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Country Management: Explained

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The Red Tree has operated our unique Country Management Programme for multiple brands since the business started in 2010. Country Management is ideally suited to an international brand seeking local market expertise and support. It is a route open to brands that are entering the UK market for the first time and those that are already in the UK but dissatisfied with their current operating model.

Country Management functions as an alternative to the traditional model of market entry, where an international brand would work with a local distributor. The distribution model, particularly in skincare, has become increasingly difficult due to the margins required by retailers and the impact on the slice of margin left for the distributor and brand. In addition, many brands have been left scarred by bad experiences with distributors in other markets, whether that be through a lack of attention paid to the brand after the initial flurry of sell-in activity, or products ending up in less than desirable sales channels. Country Management also appeals to international brands that do not want to set up a UK office or employ their own staff in the market, due to the cost, tax and legal implications involved.

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Upon engagement as UK Country Manager, The Red Tree will develop a tailored market strategy. This highly important preparatory work underpins a strong foundation to the brand’s entry and/or continued operation in the UK market. It builds a well-thought-out blueprint for how agreed business goals can be achieved. The implementation phase of Country Management sees The Red Tree lead on securing retailers, leveraging our strong relationships with world-class retailers such as Harrods, Space NK, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Sephora and The Hut Group. The Red Tree takes a proactive role in business development by nurturing strong brand and retailer relationships. Upon listing, we work to optimise the brand’s launch calendar to align with retailer marketing activity and campaigns. Our focus is on driving retail sales and if needed The Red Tree is adept at recruiting and managing highly motivated, well trained retail sales professionals to operate in the bricks & mortar environment.

There is no “one size fits all” approach to Country Management. The Red Tree will tailor the model to suit each brand’s requirements. Essentially, we can do as much or as little as required across marketing, operational and sales functions. We work with an array of trusted third party logistic providers who can fulfil storage and shipment of orders, or can work alongside the brand’s existing logistic function if that has already been established in the UK. We will oversee and manage all UK functions (such as appointed PR and logistic providers) if required to do so.

Country Management truly is a partnership between The Red Tree and the brand. The Red Tree works hand in hand with the brands team to ensure that the brand’s strategic vision is adhered to and implemented to meet agreed strategic objectives. We become the brand’s team in the UK by working collaboratively with our brand partners through frequent and regular contact and will act as and when requested in an advisory capacity in all areas of the business. Our purpose is to build your brand in the UK and Europe and, by doing so, build long-term relationships with you, our brand partner.

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