At a record-breaking Spring Summit in Nashville, BrandSource CEO Jim Ristow had nothing but good news. On stage before over a thousand members of AVB – BrandSource, ProSource and TRIB – Ristow reported statistics that show BrandSource grew share and is outpacing industry in all major categories, which proves that member businesses are headed in the right direction.
In 2017, for example, BrandSource returned $7 million more in member benefits than the year before. The organization added more than 100 members and returned $30,000 more to members than if they’d been part of any other buying group. Appliances grew 3.5 times overall industry growth and home furnishings outpaced the industry by almost 4 percent. Although the bedding industry is down about 7 percent, within BrandSource bedding is up more than 4 percent. This tremendous growth is tied to the success of digital advertising as well as the group’s efforts to take advantage of the opportunities that opened up with Sears’ decline. In addition, BrandSource added 16 lines in the last nine months and implemented a new education track for home furnishing dealers. Overall, AVB as a whole added $2 billion of buying power in 2017, Ristow said, making it the largest group in North America.
One of the biggest advancements for members is the continuous evolution of AVB Marketing, which launched their next generation industry changing web platform, called Alta 360, which will add even more value to members’ digital advertising. With a range of options for users’ needs, Alta 360 is the next frontier for members who understand the importance of digital marketing to their bottom line. It is a customizable program that brings the full functionality of LINQ and BrandSource’s partnership with Google directly to members. In addition, it allows users to customize their websites to suit their own needs instead of forcing a cookie-cutter uniformity on members. “Alta 360 offers the most boutique, customizable front end,” Ristow said. “This is game-changing. I believe we’re going to be light years ahead of anyone – we’re just leapfrogging technology. What I’m most proud about is that this package, benchmarked against next closest platform, is almost 50 percent less in price.”