Why Communication Between Brands & The Frontline Has Never Been So Important
It has never been more important to make sure our frontline is plugged in and ready to go -- NewKnow’s training and communication solution slots into that need perfectly.
We sat down with Andre Dallaire, retail distribution aficionado and founder of Agence AD, a distribution and brand development agency with a focus on lifestyle and action sports brands. Andre also happens to be a trusted advisor of NewKnow!
Get to know a little more about Andre and his values in this Q&A:
What does your day-to-day look like?
I’m a very active person, so I start my day with yoga!
Then, I head to the office and do a deep dive into my work. I manage a network of reps for 7 prominent brands across Eastern Canada. Our goal, of course, is to hit our targets, as well as ensure that our reps have all the tools they need to succeed.
Can you talk a little bit about your history & how you started working in the retail industry?
I was always really involved with competitive sports -- I was a 3 time champion in windsurfing. At the same time, I was working in sporting goods stores as a sales associate. That was when I realized that I love selling the right product to the right person. Selling is NOT about pushing products on people, it’s about finding that right fit.
Ensuring that your frontline knows what that right fit is contingent on how educated they are about your products!
Has the digital age changed how retail distribution works?
There is no doubt in my mind that technology has seriously impacted a variety of businesses. In the past, when consumers would come into the store, they knew very little about the product and were itching to be educated by the frontline.
Today, consumer awareness about products has skyrocketed. We even see that consumers may know more about the product that today’s sales associates! In that regard, it has never been more important to make sure our frontline is plugged in and ready to go -- NewKnow’s training and communication solution slots into that need perfectly.
What is the biggest challenge facing brands and distributors right now?
This has always been a challenge, but even more so today: brands work so hard at developing a narrative around their products, only to have this messaging be lost in translation. How do we bring the brand story to the frontline seamlessly?
It’s all about communication! The easier you make it for HQ to work with the frontline, the faster your product will fly off the shelves.
What do you see for the future of the industry?
Yes, brand stories are incredibly important to get your values across to consumers, but let’s not forget that the product is king.
Customer experience is a hot topic these days, but the way I see it, CX is 2-fold. First is thinking about the experience that the consumer has while in your stores and interacting with your frontline.
Secondly, it’s key that your product is actually delivering value to the consumer and that the product fit makes sense!
Prioritizing these two aspects ensures customer satisfaction -- the holy grail of customer retention.
How do you feel NewKnow fits in with the industry?
As an agent, I have connections with so many brands, and I have a great understanding of what brands need in order to sell. I always say, our role is to be the protector of the brands. The best thing we can do is to amplify the brands’ story to the retailer, to the staff, and to the frontline.