It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

April 12, 2021

It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

Asked why he robbed banks, famed stickup man Willie Sutton reportedly said, “Because that’s where the money is.”

A corollary of “Sutton’s law” can be found in today’s digital marketing:

Why advertise online? Because that’s where the customer is.

Indeed, nearly 299 million Americans now access the Internet, and 96 percent of us own a mobile phone. What’s more, co-op levels on print advertising are being reduced this year as more and more shoppers spend more of their time online.

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and effective way to advertise, our flipbook-style tabs are an interactive version of traditional newspaper circulars, updated for the digital age.

Like their old-fashioned counterparts, our digital tabs are available for five major holidays plus exclusive BrandSource bonus events, such as our “Buy More, Save More” and “Customer Appreciation” promotions, putting you on par with national box stores.

 

Will BrandSource digital tabs deliver a bigger bang for your advertising buck? You can bank on it.

To learn about digital tabs and the many benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...

BrandSource Adds Holiday Oomph to Vendor Rebates

April 2, 2021

BrandSource Adds Holiday Oomph to Vendor Rebates

It’s really that simple.

Members of the BrandSource buying group have long leveraged our Exclusive Rebate Programs to close customer transactions and drive additional traffic to their businesses. For years this practice has been the successful norm.

More recently, members sought a way to maintain profitability during major holiday events while also preserving their BrandSource Exclusive Rebates. As a member-owned and member-focused organization, the guiding light for all BrandSource initiatives begins with dealer feedback, and thus Margin Enhancements were born.

What are Margin Enhancements and how do they work? In a nutshell, when a member sells a qualifying model mix during a qualifying promotional window, he or she can submit the qualifying invoices using a program link.

It’s really that simple.

Members can then use these credits to enhance organizational margins, provide discounts to consumers, or incentivize sales personnel. The choice — and the inspiration for Margin Enhancements — is all yours. Happy holiday!

To learn about all the many benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...

Your Own National Merchandising Team

March 17, 2021

Your Own National Merchandising Team

When you join BrandSource, you’re no longer going it alone.

Besides the got-your-back support of BrandSource dealers and staff, and a state-of-the-art marketing division at your disposal, membership has additional rewards.

Namely, a crack national merchandising team that goes to bat for you every day.

Working on behalf of nearly 5,000 other independent dealers, BrandSource’s appliance, furniture, mattress, electronics and outdoor merchants command the same stage — and negotiating might — as the national big-box chains. This gives you and your business a seat at the table with the industry’s top brands and decision makers, and access to the kind of pricing and incentives that put you on equal or better footing with your box-store competitors.

Moreover, as a BrandSource member you will be privy to our merchants’ strategic discussions with manufacturers and learn the latest about inventory availability, the promotional environment, product road maps, and other critical intelligence.

This information is freely shared with BrandSource dealers via a private member website; weekly emailed Member Updates; and monthly online Region Check-ins, where dealers are encouraged to ask questions, seek assistance, and share their challenges and successes in the field.

What’s more, you can also count on BrandSource’s exclusive industry news site, YourSourceNews.com, to bring you timely marketplace insights and other actionable information.

So whether you’ve never joined a buying group, or belong to one and still feel adrift, don’t go it alone out there, especially in these most turbulent of times. Let BrandSource be your voice with vendors and reap the benefits of our combined $20 billion in merchandising muscle. As the old Amex commercials said, membership has its rewards.

To find out more about the many benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...

BrandSource Region Calls Keep Members Keyed In

March 9, 2021

BrandSource Region Calls Keep Members Keyed In

Through good times and bad, the BrandSource buying group has always been a family, and its core strength has been its unity.

Now, as members continue to face an uncertain business climate, that bond is no different, and the group is meeting the challenge together.

Besides webinars, CEO addresses, e-newsletters and an up-to-the-minute news site, BrandSource is keeping its members keyed into pertinent group, industry and government developments through a regular schedule of Region Check-Ins. The roughly hour-long sessions, held for each of the group’s 15 regions, also provide a forum for members to discuss their challenges and successes amid delivery delays and COVID concerns, further fostering the group’s esprit de corps.

