Brother sends resellers on sales safari

Brother has launched an attractive incentive program in a bid to reward resellers and garner support in the competitive printing and fax sector.

The vendor has spent the last four months setting up a site specifically for the reseller channel, detailing product information as well as sales incentives for multifunctional devices, laser fax machines and laser printers. Brother was ranked the number four vendor in the laser printing market in April, according to figures from Inform, accounting for 10 per cent of the market in terms of unit sales behind HP, Kyocera Mita and Lexmark.

Like much of the IT sector, the printing and fax market has experienced a slowdown since the beginning of the year. The new site will help the vendor boost sales, but will also serve to give resellers more access to Brother and to familiarise them with its products, according to Brother International Australia director George Nawa.

"It [business] is a little tough, at the moment for everyone," he said. "But then again, last year was exceptional so I am not too concerned. I think the market will bounce back, especially in the multifunction sector and in laser-based products. The awareness of multifunctional devices in the SME market is growing very rapidly."

The response to the new site has been "very positive", Nawa said.

Online incentive programs are becoming an increasing trend, since it eliminates the unwieldy paper trail normally required by vendors. The registration process is fairly simple - resellers fill out their details and are given a password and ID. Then, every time they make a sale, they log it in at the Web site, accumulating points which can be then redeemed for prizes. The program will run until the end of November.

"Paper-based incentive schemes are far more cumbersome for both us and the reseller," Nawa said. This gives resellers a substantial amount of time to accumulate points, and we haven't set unreasonably high targets, so redemption is easy.

Up for grabs for the most successful reseller is a grand prize of a trip for two to Africa. Additionally, Brother holds a monthly draw for e-vouchers from online retailer Wishlist.

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