How important is the last mile in drinks brands’ distribution?

Drinks sales velocity is like your internet connection speed.

What matters is the speed at the end, not at the start:

You know when your connection is slow but you thought you had broadband?

Broadband might have reached your neighborhood. (Brand ambassador)

It might have reached your street. (Distributor)

But it might stop a couple of blocks before your home. (Wholesaler)

Then it travels on old cables and slows down immediately.

Same thing happens to your brand.

Broadband is working great before the last mile:

  • distillery made a great liquid
  • your agency made an awesome brand
  • your distributor is engaged with your brand.

Then it stops at the last mile because:

  • the bar prefers to order from a wholesaler you have no tie with
  • the bartender to whom someone asks your brand doesn’t know it’s there
  • no one at the bar reorders it because their fav wholesaler doesn’t stock it

It doesn’t matter how fast it was before that bottleneck.

Start with the end in mind.

Fix the last mile.