By sharing their experiences during these virtual meetings, dealers enjoy the support of BrandSource staff, region presidents, and perhaps most important, each other, to help troubleshoot any obstacles they may face. At the same time, members’ ideas, tips and operational insights assist their fellow BrandSource dealers across the country in navigating the new retail landscape.

It’s all part of something we call the “M Factor”: Members helping members. In our more than half a century of serving the independent retail channel and taking on the national competition, we’ve learned that dealers truly are Better Together. And by unleashing the power of the M Factor, whether through region meetings, region boards or Region Check-Ins, we’ve built a culture of success and fraternity where BrandSource members thrive.

The value of the Check-Ins was underscored by Ronald Rodenbaugh, co-owner of Rodenbaugh’s in Allen, Texas. “Having backup from the group and advice on how to handle these new and unknown issues gives me solace,” he said. “The best practices from the other dealers are a great way to keep ahead in these difficult times.”

Valerie Braun, Manager at Quality Appliance in Faribault, Minn., agreed. “Thank you all for putting together the phone conferences,” she said. “Sharing information and brainstorming is essential!”

BrandSource COO Dave Meekings summed it all up. “The Check-Ins are an important way for members and staff to communicate,” he said. “They allow members to discuss issues specific to their region; to learn about the latest developments from the group, the industry and government agencies; to ask questions; and to share best practices.”

“Perhaps most important,” he added, “it brings the members together.”

To find out more about the many benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...

The Best E-Commerce Tool Just Got Even Better

February 22, 2021

THE BEST
E-COMMERCE TOOL JUST GOT EVEN BETTER

Consumers were already migrating to online shopping when COVID struck.

Then, seemingly overnight, transactional websites became a critical lifeline for customers and storeowners. Online sales skyrocketed at an unprecedented pace, and digital adoption is expected to continue unabated this year and beyond.

Fortunately for BrandSource dealers, our buying group already had an industry-leading merchandising portal in place that lets members present their most popular products and current pricing online.

Created by our in-house development team and labeled LINQ, the easy-to-use interface quickly became an essential tool for e-tail — and contributed to BrandSource members’ better-than 800 percent increase in online transactions last year.

 

Here’s more good news for independent dealers: The industry’s best merchandising platform just got even better. LINQ 2.0 has been completely redesigned, making it faster, more intuitive and even simpler to use than before. In addition, the new, improved LINQ lets you customize your merchandising tactics (for example, posting in-stock items only), and has been optimized for mobile for access from any size screen.

Easy as the interface is, some dealers are simply too preoccupied with day-to-day operations to manage the program themselves, or too short-staffed to assign an employee. For those storeowners, BrandSource offers LINQ4U, an assisted service in which portal set-up and online merchandising duties are handled by our dedicated digital team. With LINQ4U, extended warranties, product bundles, promotions, display models and, most importantly, pricing can be updated automatically, keeping websites current and freeing up members to focus on other tasks.

Of course, the latest version of LINQ continues to offer the same features that first made it a hit with appliance, home furnishings and consumer tech stores, including:

• Setting rules to price-scrape competitors’ offers and meet or beat their prices
• Creating special catalogs for scratch-and-dent and other clearance models
• Flagging products that are on sale, in stock or offer special features
• Building custom product packages out of overstock or vendor specials.

But don’t just take our word for it. Member praise for LINQ 2.0 has been off the charts, as exemplified by Pete Kossaras, owner of Kurt’s Appliance Center in St. Johns, Mich. His one-word review: “Wow!”

So get on board with the best digital merchandising tool in town. And while you’re at it, learn about the other marketing, merchandising and support services that have made BrandSource the No. 1 member-owned buying group for America’s independent dealers.

To find out more about the many benefits of BrandSource membership,  please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...

Think Nationally, Act Locally

February 17, 2021

THINK NATIONALLY, ACT LOCALLY

You may have heard the expression “Think globally, act locally.”

