One of our work items for 2018 was to look at our offer to both Imperial end-use commercial customers and the Esso branded reseller (EBR) network. Sounds easy, right? Look at what you have and update, how hard can that be? Well, six months and approximately a gigabyte of information later, the reseller portion of this work is nearly ready to launch!
Kim Nix and I undertook this project with the goal of identifying opportunities for us to create additional value and help the network move towards Colin’s ambitious vision of the reseller’s business by 2025. We quickly realized that the only way to do this would be to talk with our resellers directly. So, over five weeks in the fall, we met with individuals from nine different resellers, selected to represent the diverse mix of businesses we work with across the country. I can honestly say this road trip was one of the highlights of all my years working with the EBR network! It was lots of fun and very informative. Returning home the hard work began…the interviews took us weeks to digest…and helped us produce a work list of items for 2019 and 2020 that need to be adjusted to maximize the benefit to both you and Imperial.
Building long term profitable businesses.
Our review showed us that we have many of the right elements and programs in place, but tweaks are needed to help us move towards the 2025 vision. There were a few common responses across the country, many of them positive. The value of the Esso Brand was something all agreed on…it is nationally recognized and enables you to create a connection with customers in communities where your brand may not be as strong. The most frequent concern we heard was the difficulty in finding good drivers. Most agreed that retention is harder than it used to be, but finding the right people to begin with is an industry-wide challenge that is not going away. We are looking at how we can support you with this issue, but there is no magic bullet. The other common issue was an eye-opener and humbling for me. Everywhere we went people wanted more communication from Imperial: proactive communication from your direct contacts in Sales, Operations and Marketing; clarity around those roles; clarity on the offer and programs we provide; and more frequent communications on all topics. I did not realize we had missed the mark on this and it is where the majority of our work will be focused in 2019.
We will continue to offer programs and support under three pillars of excellence – Sales, Operations and Marketing. Each of these pillars has a dedicated support role and programs designed to help you continue to build long term, profitable businesses. In areas where we cannot directly control the items that impact your business (supply reliability, for instance) we will continue to work as your advocates. It is our hope you will see improvements in support and communication in the year to come. Our goal is to help you succeed long term with the right offer and the right programs.
These are minor updates, meant to help with your day to day branding needs. The biggest addition to the document is with small company vehicles. If you have a need that is not addressed in the guidelines, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your requirement.
Did you know that this site is also a repository for the oval in various formats? If what you need is not on the site or you do not have access, please reach out to Daphne.
After dinner, ExxonMobil’s commercial sales manager for the Americas, Scott Howard, shared his admiration for Canada’s branded reseller business. He expressed how impressed he was with the reseller network and the way the Esso Branded Resellers are strong brand ambassadors. Resellers have a strong, important connection with the local customers. “You have a great reputation globally [within ExxonMobil], and this is a great model that we are now taking to other countries, beginning with Mexico and the U.S.”
In his remarks before dinner at the Calgary Petroleum Club, Imperial’s chairman, president and CEO Rich Kruger pulled no punches about the importance of the oil industry to the Canadian economy.
Mr. Kruger talked about our role to provide safe, reliable, affordable and responsible energy to consumers. He went on to explain that the world will need more and more energy to fuel its economy, the standard of living and the quality of life that we take for granted.
Responsible oil sands development
Mr. Kruger pointed out that technology, patience and perseverance in the Canadian oil sands industry will lead to success. Canadians should be proud of our industry, and not apologize. “I think we’re in a very noble profession. I’m very proud of it.”
Imperial invests $150 million to $200 million per year in fundamental science and technology – year in and year out – regardless of the price of oil, he explained.
Kruger closed by commenting on the role of branded resellers. Imperial’s strategy, he said, is to do what we do really well, and then, through the reseller and distributor networks, reach customers such that their needs can be met on a reliable and cost-effective basis.
“Thank you for your partnership with us, for your growth plans, for your patience at times,” he said. “I can assure you that you have a partner committed to you, committed to the long-term, and committed to your strengthening your business in the same way we’re committed to our shareholders’ prosperity.”
From April 30-May 2, 2018, nearly 40 Esso Branded Reseller business leaders from across Canada, plus more than a dozen managers from Imperial and ExxonMobil, got together to learn about new industry trends, share ideas and network at the 2018 Branded Reseller Leadership Conference in Calgary.
The theme of the conference was ‘Leading the way,’ and over the two days participants heard from Imperial presenters as well outside experts – all of whom shared strategies and best practices to help branded reseller businesses win in their local markets. The resellers who replied to the closing survey all indicated the event exceeded expectations.
The conference was kicked off with an interview with legendary Formula One racing car driver David Coulthard. Click here for the complete interview The remaining Tuesday morning presentations featured the future of Canada’s fuels industry and an overview of Imperial’s innovative approaches to managing product supply in order to better serve customers and win in the marketplace.
Just before heading off to lunch, First Nation spiritual leader Hal Eagletail delivered a traditional blessing, setting the stage for the afternoon.
