Things to Consider
- Is management committed to craft?
- Is the portfolio growing at a rate commensurate with the craft category?
- Are they selective in the craft brands they choose to distribute, or are they brand collectors?
- Is there a dedicated craft manager?
- Does the distributor actively educate/train sales staff in the craft segment?
- Does the distributor give due attention to the craft brands in its portfolio? Do they make Key Account Presentations in support of craft brands?
- Are they receptive/flexible when it comes to adding Seasonal/”one-off” craft SKU’s?
- Is there a market plan with specific and measurable goals?
- Are they committed to spending to achieve results? Will they commit to a budget?
- Do they allow craft brands to present to sales meetings? Do they include craft brands in programming/incentives?
- Is there monthly programming – Management by Objective (MBO) or Pay For Performance (PFP)? Do they track results? Will they provide monthly reports?
- Do they use POS? Do they have in-house design and printing capabilities?
- Do they monitor competitors pricing and ads?
Building Craft Awareness
- Does the distributor promote craft brands in the local market? Do they get involved in events that promote craft beer and educate consumers?
- Is there a craft focus on their website? Do they have a Beer Finder?
- Do they regularly e-mail craft news with key retailers?
- Has the distributor been a public advocate for franchise law reform? Does the distributor favor franchise law reform that allows brewers to move to another distributor for cause?
- Commitment to draft line cleaning and quality.
- Do they have refrigerated storage? – Cases: 50°F – Kegs: 40°F
The Brewers Association’s Market Development Committee developed these criteria and considerations for distributors and brewers to:
- Use in evaluating the success of current wholesalers
- As a helpful list for brewers when evaluating distributors in a new territory
- A a list of items distributors may wish to focus on when presenting to brewers seeking a new distributor.
The list may change as the committee revisits items on the list over time.