Building a stronger network of collaboration and knowledge sharing for leading member organisation, ESMA, was a major touchstone for Cosaris and how we bring stakeholders together. Using our Cosaris Proof Check, we united 138 individual businesses across 44 countries, analysing their own capabilities, unveiling development opportunities, and increasing internal collaboration. Our Proof Check resulted in a subsequent seminar and workshop providing insightful data and actionable strategies. We provided a unique service offering to ESMA members stimulating the exchange of ideas and building beneficial connections to help the organisation achieve its vision.

ESMA international network

county kildare, ireland

138 organisations across 44 countries

Consumer Goods

ESMA International Network is the only Distributor and Manufacturer Organisation for consumer goods across the world. Formed in 1976, the non-profit organisation is run by members on behalf of members, stimulating the exchange of ideas, build connections, and leverage our contacts to drive sales.

Top Challenges

  • Plug capability gaps
  • Enhance key insights and expand knowledge resource library
  • Bring clarity to retailer expectations around trade relationships
  • Increase development across membership base building international networks

Why Cosaris?

  • Wealth of industry knowledge
  • Expertise in strategy, organisation and capability development
  • Experience delivering membership events which provide actionable results
  • Diverse network of stakeholders who can enhance our research and provide unique perspectives


Key project successes

  • Using Cosaris’ Proof Check toolkit we were able to benchmark ESMA members amongst themselves and against customer expectations
  • Highlighting capability gaps and development opportunities for members; ensuring a game-changing workshop which yielded immediate results; building engagement between ESMA and its members


As a unique organisation, a large part of ESMA’s success engages its international network and how insights can benefit organisations across its entire member base. However, they were keen to help investigate the commercial capability gaps for all their stakeholders whilst increasing their scope and improving the library of resources and knowledge available to its members.


When we use the word bespoke, we really mean it.

This was very much the case with ESMA who were keen to understand varying capability gaps across their member base. So, we quite literally undertook a full assessment using our Cosaris Proof Check to really discover what made every ESMA stakeholder tick. Cosaris conducts a full appraisal of the stakeholders within and outside a company, a deep-dive into how the organisation interacts and communicates, a 360º evaluation of which areas need improvement and actionable strategies about how to benefit from new opportunities.

For ESMA we supervised this assessment, engaged the membership base in new and informative ways and subsequently provided a full workshop to disseminate our findings and work with ESMA’s stakeholders and members to collaborate smarter and harder as an association going forward.

“Cosaris led a most interesting and helpful workshop on Sales Capability for ESMA (European Sales & Marketing Association) members.

“As ESMA distributors reach more than 30 markets in Europe, Cosaris delivered a wealth of industry and market knowledge to provide guidance on a range of Sales & Marketing strategies for the consumer goods distributors who attended the event.”

Eddie Scaife




Knowing is only half the battle, the key is to understand too.

For ESMA we didn’t simply provide a quick fix of plugging knowledge gaps and presenting some sales and marketing tips, we worked with their members to truly understand what opportunities we could create through our insights. Cosaris surveyed key stakeholders across the membership organisation focusing on four key areas: strategy, management, information and customer relations. Collecting this research helped us in building trust with ESMA members and discovering the capability gaps they were facing but also the areas which we could add value to once these gaps were filled.

Using data from our survey as well as insights from our vast network of collaborators and experts, we were able to deliver an informative workshop which showcased retail trends, implications for distributors whilst also addressing retailer expectations and unique market experiences.

Delivering this in such a bespoke manner allowed the members to learn in a way which was relevant to their very specific association whilst also allowing ESMA to highlight their purpose and mission. Our insights ensured a better understanding of ESMA and each stakeholders own strengths and weaknesses whilst also delivering key tools to further develop commercial capabilities and start the conversation on how to continue to improve the resources and knowledge they provide.


Cosaris helps to achieve our partner’s vision and for ESMA part of that vision was to build connections and leverage their strategic collaboration with retailers.

Our assessment highlighted the commercial capability gap in terms of strategic collaboration so we ensured our Proof Check, seminar and workshop all focused on multi-stakeholder collaboration, specifically with their retail stakeholders.

We provided data and resources on understanding retailer strategies and challenges and how to improve their supply chain efficiency helping them to better understand retailer priorities and expectations when it comes to their trading partners. This all assisted with how they collaborate and ensured they have the tools to build strategic relationship by addressing the right topics, and build the right capabilities.

Cosaris also delivered training on how to improve collaboration throughout their businesses whether that was internal employees or retail partners or other stakeholders across their entire community.

All this collaboration achieved a significant improvement in the understanding of what cooperation and sharing insights can deliver for members and how they can turn those into results immediately. Also, by having stakeholders from different member organisations in the room we were able to show ESMA how much value shared experiences and networking brings to a trade association.


A 2022 Global Workplace study showed how disengaged employees cost the world an unbelievable $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.

For member organisations this scale of unengaged stakeholders is especially evident, so we ensured our partnership with ESMA provided clear and practical insights alongside a chance to communicate during the workshop.

By engaging with members on the survey we energised the senior stakeholders at the workshop as they had already been able to voice their insights and we provided an additional platform for them to highlight their views and strategise how to find new opportunities around them. For ESMA we sparked a transformation within their member database by showcasing what results they can achieve when they engage with connections outside each organisation and across different markets but still within the same trade association network.

The benefits for ESMA and each participant of our programme were unique insights of how they can adapt, grow and increase their reach and profitability as an industry. The workshop allowed them to engage with their own and other stakeholder’s feedback and together we achieved incredible results on identifying and using opportunities based on current trends and developments as well as exploring other growth channels beyond retail.


Cosaris bring experiences to life to transform the way member organisations interact with hundreds of separate businesses under their umbrella.

For ESMA, our approach was to bring the experience of sharing knowledge, forging new partnerships and gaining outside perspectives all within one engaging workshop. By experiencing innovations from outside their own retail silo and then collaborating as a membership organisation with one goal, the members were able to discover new connections, prioritise their future strategies separately and as an association, and collaboratively leverage new opportunities for their network’s market and business strategy.

Our approach to experiences provides a full 360º program rather than simply being a workshop or capability training session. This experience ensured internal stakeholders learnt from their own unique solutions while simultaneously being able to benchmark own capabilities and strategies to what customers really want and need. Providing all this content in an experiential learning workshop and discussion group allowed ESMA to implement new ideas in real-time and identifying opportunities and solutions together as a team.