To capitalize on the success of their private brands , which has spiked in the past seven years, Central Sanitary Supply offers customers a value-branded line and a premium option. Martini says their private label lines create exclusivity and boost customer service by allowing the salespeople to tout solutions, instead of just products.

“With our private brand manufacturing we can create bundles of products that were not necessarily available before,” Martini says. “In the past bowl cleaner was a stand alone.” 

Now, the company can pair that bowl cleaner with a floor cleaner, a glass cleaner, hand soaps, paper products and more in a private brand restroom program, Martini says. 

It sounds obvious, but the more private label products a distributor can offer, the more bundles it can assemble and offer to customers, which in turn leads to more contracts and revenue sales.  

“We’ve been able to tie it together,” Martini says. “I think in my opinion there is a place for nationally branded products, and a private label product in every category.” 

This consultative sales approach — selling solutions and convenience, rather than a popular product — is what sets independent distributors apart from national big-box retailers, says Uselman. And it’s another way to add in distributors’ private label lines. 

“We put in our private label unless our customer has a high inclination toward the national brands,” he says. “We always lead with our private brand for margin protection, as well as for longevity and customer relationships.” 

To Bruco customers, the service is known as “brand management;” and like many distributors, the company uses product bundling to compliment its other business services such as consultations, building surveys and workloading. The company has a separate division, outside of the field reps, that handles these more-detailed transactions. 

Product bundling gives customers the perception that they are dealing with cleaning consultants, rather than cleaning supply salesman. Distributors can customize bundles to fit their client’s needs and, at the same time, provide other perks such as onsite training and personable customer service and support. 

Uselman says customers are starting to see the value of the company’s brand management program as building health becomes a bigger priority for facility owners and tenants. He says the private label line’s lower price points and comparable quality to national brands has helped bring customers on board. 

“They are looking more to private brands,” he says. “It’s been a real plus for us.”


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