How we positioned Probrand as a brand that empowers IT buyers

We used powerful content and thought leadership to help Probrand gain visibility, establish authority and build its brand reputation

P robrand provides IT products, managed services and solutions to over 3,500 private and public sector organisations, via an accredited online marketplace. The marketplace connects buyers with more than 2,500 brands in a ‘live’ environment where prices and stock levels, on more than 300,000 products and services, are updated by the minute.


Probrand wanted to differentiate itself as a valued added reseller (VAR) by positioning itself as a brand that is empowering the IT buyer – helping them to make cost savings and embrace more efficient digital procurement processes.

To help Probrand tell this story, we looked at how it was already assisting buyers. One way was to review historic IT spending in order to educate customers on the size of margins that they had previously been paying to suppliers – typically, more than the accepted industry standard. This analysis often revealed startlingly high amounts were paid – sometimes more than 10 times the trade price.

We saw an opportunity to share this knowledge and capture the attention of IT buyers. We wanted to produce a report that would raise awareness of the scandalous mark-ups some resellers were charging – and enhance Probrand’s reputation as an ethical VAR in the process.

The PR campaign

To achieve this, we worked with the Probrand’s marketing team to generate the data and commentary needed. We would then use the commentary to position Probrand’s key spokespeople as thought leaders in the industry.

To maximise reach, we also segmented the data to cover various industries, including retail, education, healthcare and local government. This would allow us to reach a broad array of trade media.

Following the success of the initial report, we then turned the Produced Margins Survey into an annual event.

To add gravitas to subsequent reports, we sourced third party commentary from credible and authoritative sources within the procurement industry, including the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and the editor of Spend Matters.

“The steady stream of media coverage we received from the report has successfully helped to build Probrand’s reputation as a trustworthy reseller. It has also led to our supply chain director becoming a recognised thought leader on issues related to IT procurement. He is now regularly asked for his expert commentary by the broadcasters, broadsheets and our key trade press.”
Matt Royle Marketing Director

At a glance:

  • Established brand reputation viewed as thought leaders on IT buying
  • 50+ pieces of coverage in key target publications
  • Industry experts proactively approached by top tier media


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The enduring nature of these annual reports has allowed Probrand to gain visibility and build authority among its target audience.

Such has been the popularity of the report that journalists and procurement leaders now look out for its publication – and it often becomes an industry talking point. For example, a single piece of coverage on the technology website The Register, resulted in 200+ reader comments.

Since launching the first report, we have since secured 50+ pieces of coverage in target procurement and business titles. It has also hit a wide range of vertical media, in sectors that include legal, retail, manufacturing, charity and more.

The report also provided a platform for Probrand’s spokespeople. Some of the national TV and media titles that have featured Probrand’s supply chain director include:


The Times: Traders regularly tangled up in Brexit red tape 

BBC Newsnight (2.40 mins in)

The Engineer 

Supply Management – Three steps to better IT procurement 

Procurement – Digitising Procurement: the key to success or failure  

Media coverage

  • 'Hint of profiteering' among IT suppliers during lockdown

    The average margin paid by IT buyers rose to more than 50% as suppliers inflated prices during lockdown. Supply Management

  • Probrand study shows margins paid for IT soared in pandemic

    The margins being paid to IT suppliers soared to 50.84% during the Covid pandemic. Spend Matters

  • Councils charged triple the recommended mark-up on IT products

    One council was found to be paying margins of nearly 580% on its purchases Local Gov

  • Pandemic tech prices balloon as demand outweighs stocks and suppliers get greedy

    Hall of Shame as IT buyers admit to paying £110 for a £14 mouse and keyboard The Register