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the gains of 2023 and use them as a roadmap for even bigger success in 2024. Check out this MTEQ Talk video, a short recap of the year’s achievements, here. 

In the meantime, here are some ideas on ways to build on your success this year.  

  • Consider a shake-up
    Are you missing out on business because your brand mix is missing something? Take a good look at the competition and, more importantly, your customers. It might be time to consider changing or adding to your product brand mix. 
  • Be brave with your budget
    Advertising costs have gone up; adjust your budgets accordingly. It’s a tough pill to swallow, we know. Every dollar out needs to bring $10 back. The truth is customers are fickle, have short-term memories and only shop when they need to. That means your always-on presence is mandatory in this competitive landscape.
  • Speaking of always-on
    If you aren’t present, you are missing out on business. We call it table stakes — the bare minimum of what you need to do to stay in the game. Especially in the digital-first world we live in, having an always-on advertising presence keeps you discoverable. The lazy internet searcher will tap or click one of the first three positions on Google — you need to be one of those. 
  • Make it easy
    Winning the attention of the customer is only half the battle. Once a customer is on your website, remove the barriers to their shopping experience. It’s essential to show your pricing. Why? Because your competitors are. And include the add-ons. A customer wants to know the whole story, or they won’t trust you. Give them the option to buy. A lack of a payment option is a warning sign to online customers and a stop sign to revenue.
  • Use all your advantages
    Make the most of the promotional advertising windows with AVB Marketing. BrandSource membership brings competitive advantages, and using those advantages during key promotional windows will help you close more sales. 

The new year is a prime opportunity to build on what you did last year and create more opportunities for success. We can help.

Click to find out more about the many benefits of BrandSource membership.

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Our structure gives you power

January 31, 2024

Our structure gives you power

WHY DO BRANDSOURCE MEMBERS LEAD THE INDUSTRY IN INNOVATION?
HERE’S A HINT:  WE’RE ANYTHING BUT TOP-DOWN

The power of BrandSource lies in the structure: Member relations pros make the difference

There are many elements that make BrandSource stand out from other buying groups. There are the incredible national events, top-of-their-field marketing professionals and the inventive programs that help members make more money. One of the most important is the way BrandSource is built. 

Member framework is the backbone of BrandSource benefits

Every member belongs to a region, where they have opportunities throughout the year to meet up with their fellow members in neighboring areas to learn together, help each other and talk through their common issues. Each region has a locally elected president and two layers of BrandSource guidance: a region manager and at least one member relations specialist. 

This is where the strength of BrandSource really shows. 

Personalized support every step of the way

Member relations specialists are specially trained to make your transition to BrandSource seamless and simple with white glove treatment. Once you’re on board, they’re available to you whenever you need assistance addressing issues and finding the business solutions that will benefit you the most. Your member relations specialist is your first call when you need ideas, help or, really, anything. 

Region managers: Connecting members with benefits

Your region manager is the bridge between the member relations specialist and BrandSource’s membership division. Region managers are seasoned retail experts who know exactly what it means to be an independent retailer — what you’re up against and what you need. The region managers, who oversee the geographic regions, keep you up to date on all the BrandSource programs, benefits and opportunities open to you. 

A vibrant community of support

Then there are your fellow members, approximately 5,000 other appliance, furniture, mattress or electronics dealers just like you. These are the people who will take your calls, ask you questions and help you find new ways to win your market. With your fellow members next to you, you’re never really alone. 

“Members helping members” is a core principle, right next to “it’s all about the member.” Those are the words we live by. 

Ready to unlock the benefits of BrandSource’s structure for your business?
Join today and experience the power of collaboration first hand. 

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Transform your service business

January 25, 2024

Transform your service business

SELF-SERVICING DEALERS HAVE MORE RESOURCES THAN EVER BEFORE;
LET US HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF THEM

Running an appliance service operation is tricky. Between consumers’ outdated expectations and the growing demands on technicians’ time and expertise, it can seem like a no-win proposition. That’s where ServiceSource comes in. Dedicated to the needs of servicing dealers, ServiceSource is our comprehensive suite of service initiatives including guidebooks, industry partnerships, training programs and industry-leading experts.

Led by industry expert and respected consultant Paul MacDonald, ServiceSource is designed to make BrandSource members’ appliance repair operations more profitable. The ServiceSource toolbox includes: 

  • Service Scorecard, an exercise designed to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses in your service department. 
  • Service Playbook, a wide-ranging manual with guidance on every part of a service business, from hiring and training to compensation and fleet management. 
  • ServiceSource Thursday, weekly events specifically for the benefit and education of servicing members. 
  • Institute of Service Management, online training resulting in BrandSource Service Manager certification.
  • ServiceSource newsletter, filled with the latest news and information for servicing dealers, direct to your inbox on the first Thursday of the month. 
  • ServiceSource landing page, the official headquarters for all ServiceSource resources and links.
  • Factory technical training, designed specifically for service managers. 

If you’re a self-servicing dealer and you’re wondering how to turn your operation into a profit center, you’ve come to the right place. With BrandSource and ServiceSource on your side, you’ll be poised to WIN 2024. 

Click to find out more about the many benefits of BrandSource membership.

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