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Bringing Out the Best in Brands

Want to accelerate your sales? Think Highlands.

Sales growth for progressive manufacturers and brands.

At Highlands, we help you grow sales into existing and new markets. Our expertise lies in getting your products into the hands of consumers, quickly, cost effectively and ahead of your competitors.  We want to be your partner from beginning to end, and to the next beginning.

We are a 'rep group' but our business has grown beyond just that.  We are not like any other agency you know of.  Not only will we help you build a fully integrated strategic sales and marketing plan, but we will execute it for you, also.

With help from Highlands, clients have access to a wide range of services, from sales representation, e-Commerce management, strategic planning, digital and traditional marketing to selling into some of the world's largest and best distributors and retailers.

Supporting your brand to maximize sales.

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Marketing

Whether its design or production, digital or print, Highlands can help.  Our in-depth knowledge of e-commerce and catalog owners' requirements makes us experts in content creation too. We ensure your work is 'on brand', 'on time' and 'on budget'.
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Let us develop and manage your strategic blueprint alongside you.  Our REPEAT methodology helps navigate the journey, deliver against expectations and ensures there's a process for continual improvement
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Highlands has highly skilled and experienced sales people who will maximize the presence of your brand with key resellers and help grow your sales.

Supporting your brand to maximize sales.

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Our team have trusted relationships with all the largest accounts means that Highlands can get your products listed quickly and build plans to accelerate sales.
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Highlands brings you a trusted and personalized eCommerce strategy to complement your traditional routes to market, growing your digital presence and online sales.
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Our great team ensures we deliver on our promises.  Full content management, content creation, re-purposing of collateral and driving promotional activity are just part of what our team helps with.
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Integrated Digital Marketing & eCommerce

December 4, 2017

You’ve spent thorough time sorting out your Amazon strategy.  Great, well done.  That means your eComm strategy is set, right?  Well, maybe not.  Amazon, whilst being important, is only part of the journey.  In this blog, we’ll scope this out a bit further and give you food for thought about a more holistic approach. 

In a recent review, (source: Business Insider) 56% of US, German, UK and French shoppers prefer Amazon as a point to search for the product. Customers go to Google to search for a product but still, Amazon enjoys loyalty from customers. In the US, 36% check Facebook reviews or Facebook advertisements for buying a product. Blogs, Bing, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and blogs are the other sources for a product search but not a big number.

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The survey says:
- 22% say that “if they find a product suitable on Amazon, consumers do not look at other sources.” 
- 51% say that “though there is information on other websites, they prefer Amazon to explore alternative ideas, compare product features, prices and get more information.” 

Below is another survey conducted in Q1 of 2017 (source: Business Insider). This survey reveals that Amazon is the first stop in the marketplaces where customers stop to purchase.  
first stop- amazon

The chart clearly explains Amazon as the first choice to search for buying a product. Amazon not only enjoys loyalty from the customers, but it’s also the place where customers can get enough information about the product that they’re able to make an informed purchase decision. 

So, this confirms the importance of Amazon today: highly important but certainly not the whole story.

Let’s look at the ecosphere available to you.  Amazon, E-Bay, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, reseller sites, retailer sites, your own site - they can all reach the customer. Some will sell your product, some will generate interest or even leads.  But how do you choose the correct platform for your business and how do you maximize sales?  It’s not an easy decision to make, however, it is easy to invest incorrectly.

Take a very common scenario: you’ve built a great website and now all you need is to gain traffic.  You’ll invest in SEO.  You’ll invest in PPC campaigns.  However, the channel strategy doesn’t allow you to sell direct so you’re gaining interest but don’t know if you’re generating sales.  One idea might be to partner with a tech-savvy organization called Commerce Connector, which creatively connects your brand with loyal and committed retailers and e-tailers. Commerce Connector can also be imbedded into your social media feeds. 

