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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The Best Investment You Can Make in Your Business

January 4, 2021

The Best Investment You Can Make in Your Business

For many small businesses, 2020 was a year best forgotten.


Not so for the members of BrandSource, the buying group for 

independent furniture, appliance, bedding and consumer tech dealers. 

Rather, 2020 brought millions in new business to our family of
Main Street merchants, representing our fifth consecutive year of record growth.

And those gains weren’t limited to sales volume. Recognizing a winning team,
dealers joined BrandSource in record numbers five years running.

What did they know that you don’t?

BrandSource dealers received over $52,000 in member benefits last year. 

BrandSource dealers have the backing of our Member Development Team, which can analyze your business and pull every lever to maximize your profitability.

Unlike that other buying group that answers to a private equity firm, BrandSource is owned by the members. Our not-for-profit, co-op model means we work only for you, negotiating the best merchandising deals and delivering state-of-the-art e-commerce and digital marketing assets.

And unlike that other group, where you’re little more than a name on a ledger, BrandSource dealers are a family, with a common bond and a steadfast commitment to each other.

That might explain why dealers are switching from that other group to BrandSource across all regions and categories. Their only regret: That they didn’t do so sooner.

So with the New Year certain to be uncertain again, isn’t it time to join the winning team? Isn’t it time to make the best investment in your business that you can? Isn’t it time to join BrandSource?

To learn more about our member family, please click here.

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We’re Making a List and Checking it Twice

December 8, 2020

We’re Making a List and Checking it Twice

No, not to find out who’s naughty or nice.

Rather, AVB/BrandSource, the leading merchandising and marketing group for independent dealers, has compiled several “Checklists for Success” — actual laminated lists of our many easy-to-execute solutions to help members be more competitive in an ever-changing retail environment.

The first “Checklist for Success,” released earlier this year, allows BrandSource dealers to review a basic rundown of programs and services that are offered by the group, check off those they are already taking advantage of and, more importantly, take note of what they may be missing out on.

The checkboxes range from state-of-the-art websites and digital price tags to margin-enhancing merchandising programs and participation in regional meetings for training and networking. The checklist also directs members to where they can get more information on any untapped services, which can have a direct impact on their bottom line.

Following the coronavirus outbreak, BrandSource rapidly issued a second checklist, this one on safely and successfully transitioning to the new retail environment. “Adapting to the ‘New Normal’” is an essential operations checklist featuring suggested store policies, delivery and service procedures, merchandising and marketing advice, government links, and the best practices of fellow members.

Anticipating the dramatic shift to online shopping, BrandSource next produced a third list, a “Top 5 Digital Essentials Checklist” for amplifying dealers’ digital presence. The checkboxes on this list include such crucial transactional tools as live chat; tagging in-stock items; payment gateways; high-margin attachment opportunities at checkout; and customized product catalogs built around special sales events, scratch-and-dent models or clearance items. All of the e-commerce assets are available through AVB Marketing, BrandSource’s digital marketing and website development arm.

BrandSource encourages all dealers to take a hard look at these tried-and-true solutions and to take immediate action on the services they’re missing.

“We feel it is extremely important for all of our members to take advantage of all that this group has to offer,” said AVB’s Chief Operating Officer Dave Meekings. “Simply put, those who are using all the tools in the AVB tool belt are outperforming the dealers that aren’t. We want all of our members to succeed and are giving them the resources to do so.”

As a member of BrandSource, you will be privy to each of the group’s Checklists for Success — and the exclusive, profit-driving services they describe. To learn more, please click here.

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How to Harness the Internet In-Store

November 30, 2020

How to Harness the Internet In-Store

Expert Warehouse Delivers the Goods

There’s something new in store for members of the BrandSource buying group that melds online shopping with brick-and-mortar showrooms.

While the pandemic has dramatically accelerated e-commerce adoption, shoppers still crave the personal attention of the in-store visit. AVB Marketing — the digital arm of BrandSource’s not-for-profit parent company AVB Inc. — has developed a solution that bridges the digital and physical channels, and addresses consumer demand for a seamless shopping experience across both.

