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Promotional marketing professionals know the single biggest challenge when building a distributorship is standing out in the marketplace. With 24,000 promotional product distributors selling the exact same products through the same supplier network at similar prices, individuality in the marketplace is critical.
With a world of information at everyone’s fingertips, the vast majority of clients and prospects will use your online presence to form their opinion about you and your company. If the website is merely a showcase for products – the very same products the other 23,999 competitors sell – does that create the sort of impression that differentiates you from the competition? In short, the answer is a resounding “no.” 
Because of the lack of unique product offerings between distributors, the only real differentiator is you: your vision, your experience, your work, your passion, and your story.
A website is essentially a blank slate: you can be anything you want and tell your story your way. By creating specific and easy to navigate tabs on your website (DistributorCentral templates make this very easy), you can share what makes you stand out from the product dependent masses.
Take advantage of that digital real estate to give your audience reasons they should partner with you. At a minimum, a client-centric website should include the following tabs: 

  • Who You Are – Tell people about yourself and your value proposition. Where are you from, where did you go to school, what are your passions, why do you do what you do, etc. Inject your unique personality and perspective for your audience to embrace. 
  • What You Do – Take people beyond the nuts and bolts of placing logos on products. Share how the solutions you provide to clients fuel your passion. If there are specific industries where you have expertise or an ideal client you want to target, house it here. 
  • Case Histories – People relate strongly to case histories. There is no better way to showcase your unique perspective and how you apply that view to solve problems for your clients. Leverage case histories to give your audience practical and tangible evidence of your value.  
  • Client Recommendations – After successful promotions, ask your client for a brief statement regarding your work and permission to post it on your site.  As you try to differentiate, client recommendations are critical to people as they form an opinion about your and your company. 
  • Product – A distributorship is in the business of selling ideas that make products come to life. By making product searching a component rather than the focus of your website, you underscore the value you provide to your clients while still showcasing selected merchandise.

To go the extra mile, add a video section showcasing new products and/or a blog to share content marketing. Above all, give your target audience points of differentiation by moving away from a product only website. Even in a technology reliant society, people still buy from people/companies they know, like, and trust. By sharing your story – in your voice – with your audience, you give them the opportunity to understand the value you bring beyond decorated products.

Bill Petrie
(615) 440-2155