Hats off to the Private Brand Tire Group, and its new executive director, Don Dominguez, for taking positive action rather than simply complaining in the face of adverse market conditions. The group, presently composed of 22 companies that market private brand tires, is negotiating special discounts for its members and their customers on a wide variety of goods and services.
The idea is to provide dealers with additional reasons for carrying private brand tires besides low price and brand exclusivity within their local marketplace.
For as long as anyone can remember, private brand marketers have been at the mercy of market conditions influencing tire prices.
Historically, they have fared well in times when tire demand was sufficient to provide private brands with a price advantage over the tire manufacturers' so-called ``flag'' or associate ``house'' brands.
But private brands usually suffered during periods when tire supplies exceeded demand and manufacturers shaved prices on their products attempting to maintain satisfactory production levels.
This scenario could be about to change thanks to Mr. Dominguez and others in the group who are trying to give dealers additional incentive for doing business with a private-brand marketer or distributor—namely, access to money-saving discounts on non-tire purchases ranging from office supplies and printing to vehicle leasing and group insurance coverage.
Whether this effort will prove successful remains to be seen. But there is no denying it represents a creative approach to solving one of the tire industry's oldest and thorniest marketing problems.
What's more, such an endeavor should be particularly welcome in an era when price-cutting already has wrought the demise of a significant number of smaller private brand players.
This new program on the part of the Private Brand Tire Group deserves the close inspection and open-minded consideration of private brand marketers and independent tire dealers alike.