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Mark Wunderlich, Leading Rep, Joins Brand Media Coalition Executive Council

Mark Wunderlich, Founder and Principal of IncentiveSource, Inc., has joined the Executive Council of the Brand Media Coalition to help lead the effort to upgrade the industry’s brand and tap the $45 billion or more being sold through consumer retail outlets. IncentiveSource is a leading manufacturers’ representative serving the corporate gift, promotional marketing, incentive, and motivational marketplace, based in St. Louis.
IncentiveSource was founded in 1998 and has offices located in St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Seattle and Cincinnati. It represents dozens of the world’s leading brands. IncentiveSource received the 2019 Company of the Year award by INCENTIVE® Magazine at the 49th Annual IMRA Marketing Conference. The company’s brands include: Bushnell, Coleman, Computer Incentives, DPI
eCreamery, Jarden/JCH, Jura, Kleerwest, Nikon, Omaha Steaks, Orrefors Kosta Boda, Tumi, Zane’s and many others. 

A New Strategy Is Needed 

“There is no doubt that our industry remains completely unknown and needs a fresh new brand that focuses on what we do best. We help organizations enhance their own brands through gifting, promotional, event gifting and corporate amenities that tap the power of consumer brands to tell stories and connect with people,” Wunderlich explains. “This is the smartest approach I have seen yet to addressing the industry’s brand and visibility program. The name ‘premium rep’ is a non-starter. As anyone can see by looking at our web site, the term ‘Brand Specialist’ much better describes who we are and what we do.” 
More importantly, he adds, “We are seeing more distributors contacting us searching for brands who do not have a clue about where to effectively source brands…Some even still complain about the margin issue, even as I remind them that the actual net sale for them will be much higher because of the bigger order size. It’s clear to me that distributors need a fresh new education on the power of brands as business, event, promotional and event gifting, and where to buy them.” 

Time to Focus on the Power of Brands 

With over 20 years in the business, Wunderlich thinks the time is right to focus on the industry’s most compelling asset: the power of brands. “I believe we take for granted our greatest strength and differentiator, our ability to help organizations selectively use the right brands in the right programs with the right people to achieve their goals. There is too much focus on product and not enough on brand storytelling and program design, which our industry has largely overlooked. There is no way that a company will get the expertise, customization and personalization, and the ability to work with exceptions from a big-box retailer’s retail division.”
In his role as Brand Media Coalition Executive Council, Wunderlich will provide input into the outreach strategies and messages developed by the Brand Media Coalition, as well as support at regional education and outreach efforts with distributors on behalf of the coalition. 
The Brand Media Coalition provides distributors with all the tools they need to sell brands to end-users, as well as the ability to shop for brands through authorized sources at BrandMediaCoalition.com. “Selling brands is a much simpler story for distributors than selling incentive, recognition, and loyalty programs. Brands for business, event, promotional gifting, and amenities fit right into their business model and expertise, except that the focus now is on brands instead of products. The Brand Media Coalition protects the integrity of our market by ensuring that everyone buys brands through authorized sources for the designated purposes.” 

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