At BrandSource, America’s largest co-op for independently owned appliance, home furnishings and consumer tech stores, we embrace a variation on the theme: Think nationally, act locally. Many nationwide businesses tout it, but at this buying group we live it.

True, as a $20 billion retail organization, our dealers span all 50 states. Our national programs provide the sharpest pre-negotiated merchandising deals and state-of-the-art digital selling platforms, and our bi-annual conventions and product expos bring members and vendors together from across the country.

But despite our continental scope, BrandSource also operates regionally. In fact, our group is comprised of 15 separate geographic Regions that are led by local members and supported by BrandSource staff. Our regional structure allows dealers to address issues and share insights that are unique to their sections of the country, while benefitting from the buying power and marketing might of a national organization.

Sharing a common bond and leveraging the power of the “M” Factor (members helping members), neighboring BrandSource dealers know they can call upon each other and their elected Region officers, all fellow store owners, to lend an ear, a hand or even inventory.

 

In addition, each Region meets four times a year: Twice with area dealers for summer and fall retreats, and during two national BrandSource events, the Summit and the Convention, that bring all our members and vendors together. (All have been conducted online during the pandemic, and we plan to resume in-person gatherings soon.)

In between, BrandSource holds a regular series of Region call-ins, hosted by our Leadership Team and our top merchandising and marketing executives.

 

The get-togethers provide an opportunity to seek advice, exchange ideas, ask questions, form friendships and bend an elbow at the end of the day. We like to think of it as “Meeting together to grow together.”

As you can see, we’ve built a culture of success and fellowship that extends from our national headquarters to every corner of the country — a culture that thinks nationally and acts locally.

To learn more about the benefits  BrandSource membership brings to Main Street,  please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...

BrandSource at your Service

February 9, 2021

BRANDSOURCE AT YOUR SERVICE

It’s tough enough running a retail business. But when you add repair service into the mix, the challenges only mount.

As any self-servicing dealer knows, it can often feel like an uphill climb when you’re faced with inadequate billing rates, few qualified techs, increasingly complex appliances, and vendor-specific parts that can lead to added and costly truck rolls.

 

These hurdles have only been compounded by the pandemic, which has triggered parts shortages, increased service calls and heightened safety protocols.

At BrandSource, the nation’s largest member-owned buying group for independent dealers, we feel your pain. That’s because 75 percent of all BrandSource members perform their own appliance repairs, and ensuring the profitability of their service operations has become our mission statement.

 

To do so, BrandSource embarked on an aggressive, multi-pronged program that began with the creation of a National Service Committee, comprised of eight large and small dealers from across the country. In a prime example of BrandSource’s members helping members ethos, or “M” Factor, the committee members invested over 250 man-hours — the equivalent of $250,000 in consulting fees — to develop effective solutions for their fellow servicers.

The committee began with a member survey to pinpoint servicers’ most pressing pain points, then proceeded to address each one in a series of industry-leading initiatives. These included:

 

  • Joint Planning Meetings with top manufacturers last spring;
  • Strategic alliances with national service associations, parts suppliers and training academies last summer; and
  • Last fall’s release of an exclusive, 32-page Service Playbook, a comprehensive tactical guide covering everything from recruitment, fleet management and inventory control, to calculating competitive yet profitable billing rates.

More recently, BrandSource brought all its tools and talents together in a virtual Service Day event for dealers, vendors and suppliers. The presentation helped drive the service revolution within our own group while fostering much-needed change throughout the industry.

Looking ahead, BrandSource will continue to leverage the resources of our $20 billion organization on behalf of our servicing members, who generate more than 85 percent of that annual sales volume. That’s why, between our unparalleled merchandising and marketing programs; full slate of regional meetings, national gatherings and product expos; and ongoing service industry initiatives, we can clearly state that BrandSource is at your service!

To learn more on BrandSource’s service focus and the many other advantages of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...

Adding Oomph to Your Holiday Sales

February 2, 2021

Adding Oomph to Your Holiday Sales

Everyone likes a good deal, whether you’re a retailer or a shopper.

BrandSource — the largest member-owned merchandising and marketing group for independent furniture and appliance dealers — goes above and beyond by making good deals great.