Focused Indigenous Relations
The entire afternoon on Tuesday was devoted to the topic of Indigenous Relations. The first presentation, by Imperial’s Jezelle Zatorski, touched on the history of First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in Canada, and the opportunity to establish more respectful and mutually beneficial relationships in the future. Then, the CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, JP Gladu, spoke about the growing importance of the Indigenous marketplace in Canada, and the fact that incorporating Aboriginal businesses in supply-chain decisions can lead to winning outcomes for all. Third on the program was Imperial’s Jordan Nail, who shared some best practices for engaging with Indigenous businesses, and highlighted how two Esso Branded Resellers – Doak’s Bulk Fuels in northern Manitoba, and Fort McMurray’s Chinook Fuels – have successfully partnered with local Indigenous organizations. The three speakers then fielded questions from the audience. (View the Indigenous Relations toolkit here.)
Rich Kruger dinner remarks a highlight
As usual, the conference provided various opportunities for networking and socializing, with the highlight being the Tuesday dinner at the Calgary Petroleum Club that featured opening comments from Imperial Chairman, President and CEO Rich Kruger (click here for the complete article).
Best Managed Lab Experience
Wednesday morning began with an insight-filled workshop called Best Managed Lab Experience offered by senior consultants from Deloitte. During the session, conference participants were divided into groups that took turns brainstorming best practice ideas in each of the four categories used in assessing Canadian businesses for the ‘Best Managed Companies’ program. (View the workshop report here.)
Safety leadership session
Calgary-based safety consultant Glyn Jones shared insights and practices for developing a leadership culture related to safety and operations. (View presentation highlights here.)
Commercial Marketing and Innovation
Wednesday afternoon began with a session on business-to-business marketing, led by ExxonMobil manager David Lunsford. The second part of this presentation featured Imperial’s Luis Victoria, who delivered a lively case study on the marketing strategy driving the success of Esso Diesel Efficient fuel. The day’s final presentation also came from ExxonMobil and showcased how the company is adopting leading-edge practices to transform the business for the digital age.
According to the closing survey, resellers all agreed the conference met expectations, was worth the investment to attend and provided good opportunities to network and connect. One participant wrote: “Thank you for an informative, educating, entertaining and motivating agenda. Happy to have attended.”
We win together, says branded reseller manager Colin Cochran
After thanking the 19 Esso Branded Reseller businesses represented at the conference for their contribution to Imperial’s fuel sales performance and for being ambassadors for the brand, Colin Cochran spent a significant share of his presentation recognizing a number of important milestones across the network.
Reseller milestones saluted
First, he saluted Dowler-Karn Ltd. – headquartered in St. Thomas in southwestern Ontario – which is celebrating its 75th year of association with the Esso brand. Similarly, he highlighted Harnois Groupe pétrolier from St. Thomas, Quebec, which celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2018.
How resellers contribute to the community
Colin then gave examples of the many ways that branded resellers are making a difference in the community through their contributions to local hospitals, sponsorships of local sports, and by taking the Stop, Think and Act message to customers and the general public. He also cited examples of the investments various businesses are making to expand and improve their facilities and equipment to better serve customers and represent the Esso brand, and in particular, the new Esso Diesel Efficient fuel.
Finally, he explained his aggressive goal for the business – to significantly increase the network’s fuel volume and earnings by 2025 – and outlined the steps required to make this happen, together with the ways that Imperial is committed to helping branded resellers win.
“When [branded resellers] are successful and win in your marketplace, we win. The support that Imperial has given us to help grow your businesses is tremendous,” he said later. “We have a wonderful opportunity to win – together.”
Something exciting and new has happened at Imperial. The company has brought to the market a proprietary additive for diesel fuel that will offer customers a higher level of performance.
This unique new product is known as Esso Diesel Efficient. It was tested by an independent, world-renowned third-party test facility, where testing demonstrated an average fuel saving of 2% and a reduction of emissions of 2% for CO2 and 11% of NOx1.
Esso Diesel Efficient fuel contains an effective detergent that will clean fuel lines in most diesel engines. This is important in today’s engines that operate with high-pressure rail systems, in which fuel is exposed to high temperatures. As fuel passes over the hot valve train, heat can cause deposits to form. These deposits, as well as deposits that form on injectors, are removed by Esso Diesel Efficient fuel. Once the engine is cleaned, the combustion process improves, leading to less fuel used and fewer emissions created.
Stay tuned to this space to learn more about Esso Diesel Efficient fuel and the improvements it can bring to your customers’ operations.
Established in 1981, the Esso Medals and Certificates of Achievement program celebrates the young players you’re proud to have on your team – who make everyone around them better. To date, nearly two million medals of achievement and almost 10 million certificates of participation have been awarded to young boys and girls on behalf of Esso.
