The New Exclusivity
I’ll never forget the day. It was 22 years ago and my business was almost a year old. That day I felt honored to be selected as the area’s exclusive retailer for a leading mobile electronics brand. Suddenly our store was no longer just another car stereo store; we were suddenly special. Sure there were other ways to be special. But one of the most popular was through the path of brand exclusivity.
This exclusivity was simple, logical and effective for all parties involved. All the manufacturers and their reps had to do was convince the retailer that their brand was better and provide the guarantee that their store would be the only place the consumer could buy it. Then, all the store owner had to do was convince the customer of the same.
For years, many retailers not only thrived on this model, but many survived because of it. Without brand exclusivity their store would be just another place with radios, amps and speakers on display; it would be all about the lowest price. Fortunately, brand exclusivity did exist and the stores with the better and more exclusive brands were seen as the specialist of choice for both the customer and vendor. Unfortunately, it didn’t last.