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Sonnentor launches partner shop programme

by Redaktion (comments: 0)

The Austrian tea and herb specialist Sonnentor is not simply a strong brand with impressive products. It has also presented them over many years in its own and franchise stores that incorporate the company’s typical fittings, furniture and corporate design. Since the beginning of 2013, Sonnentor has been offering the specialist retail trade a partner shop programme. Around 20 specialist shops in Germany are already taking advantage of the concept. Field service staff help and advise the shops, and wholesalers supply the materials and goods.

A place for the comprehensive Sonnentor product range on the spice and tea shelves in specialist shops across the whole of Germany has become a tradition. To raise the profile even more of the Sonnentor brand in the specialist trade, Frank Künzel, who is responsible for marketing in Germany, developed the Sonnentor Partner shop Programme. With a far-reaching marketing pack, it offers retailers many benefits ranging from an authentic presence in compatible surroundings, information and sample tasting to training. The concept was launched at the beginning of the year in the first partner shop called Bio-Markt Bio für Alle in Münchberg in Upper Franconia. (Picture: Farmhouse cupboards and tasting stand are possible features in a partner shop programme)

BioMarkt owner Heiko Lages (on the right in the picture) is thrilled by the new idea: “Our  Bio-Markt stores in Münchberg and Naila are called Bio für Alle. This name means we have an obligation. Like none other of our suppliers, Sonnentor is the living embodiment of this mindset.” His wife Michaela Lages and co-owner Johannes Scholz add: “We’re convinced of that by our personal experience here in the Waldviertel region. That’s why the partnership is a logical component in our trading activities.” In the meantime, over 20 shops have joined the programme. (Picture: Dennree-representative Susanne Morawitz-Heinrich enjoying the occasion with Johannes Gutmann and shop owner Heiko Lages)

On the one hand good products; on the other great presentation. Convinced that a brand attracts far more attention if it is presented authentically and skillfully, Sonnentor has long since favoured a special furnishing concept in its own and the franchise shops. Natural farmhouse cupboards and corresponding shelves in traditional style are trademark features in Sonnentor shops. Now these eye-catching furnishing items are available for particpants in the partnership programme. Half the cost of the solid wood cupboards is borne by Sonnentor. (Picture: Typical Sonnentor shop in Vienna)

“We would like people to see our values reflected in the way a shop is laid out and furnished,” says Frank Künzel. “That means expressing regionality, a close connection with rural farming tradition in this region, high quality that we achieve through artisanal work and sustainability at all levels of the company. “The shelves and displays are filled with the bright packs of a good 150 best-selling products in the Sonnentor range (700 products) that the partner shop gets from his wholesaler. If a specialist shop has not sold the Sonnentor brand before, the company offers a basic assortment of 90 products as a starter pack. (Picture: The Sonnentor product range is vast and can easily fill a whole shop. Seen here is a Sonnentor shop in Zwettl)

Presentation is not enough to bring a brand to life. So the partner shop concept operates the principle “Do something good and talk about it”. Flyers and a customer magazine that appears twice a year report on the activities of the company and the products, and recipes incentivize customers to try things and to experiment,” says Künzel. But the information is not intended just for the customers in the partner shops – flyers are also distributed to potential customers through the post. Depending on the amount, all marketing materials and the addition of a shop’s address to the flyers is free of charge. (Picture: The customer magazine – called Freude, or Joy – is an integral part of the marketing pack)

“The best way to experience products is by tasting them,” says Künzel, “and for this reason we make available to our partners materials for silent tastings. Starting with cups, serviettes, portions of sugar, the appropriate poster, recipe cards, stickers, postcards, etc., it of course includes tea and spices.” Künzel points out that free samples as give-aways to  customers are part of the sales promotion pack for partner shops. The retailer discusses the theme and the products for a tasting with his Sonnentor ambassadors, alias the field service staff. (Picture: The colourful packs are an eyecatcher; the open spices tempt you to sniff the aromas)

In collaboration with the wholesale trade, Sonnentor offers training to ensure that participants in the partner shop scheme have sufficient background knowledge. A free half-day or one-day seminar gives participants the opportunity to get to know more about the company Sonnentor, its founder Johannes Gutmann (picture) and their cropping projects. The seminar is rounded off with information about the merchandise and tips on looking after the shelves, tasting events and approaching and communicating with customers. (Picture: Sonnentor also provides training at company headquarters in Zwettl)

Info and contact:  Frank Künzel






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