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17 October 2017

Industrial welding supplies: is it better to have few exclusive brands or to offer a wide range of choice?

When you are creating a business or branching into a new line of products, there are many crucial decisions that you must make principally whether you will offer a wide range of choice or whether you will limit yourself to a mere few exclusive brands. 

This is not a decision to be taken lightly, particularly when it comes to industrial welding supplies, as there are many pros and cons for each approach but don’t worry, that is where this handy guide comes in. Below we will discuss the pros and cons for each and hopefully, this will help to lead you (and your business) to success.


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Let’s begin with a quick look at a couple of the advantages that come with only having a few exclusive brands.

More attention

As the distributor, offering a few exclusive brands can bring you much more attention that if you offer a wide range of different brands. You will gain a reputation as being the one who supplies that brand and therefore, gain notoriety. This could lead to more long-term agreements with retailers and a loyal customer following.


Mono-branding, or retail exclusivity as it is often called, is when a retailer devotes all of their resources (in-store marketing, sales reps, etc.) to one exclusive brand or product. This is highly beneficial to distributors as they profit from the greater volume of sales and with fewer brands, there is, of course, less competition.

Now, let’s move on and take a look at the disadvantages of this approach.

Failure to capitalise

With this approach, there is a very significant risk of failure as you may not be able to capitalise on the potentially lucrative aspects of the industrial welding supplies industry. For example, you may lose out on customers who seek a particular product that your brands do not stock. This could lead to significant losses!

Risky business

There is an ever-present danger that a significant market shift (a cultural shift away from low-cost products, a new competitor) could jeopardise your company’s profit stream. This is a more worrying prospect if you only have one or two brands as if what they supply does not meet demand, it could signal failure. A limited product line puts your entire business model in a precarious position.

So, now that we have covered one approach, let’s move on and look at the advantages of offering a vast range of choice.

Increased Responsiveness

An extremely effective way to enhance your customers’ responsiveness is to provide them with a wide array of products and supplies. This allows you to accommodate all of your customers’ preferences no matter how diverse they are, all the while increasing your customers’ loyalty.

Boost sales

Diversifying your product mix means that even if the sales of one product decline, the increasing sales of new or different products can help to boost your decreasing profits. This is a very important aspect to consider!

Now that you’re up-to-date on the advantages, it’s time to look at the potential disadvantages.

Bad press

When you offer a wide range of products, you must be aware that there is room for catastrophe as if you have just one product that is found to be unsatisfactory, all of the products could be tarred with the same brush. This, of course, has the potential to ruin your business’ entire image and could deter customers from coming to you.

Irrelevant products

The cost of developing, stocking and selling many products can be very high so you must be able to guarantee an opportunity to sell them. To do this, research is key as you do not want to accumulate products that your customers don’t want or need. Keep in mind what your target audience wants!

So, there you have it the advantages and disadvantages that will hopefully guide you to make the right decision for your business. A word to the wise if you do decide to diversify (the increasingly popular move), don’t be tempted to do too much at once. Gradually increase your product line and you will be able to gauge if you are over-reaching or if this is exactly what your business needs!


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