Acknowledging a Retailer’s Challenge and Doing the Right Thing

    I can’t help myself. I’m always, and will forever be, a person who can’t stop thinking about astronauts. Astronauts embody the ideals of exploration and expansion. They challenge the status quo. They help us to see and understand our world in a different light. Astronauts look to the future with big goals and dreams and aren’t afraid to take the risks to get there.

    8 years ago when I, along with 6 other friends, started what is now Envoy B2B, we made an astronaut our team mascot. We were ready to take the leap, and nothing could be more fitting.

    “The people at Envoy embody the ambitions of an astronaut - confident explorers and technical wizards that also fly the machines.”

    Today, Envoy is taking another big step to innovate, grow, and explore, by helping to start a company that leaves the brand-centric B2B world behind.

    In exploring the best way to support retailers for our brand partners at Envoy B2B, we found a retailer's challenge that can only be solved by leaving Envoy B2B’s gravitational force. We are confident this retail solution will help retailers be more successful, no matter what B2B platform a brand uses.

    Let me show you why.

    A retailer's challenge, creating uniformity within growing fragmentation.

    1. The volume of brands adopting digital B2B solutions for engaging with their retail base has dramatically increased.
        • From the retailer’s point of view, this means the variety of unique platforms they maintain a profile on has dramatically increased. For a specialty retailer that may work with over 100 brands, this fragmentation is an ongoing challenge to engage with brands meaningfully.
    2. A retailer's contact with B2B platformsToday, retailers use a variety of methods to keep track of both commerce and content associated with the brands they carry in their store.
        • While the prevalence of brand-centric wholesale B2B platforms are increasing, the reality is, a retailer receives a variety of assets in unique ways from the many brands with whom they’ve partnered. This spreads across many more systems and methods than only a B2B platform. It’s this reality paired with the volume of seasonal assets from brands that have led to a growing organizational challenge for the retailer.How do you manage and organize...
    3. Today, organization and uniformity across many brands is hard. We can make a difference by empowering retailers with the right tool. 
        • Where there is disorganization, there are missed opportunities. Where a retailer’s experience with any brand-centric B2B platform falls short is that it doesn’t duplicate uniformly with every new brand that they do business with. By developing a retailer-centric solution, we can provide that path to uniformity across all the brands they work with and put the control in their hands to solve this challenge.Overall how organized do you feel with how your currently managed preferred ordering methods across all the brands you work with?

    Download the 2021 Retailer's Challenge Report here!

    Why haven't brand-centric solutions solved this challenge for retailers yet?

    1. Retailers are the product to many brand-centric SAAS providers.
        • Many brand-centric B2B providers use the volume of retailers using their systems as the carrot to attract more paying brands. In many cases, brands that bring their retailers into these platforms have given that retail relationship to the solution provider*. By being the carrot and not the customer, a retailer’s voice is underrepresented and marginalized.
          *Envoy B2B does not gain a brand's retailers and then introduce them to other brands.
    2. Many brand-centric B2B platforms are tuned to matchmaking and discovery within their closed ecosystem.
        • Brand-centric B2B platforms and marketplaces are becoming tuned to matchmaking and discovery. This leaves any focus on uniformity and organization that would point retailers or brands to competing brand-centric B2B solutions off the table as a value proposition. This dilemma exists because they want to be the ones to monetize the relationship. A result that’s inherent in their closed model.
    3. On a Brand-Centric B2B platform, complete uniformity is out of the retailer’s control.
        • A brand-centric B2B provider can only offer uniformity across all of the brands that choose to leverage their solution. This makes any viable path to uniformity across multiple solutions impossible. Retailers lose control of this issue from day one of using any platform.


    Where retail organizes.

    brandkeep_with_tag_over_whiteI’m happy to introduce you to BrandKeep. This is an independent solution and not an Envoy B2B feature set. Additionally, we’ve taken the approach of bringing together a unique team independent from Envoy that is entirely retail-centric.  

    While funded initially by proceeds from Envoy B2B, I want retailers to know that BrandKeep isn’t a play for Envoy B2B. It stands on its own to meet your needs now and in the future.

    Envoy B2B will continue on its brand centric mission and empower brands to support and grow their wholesale channel. Additionally, we believe that brands should start measuring a brand-centric B2B solution by how easily it integrates into a retailer-centric world that solves their core challenges, while also leaving an open path to uniformity across their entire store. This is the easiest and best way to make an impact in supporting retailers today.

    Envoy B2B acknowledges the reality of the retailer's challenge. We fully understand that what the industry needs isn’t another closed B2B model for brands, but an open model for retailers that acknowledges the growing challenge of uniformity across the variety of brands they are managing.

    I encourage you to visit and learn more about its mission and how you can get involved.

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