WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA (BRAIN)—After four years in the U.S. market, German accessories brand Ergon is expanding its U.S. retail sales outreach. Last month, Ergon USA hired Albert Yeh as senior business and marketing manager to set up a sales and product launch strategy.
“We have the infrastructure, we have the product, we have the Web site; now we’re going after our shops and dealers. What Albert’s here for is to create a structured attack plan,” said Jeffrey Neal, vice president of U.S. operations.
Yeh previously worked with Neal for three years at Brave Soldier, an athletic skin care line. He returns to the bike industry after spending the past two years helping to build the designer footwear brand, Esquivel.
Ergon has grown in the U.S. market with the help of sponsored athletes Sonya Looney and Jeff Kerkove, who have served as brand ambassadors at races and handled sales outreach and dealer support. But the brand to date has not had dedicated sales reps.
Neal said with 150 SKUs now and a new line of gloves coming out this spring, the brand needs dedicated in-market reps to support its dealers. “We have a complex offering now; we can’t rely on just distributors,” said Neal.
In addition to forming a sales team that will include some 15 outside sales reps, Yeh is creating a targeted plan to reach the right retail stores. Neal said as many as 2,000 stores have at one time purchased Ergon products, but it counts 500 as core retail customers.
“We have strong marketing and the brand awareness is growing. This will continue to be reinforced,” said Yeh. “The next phase is to translate this awareness and support to our Ergon account base.”