20 Things to Consider When Preparing a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Policy - Part 3
MAP Policy Part Three: Life Is Complicated; Your MAP Policy Shouldn’t Be.
Attention spans are short; do your resellers really want to read and digest a MAP policy that is long and overly complicated? This week Vorys eControl dives into what you can do to help increase reseller compliance with your company’s MAP policy. Did you miss last week’s content? For MAP policy basics, check out our blog post here and for dispelling the acronym confusion and tips on MAP resourcing, check out last’s week blog here.
11. Short and Sweet. Chances are your resellers are flooded with various companies’ pricing policies. To increase the likelihood of MAP compliance, a MAP policy should be clear, concise, and easy for a layperson to understand. The longer and more complicated the policy (or the smaller the font size), the harder it will be for resellers to follow and ultimately comply.
12. Be a Purist. Frequently, companies try to include channel controls, online sales restrictions, or brand guidelines all in the contents of a MAP Policy, resulting in a complicated and multi-purpose document above and beyond the contents needed for a MAP policy. Save those other important guardrails for an Authorized Seller Program (that communicates channel controls, online sales restrictions, and other quality measures) that lives separate and apart from your company’s MAP policy.
13. It’s All About Balance. A workable MAP policy for your organization strikes the balance of brand protection and desired flexibility with your resellers to engage in permissible advertising practices. When drafting your MAP policy, you want to consider many factors, including things such as the common advertising practices used by your resellers, your resellers’ typical promotional periods, and whether your products are cyclical or seasonal in nature.
14. Going Digital. Many companies are still operating off of hard copy MAP policies that have been previously snail mailed or are using paper MAP schedules, resulting in outdated MAP schedules sitting on the desks of buyers. To increase MAP policy compliance, consider going digital and housing your MAP policy and MAP schedule online. Not only is it easier to make updates, but it also helps the company avoid the potential back-and-forth with resellers about “confusion” or “mistakes” regarding the currently effective minimum advertised price.
15. Interplay with the MAP Policy and an Authorized Seller Program. If your company has an Authorized Seller Program, it is important to understand the intersection of that program with the MAP policy and how and when to utilize each tool. For example, if you have a reseller who is only authorized to sell your products in brick-and-mortar and on their own website (www.retailer.com) but is found to be advertising your product on an online marketplace below the specified minimum advertised price, you can address the impermissible use of a marketplace channel via your Authorized Seller Program and the advertising below the MAP as a violation of the MAP policy (and not vice versa). We have found that companies designing and implementing both at the same time have the best success of properly utilizing each tool in the appropriate circumstances.
Want to chat MAP? Please reach out to attorney Jessica Cunning at firstname.lastname@example.org or attorney Kate Early at email@example.com for a complimentary 30 minute virtual session. Jessica and Kate are both strategy leaders in the firm’s nationally recognized Vorys eControl practice, helping companies draft, implement, and execute workable MAP policies.
Want to learn more? Consider reading Vorys eControl’s white paper “The Winning Strategy for MAP Success and Long-Term Brand Value in the eCommerce Market” accessible here.