Developing and enforcing a minimum advertised price, or MAP, is essential if you have even a single authorized seller working on your company’s behalf. MAP protects your brand and ensures that all authorized sellers are operating on a level playing field. MAP pricing enforcement can be challenging for some businesses, but you may succeed in this critical area by walking through these steps.
Develop and Effective MAP Policy
Before you can enforce your company’s pricing requirements, you must clearly define your pricing policy. Your MAP policy should include indicating firm pricing requirements that you expect all sellers to follow. The policy should be drafted without ambiguous or confusing wording. In many cases, short and direct policy works well. You may need to periodically update your MAP policy in the months ahead if you discover that your authorized sellers are confused about the terms or are taking advantage of loopholes.
Communicate Your Policies
Your MAP policy should be communicated directly to authorized sellers as soon as possible. Any time your MAP policies change, updates should be conveyed promptly. Understand that this is not a contract that they need to sign. Instead, it establishes guidelines that sellers must follow in order to continue doing business with you. You simply indicate what your policies are, and you expect compliance.
Announce and Enforce Penalties
As is the case with any rules, you will need to strictly enforce them in order to ensure maximum compliance. After all, if your sellers see that you are soft on enforcing the rules, they may be inclined to push the limits themselves. Specify penalties for non-compliance, and swiftly apply those penalties when necessary. While it is appropriate to give sellers a warning that they are in violation of MAP policies, you should avoid giving too many warnings. Sellers should understand that there are severe ramifications for non-compliance.
Find a Regular and Effective Monitoring Method
Your sellers are generally aware of some of their competitors’ prices. They can feel incredible pressure when others are not complying with your MAP policy. However, you may struggle to monitor pricing for all authorized and unauthorized sellers. Keep in mind that this involves identifying all sellers as well as actively reviewing their websites for price adjustments. Advanced technologies are available to help you monitor pricing, and it can also be used to send an initial violation notice automatically. This can dramatically reduce the time burden associated with MAP policy enforcement.
Your company’s MAP policy plays a critical role in your ability to protect your brand, stabilize the minimum price of your goods and ensure that your authorized sellers remain satisfied with your company. Utilize these effective tips to work toward maximum policy compliance with strict MAP pricing enforcement.
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