Title: The strategic value of niche importers in international marketing channels

Authors: Trond Hammervoll; Kjell Toften

Addresses: Harstad University College, Havnegata 5, NO-9480 Harstad, Norway ' Andøya Space Center, Andenes, Norway

Abstract: Despite their importance, there is little documentation of the role of niche product importers in the marketing channel. This paper contributes theoretically to the field of study by exploring important ways importers of niche products provide value to their suppliers. Data from ten importers of fine, premium, or specialised wine and food are analysed. A reduced set of key importer value-enhancing activities for niche products is identified. For niche suppliers it is important to use importers that focus on appropriate market segments and that offer comprehensive international logistics solutions. Suppliers should strive to establish partnerships that allows for development of their capabilities and offerings. Such partnership should be based on a good fit between the two organisations. This could include long-term, close, and personal relationships, frequent and direct contact with key people, and similar business philosophies, values, and objectives.

Keywords: supplier partnerships; supplier relations; customer relations; niche importers; niche imports; international marketing channels; niche products; importing; wines; food products; market segments; international logistics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2014.066464

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2014 Vol.6 No.2, pp.119 - 129

Received: 24 Dec 2013
Accepted: 15 Jul 2014

Published online: 14 Jan 2015 *

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