Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Enforcement Guide for Brands

Countless steps happen to your product as it undergoes the transformation from brilliant idea to launch and mass marketing. After all of the hard work that has gone into your brainchild, getting a fair price is a necessity. Minimum advertised pricing (MAP) enforcement can help you to achieve this all-important goal.

Understanding MAP

MAP is the lowest price at which you will allow vendors to advertise your product for sale. For example, if you believe that a price of $200 for your product will enable you and the reseller to make a profit while simultaneously providing a fair cost to the consumer, you would set this as the MAP. Resellers would be required to advertise your item for sale at no less than $200. Should they violate this rule and you learn of the infraction, it is your right to remove your product from the vendor’s store temporarily or even permanently if you choose. 

The Online Loophole

Notice, however, that “MAP” stands for minimum advertised price. Technically, an online reseller can get around MAP by inserting text that says, “add to shopping cart for price” and ultimately get less than MAP for the item. At least for now, this controversial subversion tactic is completely legal.

What is MAP Enforcement?

Although the waters of product pricing are murky and treacherous to navigate, MAP monitoring strategies can help. To put it simply, this involves the manufacturer instituting a pricing policy that the reseller agrees to uphold. In exchange, the brand company pledges to do all it can to enforce your pricing. As a result, violators are removed from the marketplace and everyone’s profit margin is protected.

Advantages of MAP Enforcement

When product costs are consistent, everyone wins. Here’s why:

  • The brand’s reputation for quality and consistency is maintained.
  • Unauthorized sellers can be identified and forced out, leading to a cleaner and more ethical marketplace.
  • Prices are consistent across sellers.
  • The retailer can more effectively stock and advertise products that have a stable price and can be consistently profitable.
  • Retailers can sell more when unethical ones are removed.
  • Consumers get genuine products at a fair cost from an authorized seller.
  • Brand loyalty can be fostered and maintained.

In a word, enforcement of MAP leads to benefits for all involved in the production, marketing, sales and use of products.

How to Get Started With MAP Monitoring

Getting started with MAP enforcement is not as hard as you might think.

  • Write and launch a MAP policy for your products. Make sure to cover what is not allowed, including discount coupons and in-cart pricing, and be clear that violators will be barred from selling your items.
  • Use automated software to monitor the web so that you can actively enforce your policy.
  • When violators flout your policy, remove your products from their stores. This rewards your loyal vendors while preserving your credibility.

In the dog-eat-dog world of e-commerce, enforcing MAP is one of your strongest strategies. Implementing it on a comprehensive and consistent basis will attract high-quality retailers who will sell your products while protecting and projecting your brand’s image and mission. Your innovative products will combine with their marketing savvy and customer service to form a powerful alliance that can last for years.
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