The new touchscreen interface, called KIOSQ, is synched to AVB’s exclusive online inventory management tool LINQ, bringing an “endless aisle” of product offerings to sales associates and customers on the sales floor. Users can access the program via iPads or a 55-inch monitor provided by AVB to peruse thousands of SKUs from members’ e-commerce catalogs.

As a mirror of a member’s website, the in-store KIOSQ display allows visitors to view promotions, best-sellers and in-stock items with a sales associate or on their own while awaiting one. Customers can even place an order and get approved for BrandSource financing through the interactive panel.

Why KIOSQ? As AVB’s Chief Marketing Officer John White explains, now that AVB has harnessed the Internet with industry-leading websites and e-commerce services, the group is aiming its technical prowess at stores. “We’re bringing the same online experience to showrooms,” he said. “It’s just the beginning of how we’re implementing technology solutions inside the store.”

To learn more about bringing the power of the Internet inside your store, along with the many other benefits of BrandSource membership, please click here.

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You Can Bank on BrandSource

November 23, 2020

You Can Bank on BrandSource

Expert Warehouse Delivers the Goods

In good times and bad, it’s crucial to have rock-solid financial backing to support your inventory needs.

At BrandSource, members can count on BrandSource Financial (BSF), our in-house inventory financing arm, to be there when order opportunities knock, particularly in these supply-constrained times.

Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, BrandSource Financial has the commercial clout to offer members extended terms that can improve cash flow, boost sales and increase their return on investment. BSF is also providing extra support to members during the health crisis by developing individualized plans that best suit their circumstances.

What’s more, BSF — like BrandSource itself — was created for the sole benefit of the members. That means that unlike other financing plans, all profits from the program go back to BrandSource dealers in the form of annual cash distributions, and BSF is plenty profitable. Indeed, BrandSource Financial is forecasting another record year for 2020, with a better than 30 percent increase and a cash distribution of 40 basis points, representing the best value proposition in the industry.

Still like working with your vendor or third-party provider? No problem. Most BrandSource members use a second resource in addition to BSF, which offers even greater liquidity with generally more credit facility.

And, as an added bonus, BSF shows its appreciation to BrandSource dealers with a member giveaway. This year’s drawing was for a five-day “Tropical Escape” travel package plus $400 in cash, which was awarded to owner Don Frei of Howard Hughes Appliance in Idaho.

All told, we think you’ll agree that if cash is king, then BrandSource Financial is the crown. But don’t just take it from us; here’s what the members themselves have to say about BSF:

From Cindy Sturgul of Apple River TV & Appliance in Amery, Wis.: “Thanks, so glad I made the switch last year! Love the ease of use and my payments are always on time.”

Adds Bret Hutchings, principal of Hutch’s Home Furnishings in Lehi, Utah: “We appreciate all you do to make us more successful.”

Let us help make you more successful too! To learn more about BSF and the many other benefits of joining BrandSource, please click here.

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The Lap Of Luxury

November 16, 2020

The Lap Of Luxury

Expert Warehouse Delivers the Goods

While the box stores slug it out for opening-price point volume,
premium appliances have largely stayed above the fray.

BrandSource, the largest member-owned buying group for independent dealers, has been tapping into this margin-rich vein through merchandising programs with such luxury brands as Monogram, Thermador, Miele, Ilve and more.

Now, taking it to the next level, BrandSource’s Luxury Appliance Committee, comprised of large and small retailers, is rolling out a multi-pronged initiative to target the designer, builder and specifier market — traditionally the largest sales channel for high-end white goods.

The effort includes the creation of brand-specific microsites to which dealers can direct their commercial partners. These ancillary sites, now under construction, present rich lifestyle content, provide lead generation and offer a chat feature for further engagement.

In addition, BrandSource is bringing dealers and premium-tier vendors together to develop a series of in-store events and training sessions for the designer community. The exclusive sessions will acquaint designers with the product line and forge close ties with BrandSource members while accruing education credits for these valued guests.

So whether you’re already pursuing the premium appliance category or wish to explore new upmarket opportunities, BrandSource can put you in the lap of luxury. For more information, contact us here.

As our guiding principle states, “It’s All About the Members.” Let us make it all about you, too. Click here to get more information on taking your business to new heights!
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Expert Warehouse Delivers the Goods

Expert Warehouse
October 16, 2020

Expert Warehouse Delivers the Goods

Expert Warehouse Delivers the Goods

For thousands of independent dealers across the country,

the letters EW have meant the difference between in-stock and not.

