Negotiate with the right people to maximise brand power

31 August 2011

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31 August 2011 | Adam Leach

When negotiating for a major brand, such as Playboy, talking to the right people at a supplier who understand its value is crucial.

This is the view of Tom Woodham, director of consultancy Crimson & Co, which was given six weeks to set up sourcing strategy for drinks at the Playboy nightclub in London, which opened in June.

He told SM communicating the overall worth of the Playboy brand to suppliers such as Diageo and Bacardi was critical in negotiations.

“Getting to the right people so that we had the marketing team for the brand owners involved, because they saw the value potential in working with a brand like Playboy, whereas the standard sales guys weren’t as aware of that. So it was about working with the right level within the suppliers,” he told SM.

As a result, it was important to assure suppliers they would see the benefit of a relationship. “The other key thing was building conditions into the tender so that they could see they would get a return.” These included making clear to suppliers the potential brand awareness and promotional opportunities provided by special parties, press releases and shelf space in the club's three separate bars.

The purchasing strategy introduced covered a £2.5 million spend on drinks for one year at the venue, which is owned by LondonClubs International.

Woodham and his team implemented a seven stage sourcing process. Key to its success was working closely with the stakeholders, especially the managers of the club’s three different bars.

“They all had slightly different favourites and slightly different desires, but we were very clear that we wanted one set of drinks across the club,” said Woodham. “So we had different side meeting with each of them and then got all together to work out a plan.”

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