Under the program, three medals of achievement for most improved, most dedicated, and most sportsmanlike player are available to every hockey team registered with Hockey Canada. As well, this year each team can receive certificates of participation autographed by the 2017 Canadian World Junior Team Captains and Canadian Women’s National Team Captains to recognize the efforts of every player.
Pepco Corporation continued their focus on their sales and customer team development, with the enhanced Professional Selling Process course held in Montreal August 9-11, bringing the total trained personnel to approximately 50.
This enhanced course covers the former three modules, Professional Selling Process, Benefit Selling and Advanced Negotiations in three days vs. six. The revisions made requires pre and post reading by all attendees to take full advantage of the course, however saves on Reseller-sponsored travel and time away from the business.
In addition to the Sales Team, whose primary responsibility is knowledge and execution of the sales process, benefit selling and negotiations, Pepco’s approach to team development, provides an exposure of the three modules to their Customer Sales Associates who support the sales team. Customer interactions then always become potential leads for new calls, hi-grade for any unique customers learnings and also potential acquisitions as smaller resellers seek larger resellers to fulfill their succession plans.
The training will also be followed by ongoing job shadowing by Sales Directors Gaetan Briand and Louis Pelletier, reinforcing the sales principles with all team members in a coaching environment.
As part of the focus on team development, Pepco has committed to having everyone in the corporation attend either the classroom sales program or the virtual Bridging Service to Sales webinar in the next few months. The Bridging session is one or two hours (we have developed a shorter version especially for your drivers and their particular needs) and will help front-line personnel identify opportunities and deal with them in an appropriate manner.
Contact your Reseller Business Advisor for more information as to how these courses can benefit your business.
For me, summer and fall end up being great times to think. Particularly, now that I have been working with you for the last 12 months, it is a great time to reflect on the business. A great time to think and look forward to what might be the Esso Branded Reseller network of the future.
Some of you may be familiar with the “curve of success” – where at some point enterprise performance stalls and degrades after a long period of sustained growth. We have seen a great deal of growth in the last number of years, and now we have the opportunity to learn and determine the best way to continue to win in the marketplace, and to prevent “performance stall”. There is strong support from our organization (both Calgary & Houston) to continue growing the Esso Branded Reseller business and to begin shaping future sustained growth for the years to come. In the coming weeks, several of you will be engaged in discussions to help form our 2025 EBR strategy. I would love to hear what you think will help us all win in the market.
Here are some items to consider as we look to the future:
With competition and customer needs changing, what will it take to make the Esso Brand, and your businesses, the leaders in the industry?
How do we retain and attract new customers and new investors?
What technology/strategies/methods could we implement to differentiate you in the market? How do we leverage your teams to be part of the change?
Imperial & ExxonMobil are investing heavily in innovation; thinking differently about how we shape our offers, and tailor them to suit the needs of the customers. Sitting still and doing the same things puts us at risk of seeing performance stall and degrade over time. Some of you know from recent experiences, I am happy to try something new…with the end goal of a more successful enterprise for all of you. I feel now is the time to start making plans for the next evolution of the Esso Branded Reseller business. So let’s go!
Thank you for all you do for the Esso Brand. Thank you for your ongoing business.
Recently, Sofie Andreou posted this article and video on her LinkedIn account. It is republished here with her permission.
“In my experience, companies have not figured out how to visualize their communication’s calendar to achieve their sales success. Lately, I’ve been introducing this idea of a Goal Oriented Story-Boards to my clients and it’s working well! Once we complete that, we’re then ready to embed meaningful visuals it into their Communication’s Calendars!
Here are the four general steps I suggest: Trusted Visuals, Sound Bites, Mixed Presentation & Structured Calendars.
1) Choose one of your business purposes or themes, think of the visuals that will instill trust. Remember, people need to FEEL in order to trust or remember you. They need to trust you before they will be enticed to click on your Call to Actions. (Call to Actions are links you want them to click on, like buy now!)
Some suggestions for these visuals include real EYEBALLS! Meaning, visuals of the real people involved in making you great; specifically you or your staff. Another example of meaningful real visuals could be your client reactions to you product or services, awards you’ve won or behind the scenes adventures.
2) NEXT, take each theme or purpose and turn them into “Sound Bites”. What are all the parts of the purpose? Share an engaging story. Take your target audience with you on business related adventures like buying trips, conferences, packaging, and award banquets.
3) Mix up the Sound Bites into different kinds of visuals to make your posts exciting, specifically: live-streams, videos, links to your website and photos!
4) Now you have gathered your story into meaningful visual sound bites, you are ready to create your communication’s calendar.
Turn each of these sound bites effective posts across your chosen social media platforms appropriately!
Since photos and videos behave differently on each of your Website, Facebook Instagram, Twitter and in eNewsletters, the next few Digital Marketing Tip Vlogs will be on how to leverage each type of your visual posts appropriately across each of your company’s chosen digital platforms.
This item, along with all Sofie’s Coffee Break Learning digital marketing video tutorials, are accessible to you through Esso Delivers.”