Social media can be a minefield. Which works best? What does success look like? Do re-Tweets help sell more product?  Do ‘Likes’ improve your bottom-line?  Well, maybe.  Having brands that consumers genuinely engage with on social media platforms is more than half the battle.  Do you have that kind of brand?  If you do, then Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat may really help.  They have a multitude of success stories. 

B2B brands struggle with the kind of emotional attachment to really make social media pay dividends.  That said, there are plenty of success stories on LinkedIn and, to a lesser extent, Twitter.  

If you’re a retailer, the metrics are straight forward; footfall, conversion and average transaction value.  It’s no different online.  What is different is how you get people into your “store” (wherever that may be) and the techniques you’ll need to maximize conversion and value.

The first step to a successful online strategy is to truly understand who your customer is and how they will find you.  Then, work out ways to get their attention and move them toward a sales funnel.  My guess is that one solution will not be enough.  Choose wisely!



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Highlands to Represent XP Distribution and OttLite in the Office and Stationery Markets

November 30, 2017


Highlands, the multinational sales and marketing services agency, has announced they will be representing XP Distribution, the exclusive European distributor of OttLite, an innovative LED light technology brand from the US.  Highlands will be managing sales of OttLite’s new Wellness and Workwell ranges into the specialist office and stationery markets.

 

For over 25 years, OttLite has focused on developing natural daylight lighting for home, office and business.  OttLite’s expertly engineered natural daylight lighting helps people see more clearly and comfortably.  Their range of lamps delivers high colour accuracy and greatly reduces eye fatigue when compared to competitive lighting brands, and is popular in the office, home and craft market.

 

Highlands will begin representing XP Distribution by optimising their channel presence in the office market, with OttLite’s Wellness and Workwell ranges. Scientifically developed by OttLite Technologies Inc., OttLite has created an exclusive, proprietary LED formulation that delivers the closest thing to natural daylight available indoors, and helps reduce eyestrain by 51%.    

 

With a score of 95 out of 100 on the Color Rendering Index, the OttLite Workwell and Wellness ranges are the best on the market, with the average LED scoring 83.

 

“We look forward to working with Highlands, a company with a great track record in representing manufacturers of all types. We trust in their ability to introduce the highly innovative OttLite Workwell and Wellness ranges to new channels, and look forward to a long, successful relationship”, says Managing Director of XP Distribution, Geoffrey Clements.

 

Jade Wilson, MD at Highlands commented, “The OttLite technology fits clearly within the channel focus areas, offering a differentiated exclusive technology that focuses on health, wellness and wellbeing. We’re proud to represent XP Distribution and OttLite in the office and stationery markets.”

 

 

About XP Distribution
XP Distribution is a leading pan-European distributor of hardware, accessories and lighting products. XP Distribution offers a range of internationally renowned brands, a multi-lingual account management team, a group of highly qualified technical support specialists and a distribution network servicing Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

www.xpdistribution.com

 

About Highlands

For over 55 years, Highlands has delivered greater sales for clients by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs. Today, Highlands serves its clients in the United States, Europe and Canada, supporting manufacturers and brands in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces. 

 

 


Contact:

 

Kayla Townsend

Marketing Assistant

[email protected]

www.thinkhighlands.com

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Amazon- Blended Model

November 29, 2017


As we have seen in the previous article, pricing varies between competitors on the same platform of Amazon. Selling on Amazon can seem easy at first however it is becoming increasingly complex all offering different benefits to the seller.  Once upon a time it would be considered best practice to adopt a single method.  Increasingly, it may be worth considering having a blended model that takes advantage of the different services available from Amazon.


There are different ways of working with Amazon. First, there is a fulfillment - Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA), Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM). Secondly, you can choose from different ways of marketing - Seller Central, Vendor Central and Vendor Express.


Fulfillment Requirements:


Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA): Yes, Amazon fulfills needs of both the seller and the customer. Amazon takes responsibility of sending your product to the customer in time.


Fulfilled by Merchant (FBM): As a Merchant, you do everything. You place your product on Amazon product listing and you ship the product to the customer after receiving an order. You’re responsible for every delay or damage in the package.


