Within many categories of consumer products, manufacturers differ markedly in how intensively they distribute their brands among retailers. The authors enhance understanding of why such differences in distribution intensity occur. Literature in the marketing and economics disciplines on brand and channel management, agency theory, and credible commitments, combined with extensive field interviews, provides the foundation for a conceptual framework that centers on proposed moderator effects. Data collected from manufacturers in the consumer electronics industry are used to test the conceptual framework. Credible commitments by retailers in the form of contractual agreements and investments are shown to moderate the relationships of manufacturer brand strategy and channel practices with distribution intensity.