We’re all familiar with seasonal product launches. Twice a year brands put out their shiny new products, while retailers and wholesalers find themselves submerged in an avalanche of new merchandise during these peak seasons.
This is great — brands have a regular plan for getting their newly-developed products ready to go to market. It’s comfy and warm to know when you need to have your product inventory, assets, and other materials lined up for release.
This is also terrible — trends in the market don't wait for brands to catch up, and the demand for innovative products is ever-increasing; your customers don’t want to wait for something truly game-changing. Staying ahead of the competition is essential for any outdoor brand.
But what if a brand didn’t have to wait until the new season to release an awesome new product? Could midseason launches of timely products be part of their go-to-market strategy?
That’s exactly the question Matador asked when they partnered with Envoy B2B. The idea of midseason launches held the potential to revolutionize their go-to-market strategy and cater to the constantly evolving needs of their customers.
The Problem: Lack of Agility on New Product Launches
Matador Travel Equipment is known for efficient adventure gear designed for travelers. More specifically, Matador is known for their innovations in the adventure gear space, both in quality and quantity.
Their design team has historically been busy developing awesome new products at a very quick pace.
This is awesome, BUT distribution had to keep up. Getting new products out was slow and painful — they didn’t have the infrastructure in place to be agile with new product launches.
Reps were getting bogged down in the details. What inventory is available? How much can we ship this week? Who needs what assets? The email chains were slowing things down to a crawl, and reps weren’t able to focus on fostering growth. Instead, they were busy looking for assets and trying to figure out how much ATS (Available to Sell) inventory they had.
This meant that even though they had a great product that the market wanted, Matador couldn’t have it available in a timely fashion. No product showcases, no ATS inventory management, no asset management at all.
This caused Nellie Stephenson, Director of Operations at Matador, no small amount of frustration.
“Our design and launch ethos is ‘go, go, go’, and it's been hard to get people on board with that,” she explained.
With Envoy on board, the management and distribution of ATS information shifted from the reps to the B2B platform.
This transition marked a significant improvement in time management. With Envoy B2B, retailers could now "self-serve" and download new ATS on demand. No more waiting for emails to know what they could sell in a given week.
Efficient Asset Management and Streamlined Order Process
Retailers could also self-serve by accessing the assets they needed for their orders, eliminating the hassle of navigating through massive Dropbox folders or engaging in lengthy exchanges with sales reps. The tedious process of inputting orders and emailing back-and-forth about available inventory became a thing of the past.
Nellie emphasized how Envoy B2B’s centralized landing place for wholesalers simplified asset management and order placement. The platform became an excellent tool for highlighting new products, allowing for easy distribution of assets and gauging retailer interest in mid-season releases.
With product management and showcase resources provided by Envoy B2B, the team swiftly aligned with new products, fully embracing their "go, go, go" design and launch ethos.
Saving Time and Focusing on Retailer Servicing
Another standout advantage of using Envoy was the time saved for the sales team.
Tasks that previously required manual effort were now automated, enabling the team to dedicate more attention to better service retailers.
What’s the Takeaway?
In the fiercely competitive outdoor industry, Matador's partnership with Envoy has proven to be a game-changer. The ability to conduct "fast launches" and stay nimble in the face of constant design innovations has given Matador an edge in the market.
Nellie explained, “We've got one product coming out next month in particular that I think everyone's really excited about, and we've been able to accept a number of prebookings through the platform that we would have struggled to coordinate otherwise.”
By centralizing asset management and streamlining the order process, Envoy B2B has saved valuable time for the Matador team, allowing them to focus on delivering exceptional service to their retailers.
With their partnership, Matador continues to set new standards in product agility and customer satisfaction, giving them the flexibility and infrastructure to enact a midseason product release strategy at scale.