Before Re-Sauce Part 7 – Peerless UK & Europe
By Gordon Dutch
Our plan with Peerless to start with was simple; change over all the UK retailers who had previously been buying the other brand we were distributing. That was not going to be easy after the fantastic job we had done establishing the previous brand. However, thankfully after all the years working with these companies, they showed BBG huge loyalty and actually the vast majority (probably over 90%) swapped straight over to Peerless. Of course, we had to take back a load of old stock, but we sold in a larger initial order and swapped out all the displays stands which we owned. I will always remain hugely appreciative to all those retailers who were so loyal to us at that time, as without that loyalty we would have struggled massively.
Once we had secured the UK, I set about personally driving the Peerless brand forward in the UK and now Europe off the back of the SlimLine range of retail brackets. This also proved to be very successful as we managed to secure some huge orders from larger international retailers, who not only had large chains of stores in the UK, but all over Europe. This was great news.
However, this brought a whole new level of learning to BBG/Peerless (as we called it in the early days), as BBG had only ever sold products into the UK. Not only did we need to get up to speed very quickly on the joys of running a fast expanding ‘export’ business, and everything that goes with that, but also on European languages and their cultural relevances. To that end we had to completely re-design all the Peerless US packaging to ensure we were both legally compliant with the local regulations and relevant. Pictures of people playing American Football on our US packaging, doesn’t really resonate in Poland, for example 😊 We needed to use more global imagery, less words and more graphical diagrams to make sure that the product would ‘sell itself’ off the shelf across Europe. The end consumer needed to know what it was, how it worked, what it’s features and benefits were and how quickly and easily they could install it, with as few a words to translate as possible.
Then followed a multi-lingual website and we spent a lot of time analysing what languages to use, how best to make the translations of high quality, but cost effective and of course SEO. In the UK, a TV mount is often called a bracket, this means nothing in Germany or France.
Off the back of this, then we created a whole host of marketing materials, from display stands to sales catalogues, price lists and of course replicating the up sell, cross sell sales training we had developed in the UK and delivering that not only in the local language, but tailored to the local culture. For example, in the UK and some other countries, we used a very large and famous fast-food chain as an example of excellence to show how up selling and cross selling could be achieved on every sale, every time. However, in France that chain was not considered a good place to eat by the locals and so this did not resonate. We had to adapt and use a different example, such as sweets at the till and selling shoe protection sprays when you bought new shoes 😊 This is when having a good locally based salesperson was essential to that learning.
We also invested in a Peerless ‘demo van’ . Having been involved in high end Car Audio, we used our skills to create a customised van that was fitted out with all the products. This allowed our team to visit key customers and actually show them ‘hands on’ the quality of the product. Selling top end products is not easy from a catalogue and so by using physical displays, we were able to show distributors, VAR, integrators, installs and indeed the end customer the quality they were getting.
We invested in all the safety testing required under UL, which at the time had an even tougher specification that TUV. The van even travelled over to Europe and we built portable display stands to ship to shows all over Europe, similar to the picture attached.
If you are thinking of launching in the UK and Europe, feel free to reach out to us here at Re-Sauce via email@example.com as I have no doubt our experience and knowledge will save you an awful lot of money and pain.
Read next week’s blog to understand more about the importance of quality local sales teams across EMEA, planned channel management and how killer Press & PR really helped us on our Peerless journey into Europe and beyond!
Here’s what our Industry Colleagues say about us...
Peerless-AV would like to pay tribute to the incredible work Gordon and his team have done since 2009. It’s sales and brand awareness since we launched Peerless-AV EMEA in 2009 has been massive. Gordon’s strategic leadership and incredible work ethic, along with the dynamic leadership of a best-in-class team, which he assembled, has led Peerless-AV to the forefront of the AV businesses.
Global President & CEO of Peerless-AV