Does Brand not even matter anymore?



  • This thread where we smacked down a fake marketer yesterday got me thinking about marketing and specifically marketing to IT professional.

    I am about to spend time and money developing and marketing a "brand" and the most likely outcome is that I will create some bullshit that everyone will ignore. The "time" it will take this firm to create something bothers me more than the marketing. We're talking 90 days for a logo, brand, whatever BS

    I think about "Vultr" vs Amazon, Azure and Digital Ocean. When you provide something to the tech crowd they typically will give a listen to a straight pitch. If they need what you got they will engage and give it a try. Then the community pretty much talks about what works and what is a waste of time.

    I have thought about just going "Big Bear's VoIP and Network Supply Company". Maybe Bear's Voip for a domain. Maybe spend all the money on advertising and sending out some free stuff.

    Or am I just getting lazy since I haven't had to work in a couple weeks? Bah! Does the brand really matter anymore?

    @JaredBusch had mentioned the other day that even the better distributors out there like Baltic Networks don't really have anything going on with brand that makes a bit of difference.

    Does it cost less? Does it ship fast and from a close location to where its going? Does anything else really matter?


  • Service Provider

    @bigbear said in Does Brand not even matter anymore?:

    Does it cost less? Does it ship fast and from a close location to where its going? Does anything else really matter?

    This is really all that matters at the most important level.

    Like most people,. once you get a relationship with me as trustworthy, I will probably still buy from you even if you are not always the cheapest.

    Why? Because the relationship is there and accounts are setup and it is simply easier for me.

    When getting into a space, you have to know that your main competition will be Amazon.

    Even for products that I buy regularly from known places like Baltic Networks, I will still pop an Amazon search window to check comparative pricing.



  • @jaredbusch said in Does Brand not even matter anymore?:

    @bigbear said in Does Brand not even matter anymore?:

    Does it cost less? Does it ship fast and from a close location to where its going? Does anything else really matter?

    This is really all that matters at the most important level.

    Like most people,. once you get a relationship with me as trustworthy, I will probably still buy from you even if you are not always the cheapest.

    Why? Because the relationship is there and accounts are setup and it is simply easier for me.

    When getting into a space, you have to know that your main competition will be Amazon.

    Even for products that I buy regularly from known places like Baltic Networks, I will still pop an Amazon search window to check comparative pricing.

    This 100%. -----^

    Once I've been convinced to take a chance on you, and you've proven to be trustworthy, competitively priced, etc., then your brand is something I use for review's and recommendations. Such as "You're looking for VoIP stuff? Talk to BigBear's VoIP Company, they've done me well, and will likely be able to help you."

    A brand in and of itself is meaningless to me. However, if that brand has earned the trust of someone I respect, then it is far more likely I'll consider that brand for whatever product or service they offer.



  • @JaredBusch I have thought about things like text-to-order and whatever would make life simpler for the buyer. I know with the regular customers I deal with I get a lot of texts and just ship things out to wherever they want.

    Amazon Prime stocking will cost an Amazon merchant almost 20% and thats why I think you dont see the best prices there. But maybe sometimes convenience still wins?


  • Service Provider

    @bigbear said in Does Brand not even matter anymore?:

    @JaredBusch I have thought about things like text-to-order and whatever would make life simpler for the buyer. I know with the regular customers I deal with I get a lot of texts and just ship things out to wherever they want.

    Text to order would be an interesting thing. It is not something you can automate easily like a web order, so it iwll require a human to read the text and put the order into the system.

    @bigbear said in Does Brand not even matter anymore?:

    Amazon Prime stocking will cost an Amazon merchant almost 20% and thats why I think you dont see the best prices there. But maybe sometimes convenience still wins?

    Right, I know there is overhead for Prime to the merchant. Did not know it was ~20%. But yeah I basically pop the Amazon window and see is the Prime price is in the ballpark of Baltic Network + Shipping. If they are similar, I will generally order Baltic for example.



  • @jaredbusch I think there is a healthy 20% margin for a typically distributor ordering 100 per month, based on my experience with a couple brands.

    One of the things I have pondered about price strategy is whether I match that, beat it, or show the customer the wholesale price plus my per item fee. That way at least they know the more people who buy from me, the more the overall cost is going to keep going down across the board.

    Or is that something people would just blow off, while cutting my margins even more? If it causes growth in sales thats great. If no one cares then its probably a waste...


  • Service Provider

    @bigbear said in Does Brand not even matter anymore?:

    @jaredbusch I think there is a healthy 20% margin for a typically distributor ordering 100 per month, based on my experience with a couple brands.

    One of the things I have pondered about price strategy is whether I match that, beat it, or show the customer the wholesale price plus my per item fee. That way at least they know the more people who buy from me, the more the overall cost is going to keep going down across the board.

    Or is that something people would just blow off, while cutting my margins even more? If it causes growth in sales thats great. If no one cares then its probably a waste...

    That is a tough call because people are stupid. Seriously stupid.

    If you show me wholesale + your mark up (labeled as WTF ever you want to call it), I will be your customer forever. because then I can take those numbers and prove costs to my clients.

    For the rest of the unwashed masses, meh, they would just complain about the mark up because they do not even understand WTF a wholesale cost is.



  • @jaredbusch at certain volumes there are even things akin to dealer holdback on automobilers and buyback liquidations.

    I can move 300 to 500 items per month. If I could get closer to 1,000 I feel like that would unlock the next level.

    But you are right, based upon the levels of pricing I see at VOIP Supply, etc there are people who probably buy VOIP hardware once or maybe once per year if they are an IT Reseller.

    But that whole strategy could be pandering to a crowd so small that it would never help achieve the sales volume I am hoping to get to.


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