What’s the difference between a British supermarket buyer and a kidnapper? You can negotiate with a kidnapper. As jokes go it’s a bit harsh but it makes its point.
One of the regular complaints I hear from local manufacturers is the difficulty they face dealing with some supermarket chains. The big high street/retail park supermarket chains are very well run, their staff are well trained and helpful, their stores are convenient and very well stocked and competition seems to keep the standards generally quite high. As businesses they have much to admire about them. However that is only one side of the story, for many manufacturers supermarkets hold so much power that they can literally make or break a company.
The internet of course has promised much, and delivered on some of it too, part of the promise was that it meant supplier and customer could deal directly with each other. This week we made live a web site for a client of ours. Golden Casket is an independent confectionery manufacturing business, it has a variety of successful and popular products and is an important company in their local economy. They deal exclusively with wholesalers and retailers, and never with the consumer. Their new website is for one of their products, Ferguson’s Chocolates. Ferguson’s has a genuinely long and interesting history, they were founded in 1794 after all so they’ve seen a lot. So it seems ironic that such an old and traditional brand should be their first to sell directly to the consumer. The new Ferguson’s website sells a selection of their handmade chocolates, tablet, fudge and a great selection of gift jars containing sweets you’ll remember from your childhood, well you will if you are as old as me. This is a genuinely exciting time for their business. It is the first time in a long, long time they will be working directly with the final consumer, it is a chance for a great Scottish brand to rejuvenate itself and of course it opens up a whole new market to the delights of Ferguson’s. From Ferguson’s point of view it also means they’ll need to think like a B2C business rather than a B2B one.
For us this is also exciting, by being able to help our clients literally bring their product to market it allows us to be involved in almost every aspect of the marketing process, we can see instantly what is working and what isn’t and we can adjust our strategy accordingly, and we can do this in a very short time-frame and we can have genuine influence over the sales process.
When you work in a provincial market for an independent agency you accept that certain accounts are never likely to be available to you, rightly or wrongly that’s just life. However that is changing, we can work with clients now on products that are available, locally, nationally and internationally. We’ve always believed we have the expertise and ability too, now we get the chance to prove it.
The site in question is http://www.fergusonschocolates.com I hope you like it and buy something from it.