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Launching a new product should feel exciting – manufacturers work hard to create new solutions to stay ahead of their competitors and gain market share. It’s an event that can easily generate a lot of hype for a vendor, but there are ways that value added resellers (VARs) can take advantage of this opportunity. VARs should work closely with their supplier partners to be part of product launches, because the benefits of promoting these events can provide many opportunities.
When manufacturers launch new products, they put a lot of resources into it and they are at a critical stage of the life cycle. They are desperately seeking to generate peak interest in early adopters. They might ask VARs to help find end-users who have a need for it. Usually, they allocate some of their marketing budget to boost awareness. By showing proactivity with them, often through your distributor, you can strengthen your relationship with them. For example, offer to assist in hosting a webinar, or creating content that will help show off their product. You can plan a targeted campaign together and you might even be funded to do so. In addition, you should ask them if they have demo or seed unit program to obtain a product to demo at a cheaper cost, or even for free.
Before everything, a VAR needs to implement an in-house system that allows for a heads up when a new product will be coming out. This could be keeping track of releases through a distributor, keeping a close eye on news in the channel, or implementing a plan that involves manufacturers or distributors notifying VARs of launches. Distributors also write publications or host micro-sites where a lot of information is gathered and is easy to utilize.
Finally, a VAR that reacts quickly to new product launches can seize the opportunity to be the first one to introduce it to its customer, and therefore gain an edge over a direct competitor. This can add credibility to your name, strengthen your relationship with manufacturers, and offer unique abilities to fill the needs of end-users before your competitors can. VARs can take advantage of this by fostering training on the product and dispatching teams to trade shows and other spaces to provide demonstrations of new products, which can result in generating new clientele and new revenue. This is beneficial to manufacturers as well, who may be happy to help with training and promotion, as they’re able to generate excitement and brand awareness with your help.
It’s important for VARs to work to be integral for the success of manufacturers in the channel. By simply staying informed and maintaining clear lines of communication, a VAR can know what products are coming, and act promptly to aid with a launch in ways that can be beneficial for all parties.
Co-Contributor: Julien Chagnon