You see, EW stands for Expert Warehouse, which is the distribution arm of the powerful AVB/BrandSource buying organization. For over 15 years, EW has provided BrandSource members across the country with state-of-the-art TVs and other cutting-edge consumer tech that would have otherwise been out of reach to local TV, appliance and furniture stores.

By making large-volume investments in inventory and providing members with mixed truckloads of small-quantity orders, Expert Warehouse has helped independent dealers go toe-to-toe with big-box rivals on both availability and price.

Expert Warehouse workers
Expert Warehouse workers

Today, Expert Warehouse stands as the best dedicated independent retail program for consumer electronics and related services in the country and serves as the backbone of BrandSource’s merchandising might.

Like thousands of other independent dealers, you too can boost your home field advantage with the right products at the right price. Let AVB/BrandSource show you how. Learn more .

Expert Warehouse worker
As our guiding principle states, “It’s All About the Members.” Let us make it all about you, too. Click here to get more information on taking your business to new heights!
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We’ll Be There for You

Young business meeting
October 5, 2020

We’ll Be There for You

Business Meeting

You may not appreciate it on the basketball court, but at BrandSource, all of our members are double teamed …

in a good way!

To provide BrandSource dealers with the greatest degree of support, our buying group will assign two staffers to your business: A Region Manager and a Member Relations Specialist.

It’s the job of the Region Manager to make sure you and fellow members from your geographic area are up to date on all BrandSource programs, benefits and opportunities, and are fully informed on the latest industry news you can use.

Meanwhile, our Member Relations Specialists will be there to provide you and your team with a white-glove onboarding process, and will always be ready to assist you with business solutions and guide you along our proven roadmap to success.

Did we say double-teamed? Well, there’s actually a third component of member support — AVB Marketing, BrandSource’s advertising, e-commerce and social media wing. Each new member who leverages their vast, state-of-the-art video and digital resources is assigned an Account Executive who studies your individual market and can develop a customized, high-impact marketing program based on the unique needs of your business.

Meeting
Meeting Share

Besides your Region Manager, Member Relations Specialist and AVB Marketing Account Executive, members are also supported by their fellow BrandSource dealers. Indeed, “Members Helping Members” is a key tenet of the group, and with a nationwide network of 5,000 BrandSource dealers behind you to share best practices and extend a helping hand, you are never alone.

To help keep us all connected, BrandSource conducts Virtual Town Hall Meetings with members and staff, and, when the health crisis eases, the group will resume its relished on-site Region Meetings, which combine business with fun. In addition, our staffers will check in on you regularly via Member Engagement Calls, and keep you apprised of all BrandSource and industry doings with email updates and our exclusive YourSourceNews.com newsletter.

Plus, all BrandSource members and staff gather twice a year, whether virtually or in person, for our national Summit and Convention expos.

Together, our singular mission is to support your business, boost your bottom line and ensure your success every way we can. Just like the song, we’ll be there for you.

Data share

As our guiding principle states, “It’s All About the Members.” Let us make it all about you, too.

Click here to get more information on taking your business to new heights!

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Calling All Servicing Dealers — BrandSource Has Your Back!

September 28, 2020

Calling All Servicing Dealers — BrandSource Has Your Back!

Home Service Provider

If you run a service department you know what you’re up against — billing rates that don’t cover costs; finding and keeping qualified techs; and increasingly complex appliances with vendor-specific parts that require multiple truck rolls.

BrandSource feels your pain and has created a special committee of servicing members to help tackle the challenges. Backed by the buying group’s $20 billion clout with manufacturers, the National Service Committee has launched a series of initiatives to return profitability to repair work for the more than 75 percent of BrandSource members running service operations.

 

Most immediate is an exclusive, 32-page Service Playbook that is being distributed to all servicing BrandSource members. This invaluable resource is a comprehensive tactical guide covering everything from tech retention, training and compensation, to inventory control, fleet management and even a calculator for setting competitive but profitable billing rates.

working man plumber repairs a washing machine in   laundry
working man plumber repairs a washing machine in   laundry

A prime example of BrandSource’s complimentary value-adds, the Service Playbook also offers advice on improving first-call completes, turning house calls into high-margin sales opportunities, and other best practices from BrandSource’s servicing members, along with a complete listing of key vendors, industry associations, parts distributors, warranty providers and educational outlets. 

