BrandSource Show Focuses on Going Digital

Jim Ristow speaking at Brandsource Convention

Jim Ristow, chief executive officer of buying group BrandSource (front), delivers the annual convention keynote surrounded by the board of directors.

The BrandSource buying group, based in Tustin, California, held its annual convention Aug. 26-29 in Las Vegas. The event included educational workshops, a vendor exhibition and networking events.

The overall convention theme, “Tell Your Story,” was to help members forge deeper connections with customers using digital marketing tools, according to a news release.

During the show, BrandSource unveiled a new dollar-match program to encourage members to spend co-op dollars on digital marketing efforts. Considering that as much as 30% to 40% of co-op dollars goes unspent each year, the buying group decided to team with vendors to encourage members to take that money and invest in digital advertising. In this new co-op initiative, BrandSource members have the opportunity to work with BrandSource and specific vendors to determine the best digital marketing strategy. Members are eligible to receive up to $500 in matching funds per month. They are expected to work with BrandSource’s in-house digital agency AVB Marketing. AVB is described as a nonprofit ad agency owned by BrandSource members. 

“The BrandSource 2018 National Convention truly solidified our commitment to retail member success,” said Jim Ristow, BrandSource chief executive officer. “The BrandSource team is tasked with putting more money in the members’ pockets each year and helping them grow their business. Everything BrandSource does is for the members, and our recent announcements, specifically the $500 co-op match, reflect that guarantee. Our team also put together an incredible industry-first retail sales associate program called Heavy Hitters, focused on honoring them and educating them for future success. BrandSource is proud to be a member-owned not-for-profit and believes in the importance of the member story and their continued success.”

In his keynote address, Ristow bluntly told members to “go digital or die.”

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