Associate Dealer Programs: Brand Focus
Selling a recognized brand can help you define your clientele, while allowing you to build a solid reputation as a tire retailer who sells quality products.
Major tire manufacturers invest a lot of money developing brand recognition. In addition, the vast majority of O.E. fitments in the marketplace are held by the major tire brands. These can be powerful sales generators for a tire retailer, so why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of them?
A tire retailer who visibly identifies with a recognized major brand and actively promotes and sells that brand will reap the benefits of brand recognition, and of OE fitments, as these will bring consumers to the door. Furthermore, association with a recognized brand, especially visible association via signage and showroom displays/point-of-sale materials will separate you from the competition in your area. You will stand out from the crowd.
If you are a small or medium-sized tire retailer, and you would like to be identified as an authorized retailer of a recognized brand, but cannot meet the sales volume requirements to work directly with a tire manufacturer, or the meet the weight requirements for free shipping, what can you do?
Why not take advantage of an Associate Dealer Program? Select Tire Wholesale Distributors (WDs) have been authorized by major tire manufacturers to offer their Associate Dealer Programs to tire retailers.
Associate Dealer Programs offer brand identification, showroom displays, a variety of point-of-sale materials, marketing support and rewards for selling the tire brand. They offer a win/win situation for smaller dealers like you. In addition to brand identification and other support, you receive competitive pricing, access to the large inventory of your WD, and regular deliveries of small quantities from that WD.
Associate Dealer Programs do not have entrance or membership fees (they are not franchises), but they do require you to meet certain criteria and benchmarks. These include the location of your store/proximity to existing retailers with the same brand, the look and condition of your store, your ability to stock tires, your market focus and the type, and condition, of your equipment.
Yes, you will have to stock tires. By being identified as an authorized retailer of a recognized brand you are elevating your game. To be successful, you have to invest in what is required to win the game… and the name of the game is inventory.
However, because you will benefit from easy access to the large inventory of your WD (along with regular deliveries), you will not be required to keep a large inventory at your store – just enough to cover the popular SKUs, and to show consumers that you really are in the tires business. Remember, many a sale is won with these words: “We have your tires in stock, and we can install them on your car right now.”
Take the first step to elevating your game. Speak with your WDs and find out about the associate retailer programs for recognized brands. Then select a program, stand out from the crowd, and increase your profits.
Peter-James Gregory is President of Atlas Tire Wholesale Inc.