Walking through the Grey Market issues - Letter from Counter Diversion VP of Sales
I’ve been working with the team at Counter Diversion for the past 6 months since leaving TrackStreet. It’s interesting that while the head of sales at Teva way back in 2014, we launched a MAP program, and 7 years later there are finally tools today that truly can help with brand protection. Since then, a lot of things have changed, but a lot of challenges have remained, and most every brand seems to go through a similar process as they look to tighten up their brand protection. Brands usually experience something like this:
After a brand has installed a clear distribution process, established a strict merchandising guideline, enacted, and strictly adhered to a MAP program (with a monitoring service) there remains the problem of unauthorized 3P marketplace sellers that work to undermine all that effort. Once they believe they have everything in place, they realize they have a problem – 3P sellers. They then want to know the address and other information on these 3P’s so they can ‘shut them down’. There are two issues with that: #1, these sellers are great at hiding, and can be very difficult to root out; #2, these sellers can be discovered, only to find out that they obtained the product legally – but the brand is not sure where they are getting it from. That’s where Counter Diversion steps in – Counter Diversion is the final step in Brand Protection.
Here's how it works: First, we 'marry up' the information from the 3rd party SaaS MAP/monitoring company with the brands’ shipping records, then we can manage the disruptive listings and isolate the problems quickly and in volume. Often, there are customers who cannot be trusted to follow their distribution agreement either by sending product to their friends or jobbers, or by setting up their own 3p store. Occasionally international sales outlets violate transshipping policies and sometimes a Brands own retail sales outlets discount products enough to create unauthorized 3P Sellers. No matter what category an unauthorized seller falls, our system is designed to provide that data to the brands so they can confidently hold Domestic and International wholesale partners accountable to their distribution agreements or consider own retail assortment and sales policies. I have worked with hundreds of CPG brands over the past 5 years and all of them have arrived at this point, to varying degrees, and in my short time at Counter Diversion we’ve already been able to help all our clients get this nailed down.
We are a boutique SaaS company - we don't have marketing and we don't use high pressure sales tactics. My goal is to have solid, honest conversations about the issues at hand and then either recommend our service or another one that is a better fit for your needs. If you'd like to engage in that type of discussion, let me know and I will schedule a time that works for both of us.
VP Sales Counter Diversion Inc.