 

You see, BrandSource has developed a full calendar of exclusive promotions that add sales oomph to manufacturers’ regular holiday events. Built around the five major holiday selling periods (Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Black November), these Retail Bonus Events help members build sales momentum and create a sense of urgency with customers.

Taking a page from Sears’ popular “Friends & Family” promotions, our Buy More, Save More and Customer Appreciation Events provide rebates of up to $500 on appliances and $200 on mattresses, along with zero-percent financing offers and digital marketing support. Since they were first introduced two years ago, BrandSource’s Retail Bonus Events have generated a better than 40 percent increase in member sell-through, and can drive even greater returns when stacked with dealers’ own private sales, giveaways and other value-adds.

So don’t go to market empty handed; let BrandSource deliver the goods — and the rebates — to make your holiday sales sizzle!

To learn more on BrandSource’s Retail Bonus Events and the many other advantages of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...

It Pays to Have a Payment Gateway

January 26, 2021

What payment options are you giving your customers on your website?

It Pays to Have a Payment Gateway.

As shoppers shift to online stores in record numbers, convenience — even more than price — can make all the difference between closing a sale and losing one.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes:

  1. You pore through a website, comparing various brands, models and options;
  2. You make a selection and add it to your shopping cart;
  3. You go to checkout … and that’s where the ease of purchase ends. Rather than call in a credit card number, you close the page and move on.

In fact, the absence of a payment gateway at checkout is a major cause of shopping cart abandonment.

At BrandSource, members who employ our state-of-the-art e-commerce platform can provide customers with multiple payment options. This gives consumers the flexibility to shop the way they want, and allows for a frictionless transaction that will more readily lead to conversion.

Dealers can offer payment through Amazon Pay, Paypal, major credit cards and BrandSource’s own private-label financing through Citi. In fact, thanks to our buying group’s new “Apply & Buy” program, customers can apply for credit at checkout, receive approval in seconds, and immediately enjoy any special financing offers for a true buy-on-the-fly experience. The independent retailer can now compete against the big box stores and e-tailers when it comes to applying and purchasing online with financing.

But the advantage of a payment gateway doesn’t end there: Online checkout affords the opportunity to attach needed accessories like hoses and installation service and other high-margin add-ons like extended warranties. What’s more, your website will capture valuable shopper insights and data, allowing you to adjust your e-commerce strategy to drive even more digital sales.

So, if you want to make your shopping site downright seamless and achieve payment parity with national chains, please consider adding a payment gateway — and let BrandSource show you how.

To learn more on payment gateways and the many other advantages of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...

Change is Scary; Let BrandSource Ease the Way

January 18, 2021

Change is Scary; Let BrandSource Ease the Way

Let’s face it: Whether it’s a new home, a new store or a new buying group, big changes can be unsettling.

There are new procedures to follow, new forms to fill out, and all the particulars in between. But we shouldn’t let the fear of “new” prevent us from making changes that will benefit our businesses and families.

That’s why BrandSource, the leading member-owned marketing and merchandising organization for independent appliance and home furnishings dealers, ensures that joining our group is seamless. As part of our White Glove onboarding process, we take care of all details to make your transition simple and smooth, and to get you up and running quickly with all the services and support you choose.

It begins by introducing the BrandSource team — Region Managers and Member Relations staff, who are there night and day to make your group experience productive … and profitable!

Next, we want to hear about you and your business. What are your successes? What are your challenges? And where can BrandSource help? Whether it’s our digital marketing programs, e-commerce solutions, inventory and consumer financing, servicing support, or margin-enhancing merchandising, we’ll help you tap every BrandSource benefit to keep you miles ahead of the competition.

So let BrandSource put your worries to rest and welcome you with white gloves. You deserve nothing less.

To learn more about BrandSource and our new member reception, please click here.

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It’s Time to Turn the Page on Printed Inserts

To help independent dealers maximize their co-op dollars and reach today’s consumer, the BrandSource buying group has developed a new Digital Tabs program for use in emails, texts and on websites. A simple, repeatable and...