I Was A Retail Buyer, Here's Why I Love BrandKeep
Pete Ashley was a retail buyer for years, and knows the industry inside and out. He thinks BrandKeep is a game changer, and will vastly improve how buyers work.
We love to talk about BrandKeep. It was built with passion and purpose, and fills a need in the industry that’s missing. But, do buyers agree? Do buyers find it to be the essential tool we say it is?
We surveyed buyers along our journey so we could create a tool they’d love to use. A tool that would help them on a daily basis. Now that it’s built, our own Pete Ashley weighs in on his feelings about BrandKeep (a tool he wishes he had when he was out in the field when he was a buyer).
With over 13 years of experience, Pete’s a former sales rep for Patagonia and buyer for Highland Hiker. He’s played an integral role in buying, working directly with buyers, and managing the supply chain for many big name brands all over the country.
He’s dealt with the issues of managing brand assets, and like many, struggled to keep it all under control and easily accessible. Here’s his take on BrandKeep, why he loves it, and why brands and buyers should adopt it.
What I love most about BrandKeep is that if you need to find anything from a brand, it’s in BrandKeep. That means digital catalogs, order forms, marketing assets, contacts, links to B2B portals, line sheets, and also the less flashy, but critical, documents like MAP policies, or warranty information. Knowing it’s all in one place saves time. Period.
There are three things that I think BrandKeep brings to the table that would have vastly improved my time as a buyer: alignment, accessibility, and actionability.
If a store isn’t aligned with a brand, it’s hard for the staff to excite customers about the brand and sell it. With BrandKeep, all the digital assets are available, all the time. And, they’re up-to-date. If there are brand promos, social media assets, or other campaign pieces readily available, buyers can much more easily align with a brand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to search for this information.
Whether it’s a merchandising or marketing strategy, or specific timelines for product launches – having all the material in one place as the single source of truth for all reps and buyers makes it so much easier for a brand to tell their story consistently and accurately. And, if buyers are aligned with the brand, then all the store staff can be aligned with the brand. It’s key for retailers to hit the floor with the best brand knowledge to have the best chance to sell products. And, if I can find it easily! Boom. Mic drop.
As a buyer, I didn’t have time to dig through emails to find brand assets. Or, navigate to a variety of online cloud storage areas or asset managers inside of B2Bs. I needed information quickly, and I needed it to all be in one place.
BrandKeep gives retailers the opportunity to centralize assets, and make them easily accessible. This means any buyer, team member, sales person, bookkeeper, whoever, can pull down the same information, from the same location. It’s not in someone’s inbox. It’s not in their personal Google Drive™ account. It’s available to everyone. And, it’s the latest and greatest material.
With all these files in one spot… now we can get down to business. BrandKeep is asset-oriented, but also task-oriented. And those are connected. That’s where it blows any online cloud storage out of the water. There’s an entire Task system built into the platform that lets buyers create tasks and assign specific assets to them.
In my experience, not only was it hard to keep track of all the stuff you need to interact with a brand and build an order, but it was also messy to try and figure out when all the different moving parts needed to come together. Now, I can create a task in BrandKeep, assign it to a Brand Card, and date it. BrandKeep users don’t have to stress about missing preseason deadlines, or cancel-by dates, or when those price changes need to go out. Because it’s all in BrandKeep, living on the Brand Card next to the assets needed to realize the action, and everyone on the team is working off that same information.
And those tasks can be used to create internal assignments – it doesn’t just have to be for store-to-brand interactions. Stores can set up training schedules, daily administrative duties, in-store merchandising tasks, and more, all inside BrandKeep.
BrandKeep is really a revolution for how stores operate internally. It gets buyers, managers, and staff on the same page, organizes all the brand assets they need, lets people prioritize and track what needs to happen for the store to continue to run, and gets everyone on staff working together. I love it. I think you’ll love it too.