This is part one of a three-part article about distributors working with wholesalers to create custom catalogs.

In the crowded jan/san marketplace, it’s difficult for a distributor to stand out from the pack. Custom marketing materials can provide an edge, but many smaller companies lack the resources to create them. That’s a problem wholesalers hope to solve.

Serving as a go-between for manufacturers and distributors, wholesalers (also called redistributors) carry a wide variety of products across many categories. In addition to allowing smaller minimums than buying direct from manufacturers, many wholesalers offer another benefit — personalized marketing services.

RJ Schinner, a redistributor of foodservice, paper, jan/san, and grocery supplies, based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, creates printed and digital materials for its customers at little to no charge.

“We do everything from a one-sided flyer on a featured product to a 200-page customized catalog, and literally anything in between,” says Suzanne Kroha, a print marketing specialist at RJ Schinner.

Most manufacturer-supplied catalogs are printed en masse. Page to page, the books are indistinguishable from one distributor to the next, other than perhaps the addition of a logo sticker on the cover. RJ Schinner’s marketing department, however, spends most of its time creating distributor-specific catalogs that include personalized covers, representative product lines and even custom parts numbers.

“Almost every catalog we build is made just for the distributor so it looks like nothing else on the street,” says Kroha. “We can customize it as much as they want.”

Distributors that take advantage of these individualized services can reap many revenue-enhancing rewards, such as attracting new buyers and upselling current customers.

next page of this article:
Custom Catalogs Provide Useful Sales Tools