Marketing Ways:


Vendor Central: You are the first-party vendor. This is generally for big brands, where Amazon becomes your first customer. Amazon orders from you, keeps your products in their inventory and sells it to individual orders from different customers.  (Can you do FBM with Vendor Central too?  E.g. FireKing?)


Vendor Express: This is for young brands who want to make a mark in the market. Amazon supports your budding business becoming your partner. You can sell in bulk to Amazon and it markets your product in its own style and you grow your business.


Seller Central: You will be a third-party vendor. Here, you can choose either FBA where Amazon processes packs and ships your orders or ship the product on your own. Seller Central is beneficial when you launch a new product.


More than 50% of the sales happen through a third-party vendor. This is because the seller has full control over product pricing. Also, it could be a way of developing traction for your products before moving to a closer direct working relationship with Amazon. Importantly, you can use a Seller Central account to help drive more competitive pricing for products listed under Vendor Central:  Remember, Amazon is a price follower.


A few important points which effect Pricing- 


1. Competitive pricing: Every customer will look a the price and also the shipping cost. So, manage either the product price or the shipping cost.

2. Offers: Discounts, offers, cash on delivery, free products, etc. will attract more customers.

3. Reviews: This is crucial. Consumers will look at the reviews and feedback on a product before placing an order. It's important to have great seller reviews too. This leads to further positive brand exposure. All of this will help make a positive impression in Amazon's market place.

4. Less-popular product: List a product which has less competition. So, buyers will buy only from you leading to better credibility. That's an easy trick, isn't it?

5. Highly popular product: As you gain the credibility, offer a very good competitive price for your product to gain more attention.


Where possible, become a Prime seller. It’s a great way to raise customer demand, gain confidence and trust of the consumer, increase loyalty and ensure your product is delivered nice and quickly.


Lastly, a Seller Central account is a great place to launch new products quickly and within your control, or perhaps liquidate those products that didn’t quite work out.


Amazon is turning in to be a leader in the retail segment both online and offline, becoming a single stop solution for both vendor and the customer. In the chart below (source: MKM Partners) we clearly see how Amazon is taking a major chunk of the retail industry.


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Simply put, go ahead, invest in taking a space in Amazon and see your brand grow with more sales and reach!  But remember, there is not cookie cutter solution.  Think ‘broad’ when considering your Amazon strategy.


And, when you’re considering your whole eComm strategy you should think even broader.  We’ll tackle that in our next blog.



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Gordon Christiansen

C.O.O, Senior VP, Marketing

Partner at Highlands




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Highlands announces strategic agreement with Static Control

November 27, 2017

Atlanta, GA (November 27, 2017) - Highlands announces strategic agreement with Static Control.

Static Control has appointed Highlands as its exclusive sales and marketing agency for the USA and Canada, to lead their growth in the office products channel.

Static Control is the world's largest manufacturer and global distributor of parts and supplies supporting the ink and toner remanufacturing industry. At the core of the business is a commitment to R&D, high quality and IP compliance, which has fueled the impressive growth in cartridge sales over the last several years.

“Highlands has a wealth of experience and a great track record representing manufacturers of all types. We trust in their ability to introduce Static Control and our company values of innovation and quality to new channels,” says Bryan Bonacum, VP, North American Sales for Static Control. “We look forward to a successful long-term relationship.” 

“We are excited to work with a cartridge manufacturer that is committed to R&D, education, and serving their customers with the highest level of service and quality,” says Bob O’Gara, CEO of Highlands. “Static Control is committed to growing their market share. This allows Highlands to strengthen our presence with customers across the US and Canada by exploring new opportunities and increasing customer awareness; it’s a win-win for everyone.”

For over 55 years, Highlands has delivered greater sales for clients by providing the most effective and efficient brand advocacy programs. Today, Highlands serves its clients in the United States, Europe and Canada, supporting manufacturers and brands in the B2B, B2C, and eTail marketplaces.