I have just started a high-end homewares online retail business. I’m not sure whether to have a small group of wholesale clients to sell my brand or a larger group that may overexpose the brand. Help!
Firstly, congratulations on your new business venture!
Look closely at each option, evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of each (SWOT analysis).
And consider your market. When you researched your market and price point, did you look into how the market wants to access brands like yours?
Get insights from your competitors, the systems they use and if they are successful, but always remember that what works for one business may not necessarily be the right fit for another.
Without further information, I’ll make an assumption that you want your brand to stay available to a niche market who can afford it.
I am not sure what your definition of “over exposure” is but will assume you mean broadly available.
Remember that for any brand to be successful, it needs to be “known” so this should be one of your goals.
But of course, well known doesn’t mean available everywhere, more that it is recognised, identified with, understood, admired and desired.
Even if you think about the most prestigious brands in the world (Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, for example), they are extremely well known all over the world.
So achieving “consumer awareness” is a key goal of any marketing strategy. Sometimes distribution with more retailers is necessary to achieve this awareness but this distribution needs to be within your standards of environment and quality service.
The environment should be with brands that are of comparable quality and price point. You will need to set this expectation and obtain confidence and commitment from your wholesalers that they will only make your product available to retailers that comply.
It is also a good idea to restrict each wholesaler to a geographic area so they are not competing with each other – this can encourage price discounting which you don’t want.
On this basis, I would recommend that the most important part of your strategy is to ensure the presentation of the brand and the service is first class while still making it available in sufficient retail outlets with comparable brands for sale so you can achieve brand awareness and the sales you expect.