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Herbal Essences uses a pretty simple distribution channel in the United States. Because it is owned by Proctor and Gamble, Herbal Essences is able to make its way to stores all over the United States without any worries or hassles. According to Proctor and Gamble, Herbal Essences uses distribution companies such as Bunzl Distribution, which is a trucking company that distributes to Herbal Essences products to Southern California (Distributor, 2013). Majority of the products set out by Herbal Essences are sent to a middleman. The middleman, usually a distribution company, handles the shipments and makes sure the products are sent off to the clients without any problems. For instance, Herbal Essences products are distributed to different hotels for hotel customers for their stay to use. They do so by hiring a distribution company, such as American Hotel Register that focuses on selling hotel products, who will sell Herbal Essences products to hotels that are looking to buy. This allows Herbal Essences to primarily focus on distributing its products to the general public and allow another company to handle the distribution of their products to a secondary market. The middleman for Herbal Essences sales in drugstores and retail stores, or the primary markets, are usually used for transporting products from the production facility straight to the store’s shelves.
The main mode of transportation for Herbal Essences products are distributed by trucks within the United States. The products, which are manufactured in the United States, are shipped to local distributors and stores around the United States via trucking companies. The products are sorted within the distribution warehouse and are once again shipped out in trucks to clients that requested the products.
With such a huge company giving them a lift, Herbal Essences has climbed to the top of the women’s hair care product manufacturer. They have seen a growth mostly every year since the creation of the brand line which has easily put them in the top five for their channel distribution. Other brands like Pantene, who is also a part of Proctor and Gamble, and Garnier have tried to overthrow Herbal Essences, but Herbal Essences’ brand has become too strong. According to Giordani (2009), a particular type of Herbal Essences shampoo is considered to be the number one shampoo that can be bought at a drug store (Giordani, 2009). This shows that the Herbal Essences brand as a clear leader amongst its competitors within the channel.
Herbal Essences main focus on selling their products is to the general public. Their concept is to allow the general public to easily attain their product without any road blocks or obstacles. In order to do so, Herbal Essences is set up as an intensive distribution company. Herbal Essences has decided it would be a fitting to use an intensive distribution because an exclusive distribution would be to extreme and would force costs to be high and a selective distribution would force the brand to sell in fewer locations than expected. The right choice for Herbal Essences is to use an intensive distribution.
The intensive distribution allows Herbal Essences to reach their primary consumers easily. According to herbalessences.com (2012), Herbal Essences is able to reach their primary consumers by marketing and selling their hair care products in drug stores like CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens, at big retail grocery stores like Ralphs, Vons, and Albertsons, and major retail stores like Costco and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Since the internet boom in the early 2000’s, Herbal Essences has also started to increase its distribution to its customers through online sales. They use online distributors like Amazon.com and other online retailers so that customers have the ability to buy Herbal Essences products at their own convenience and time. Since Herbal Essences has become more available for its customers, it has made Herbal Essences one of the top five women’s hair care product on the market.
With such stiff competition, Herbal Essences has to be able to stay competitive within its brand category. They have to be able to keep prices competitive and also allow inventory to be at pace with the orders coming in. This is an extremely important task for companies to follow. Logistics is a key role in Herbal Essences marketing tactics. What Herbal Essences seems to be doing, is producing an ample amount of its products to fill up shelves across the United States. They also invest in producing a few extra products for their inventory stock in house. This sounds as though they might be holding on to products for too long which can cause the products to go bad or cause Herbal Essences to over stock on inventory. However, with the additions of online sales, the inventory which is located in house can be used to ship out products to fulfill online orders. By doing so, Herbal Essences is able to keep all of their in-store sales and online sales prices competitive with their competition, as well as keep their inventory up-to-date for current and future purchase orders.
Herbal Essences has built a strong reputation within its brand category by making sure they are in charge of their distribution channel, making sure all modes of transportation are available for distribution of their products, and making sure Herbal Essences products are stocked and ready for sale. Their brand has made it a point to show its customers that Herbal Essences is willing to work with its primary audience, women of a certain age group, to keep costs low and still provide their products on time without any hassle, and yet please their secondary audience by providing detail oriented middlemen to distribute their products without having to shift their focus away from their primary targeted audience.
Distributor. (2013). http://pgpro.com. Retrieved from pgpro.com/distributor-locator?distProducts=Herbal+Essences&zip=91311
Giordani, K. O. (2009). 19 Best Drugstore Shampoos. Beauty Tips, Product Reviews, and News from Total Beauty. Retrieved from http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/p_drugstore_shampoos
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) | Herbal Essences. (n.d.). Hair Products for Soft, Shiny Hair | Herbal Essences. Retrieved from http://us.herbalessences.com/en-US/frequently-asked-questions#a5
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