Fridge Repair

Besides the Service Playbook, BrandSource’s National Service Committee has been working diligently to forge a host of strategic partnerships that give our servicing dealers a competitive edge. Among them:

 

  • Teaming up with the Professional Service Association (PSA) for access to its vast library of service bulletins and wiring diagrams; its nationwide peer-to-peer advice platform; and its discounted, ISO-approved tech certification program.
  • Providing discounted BrandSource rates for Master Samurai Tech (MST), a leading online training academy for appliance repair techs.
  • Partnering with Reliable Parts, one of the largest appliance parts distributors in North America, for BrandSource-exclusive payment terms, freight charges, return windows and sign-up bonuses.

And aligning with the United Appliance Servicers Association (UASA), North America’s largest appliance repair trade group, which provides a best-practices archive of service and warranty claims advice; a servicer chat forum; reduced rates for insurance, healthcare, vehicle rentals, office supplies, and uniform and payroll services;  plus access to training videos, webinars and reputation management software.

Oven Repair

And that’s just the beginning! So join the more than 75 percent of BrandSource members who perform their own repairs and together we will meet the challenges of today’s servicing dealers. Come to a group that understands and supports its independent servicers. Come home to BrandSource.

Laundry Repair

 

Want to learn more about the group of the future?

Click here to get more information on taking your business to new heights!

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The Groups Within the BrandSource Group

September 17, 2020

The Groups Within the BrandSource Group

AVB Temas

You may have heard that BrandSource is America’s largest merchandising and marketing group for independent appliance, furniture, bedding and consumer tech dealers. And that as a true retail co-op, it is 100-percent owned by its nearly 5,000 members.

All true.

What you may not realize is that BrandSource itself is comprised of a host of committees, boards and specialty sub-groups. These units are there to support your specific business needs, and to provide added opportunities for networking, socializing or leadership roles depending on your time and interests.

Among the latter are a national Board of Directors comprised of a chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary, and 15 Region Boards led by a locally elected president. All are comprised of member dealers who play a vital role in setting policy, working with vendors, organizing regional meetings, and assisting fellow members.

AVB Board
AVB Regional

For those with more specific interests, BrandSource hosts a number of sub-groups that are tailored to a particular class of trade. Our two Power Dealers groups, for example, are comprised of high-volume members, often with multiple store locations, that generate over $20 million a year in retail revenue within the major appliance or home furnishings categories. The Appliance Power Dealers and Furniture Power Dealers pow-wow regularly to share best practices and operational insights that are unique to large retail operations.

 

For members seeking a voice in the industry and a say in group direction, BrandSource hosts three separate BrandSource Committees. These member-run panels respectively address the group’s merchandising programs and vendor relationships; the unique challenges of self-servicing dealers; and the ever-changing world of consumer tech sales. The committees underscore BrandSource’s much-vaunted “M” Factor: members helping members, as expressed in our motto “Better Together,” while also serving the greater industry by investing in their livelihoods.

For the ladies of BrandSource and their vendors, the group established Women In Business (WIB), a six-year-old support organization designed to educate, empower and inspire female professionals in the appliance, furniture, bedding and consumer tech sectors. The group meets regularly at BrandSource functions, and the gatherings are highlighted by guest speakers and the conferring of the annual Women In Business Cornerstone Award to a role-model member, who has successfully bridged the gender gap in our traditionally male-dominated industries.

 

One of the most popular organizations under the BrandSource umbrella is the Young Professionals group. Created in 2014 to serve as a breeding ground for future industry leaders, this under-40 club is comprised of young, highly motivated dealers, sales reps, buyers, sales managers and vendor partners, all looking to share new ideas and grow their businesses. The Young Professionals hold social gatherings and networking events during BrandSource conventions, and their dedication and business smarts bode well for members’ succession strategies and BrandSource’s own plans for its future.

WIB

So whether you’re looking to bend an elbow, pound a gavel, make new friends or forge lasting change in an industry, BrandSource offers something for everyone while placing fellowship above all else.

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