NCC Marketing Guidelines
The purpose of these Marketing Guidelines is to ensure that:
- NCC trademarks are strengthened for the good of all Authorized NCC Dealers (ANCCD’s).
- NCC trademarks & products are represented correctly and consistently in the marketplace.
- NCC products are serviced professionally and directly by ANCCD’s within their territory.
- All ANCCD’s have a level playing field.
NCC is supportive of Dealer Sales and Marketing activities, and all NCC sales literature is available to ANCCD’s, as well as proprietary images for their websites. However, there is a growing need to control the alteration of NCC brands, trademarks and product representation, especially as it relates to the internet.
The integrity of NCC products, our marketing message, and the integrity of our dealers, is paramount to the continued growth and success for everyone.
If you or your graphic/web designer have questions on the information below, please contact us early in your design process to ensure the finished product is in compliance.
NCC Brands and Trademarks
This is a partial list of important Natural Choice trademark terms – “Natural Choice”, “ION”, EZChange, SlimLine, CarbonPlus, InstaChill, RapidHot, “Clean. Simple. Smart.”, “Freshly Filtered, Instantly Chilled”, “the ultimate drinking water appliance”, and others.
- NCC trademarks were created by NCC. They are the sole property of NCC and can be used by authorized Dealers only with permission from NCC.
- ANCCD’s are required to place an attribution to Natural Choice on the bottom of every page of literature or website that contains an NCC trademark. For example, “ION and Natural Choice are trademarks of Natural Choice Corporation and used with permission.”
- ANCCD’s are prohibited from NCC to use NCC brands and trademarks in SEO campaigns, including keywords and internet ads such asGOOGLE/YAHOO/BING, or other similar Internet Search Engines. Modifying, splitting, or recombining NCC trademarks for either ad or search terms is further prohibited; for example, Carbon_Plus or NaturalChoice are not allowed.
- ANCCD’s cannot use NCC brands or trademarks in Internet advertising copy. This includes banner or keyword paid sponsor ads. For example, if you have banner ads, or purchase the keyword “water cooler”, your ad copy that appears may not use any NCC trademark.
- ANCCD’s cannot use any NCC brand or trademark term in a URL address. This includes full or partial use within any internet domain name. Purchasing the term “carbonplusfilter.com” would be a violation and we will request you sign over the rights to the URL based on trademark laws.
- ANCCD’s are not allowed to sell any NCC product or accessory directly on any website, including your own (via shopping cart or similar method). This also includes eBay (or other auction sites), shopping sites such as Amazon, or shopping comparison sites such as Shopzilla, NexTag, and others.
- ANCCD’s are not allowed to use NCC trademarks as part of another brand name, such as “Aquazone’s CarbonPlus Filter”.
- ANCCD’s are not allowed to use NCC trademarks in blogs, press releases, or other forms of advertising and/or media without prior approval from NCC.
NCC Product Representation
- ANCCD’s should closely follow the existing NCC printed literature for use of images and text. ANCCD’s are not allowed to alter the text, or to modify NCC images, or to replace NCC images with their own.
- If NCC literature is used on your website, you must show the complete piece, without alterations, and include all pages. For example, you are not allowed to use the PDF of the ION brochure without the front and back cover.
- All NCC brands and trademarks must remain as they appear in NCC images, literature, and on the physical products. For example, you cannot alter the image of the ION logo on the Faucet Cover, nor can you physically cover it with a sticker when it’s placed in service at a customer location.
- ANCCD’s are not allowed to misrepresent NCC products, their capabilities, or their specifications. For example, the use of the word “bacteria” is not allowed in any manner, on any webpage or literature pertaining to NCC products. References to NCC competition, including Bottled Water, cannot infer bacteria in their products or make any claims that cannot be substantiated by facts (i.e. lab tests) that are approved and endorsed by NCC.
- ANCCD’s cannot “rebrand” NCC products as their own. For example, it is not allowed to refer to the ION as “AquaZone’s ION”, or the “AquaZone Water Cooler”, or “AquaZone’s Premium Line”. The ION needs to be correctly referenced and conveyed to the reader as the “ION, by Natural Choice Corporation”, or the “Natural Choice ION”.
- ANCCD’s cannot show other non-NCC accessories on the same web pages and in the same brochures as NCC products. For example, Dealers need to show the CarbonPlus filtration system as specified by NCC, and not substitute filtration systems.
- ANCCD’s are not allowed to create a website whose sole focus is NCC products. The intent should be to integrate NCC products into their existing website – and under their existing company name. Dealer websites need to clearly communicate that their company is a separate entity and the content of the website has to be largely centered on the Dealer’s company and service capabilities. NCC Products must be just one part of that website.
- ANCCD’s must communicate their status as an “Authorized Natural Choice Dealer” directly on the webpage or printed literature, and include a visible and notable link back to Natural Choice website, at www.naturalchoicewater.com.
- ANCCD’s are not allowed to list any pricing for any NCC product or accessory on their website or blog.
- Email and fax “blasts” and campaigns need to be tightly targeted and strictly limited to the Dealer’s “territory”. Content of email and fax blasts concerning NCC Products requires prior approval from NCC Corporate.
Dealer Sales Territory
NCC does not grant geographic exclusivity to dealers; however, we restrict access to our products and encourage development of a local market by a limited number of dealers. NCC does not sell to catalog companies or internet store fronts (such as waterfilters.com).
An ANCCD’s “territory” is the geographic area defined by the ability of the Dealer to sell/rent and service NCC products through a direct, full-time employee of the Dealer (i.e. on the dealer’s payroll, and not a contracted representative, service rep, agent, or other 3rd party). Where the Dealer is not able to send a full-time employee for immediate after-sales service, the Dealer is not approved for selling/renting in that location.
In most cases, this territory is typically a 50-100 mile radius from the Dealer’s physical company location.
If you have questions about your “territory”, please contact us for a discussion and clarification.
- Lead Collection - Sales leads collected by ANCCD’s (through website or other means), that represent business opportunities outside their “territory” must be referred to NCC Corporate for coordination with other ANCCD’s.
In the past, when Dealers have forwarded leads to NCC Corporate, it leads to cooperation between dealers that is based on trust and respect for each Dealer’s salespeople, pricing practices, and service arrangements. Leads are passed on for free, and there is no compensation to a dealer for the lead.
When arrangements are attempted directly between parties – with side deals for fees, revenue sharing, or perhaps just payment for installation/service - misunderstandings can occur and dealers are less likely to work together in the future. Any arrangements between two dealers without prior approval from NCC Corporate are strictly forbidden and will result in a dealer being de-authorized.
In the event there is no Dealer available in a territory to handle the opportunity, then we prefer to let the customer wait until we can qualify a professional company to represent NCC products.
- ANCCD’s can sell or rent to locations within their “territory” only. If a customer has multiple locations that reach outside of the “territory”, the Dealer cannot make a sale or rental of NCC products in those outside locations. For example, if WalMart Corporate is renting the ION in Little Rock, Arkansas, the local dealer is not allowed to discuss ION sales opportunities to other locations outside their “territory”.
- ANCCD’s are not allowed to sell NCC products to any other reseller, such as wholesalers, retailers, contractors or buying groups. ANCCD’s are also not allowed to enter into cooperative selling arrangements with other companies, whether an ANCCD or not.
Failure to follow the above Marketing Guidelines is cause for termination of an Authorized NCC Dealer, including a withdrawal of all rights and privileges, including use of all NCC trademarks, and access to NCC Products.