5 steps to success for brand partnership campaigns
Written by Laura Martin, Senior Client Executive, Capture.
There are several reasons why partnering with another brand is a great idea for a shopper campaign. Increased visibility, reduced media costs, out of aisle exposure and the potential to reach a new audience to name but a few. However, the implementation of brand partnerships is notoriously tricky, and various hurdles must be over-come to ensure a campaign is delivered successfully and with all brands involved benefitting.
Our vast experience in brand partnerships means we’re well equipped for bringing brands together collaboratively, and we’re true believers in the power of a partnership. Below, we’ve compiled our knowledge and put together a shopper brand partnership step by step guide.
#1: Choose the Perfect Partner
As apparent as it may seem, ultimately the success of a partnership rests on the idea and reason behind brands coming together. We’d always recommend partnering with a brand that has similar brand values to yours, or, when brought together becomes a natural pairing. Tea & cake, bacon & ketchup, or gin & tonic are all synonymous to a usage occasion. A partnership doesn’t always need to be as obvious as this, but always make sure you’d consider your brand to be in a similar market to your own, with comparable brand values, target audience, health credentials and price. This way, it’ll be an easier job to grow incremental sales for both brands. We like this pairing between Kleenex & Piriteze, two brands you wouldn’t automatically associate together, but, through a simple idea and clever creative the pairing makes obvious sense.
#2: Understand the shopper media guidelines
With so much on offer within shopper, navigating the many options can prove tricky for just one brand, let alone two. Extra considerations must be made due to the rigid retailer templates and creative guidelines brands must adhere to; not all touch-points can feature more than one brand and we typically see POS only allowing room for pack-shots and minimal information. Choose touchpoints at relevant points along the shopper journey that allow for higher share of brand voice to effectively communicate a brand partnership. Tanqueray Gin & Fever Tree did exactly this with their experiential activity. And remember, online shouldn’t be forgotten either; bundle deals (online multi-buy promotions) are an option for partnering brands and some retailer sites offer fully branded touch-points too.
#3: Align on promotions
Capture would always advise aligning partnership activity to promotions, however with some retailers offering different promotional timings across different categories, this isn’t always achievable. If this is the case, price call outs aren’t recommended unless activating as a bundle. Initial partnership conversations should take place as early as possible to try and align promotions, with both brands engaging with relevant trading teams to get foresight of promotional plans. Lead times are key, and as a golden rule, brands should allow for more time than you would as a solus brand to get bookings confirmed.
#4) Use bespoke creative
Deciding on creative can be the most turbulent part of a brand partnership campaign process, and so to allow for this, brands should lay the groundwork early. Creative vision and a single-minded message should be decided from the outset, and the actual uniting idea should take priority over individual brand values. With FMCG brands, the most popular messages often centre around meal solutions and usage occasions, although some clever creative has been seen to use the brand names as part of the campaign copy too. We’d recommend using bespoke creative which is designed from scratch. This ensures brands are more likely to have an equal share of voice, and the creative will sit independently of anything that has been done before. A good example comes from Homepride & Happy Egg’s recipe inspiration; the message is clear and concise, with both brands having similar feature.
#5) Understand effectiveness of the campaign
Here at Capture, we believe understanding whether a campaign has been successful is crucial for any activity that has taken place. But when brands have invested time and resource into a partnership, it becomes even more paramount. Where possible, evaluating touch-points is the most accurate and efficient way of understanding the full impact a campaign has made. One of our standout partnership campaigns achieved a total ROI of £1.85 across retailers, and because of this have had ongoing partnership activity since. With any of our partnership campaigns that are evaluated, we’ll always ensure we use learnings to optimise future activity with existing or new partners; understanding whether it’s right to repeat again, or whether improvements could be made.
Following these five steps is a great place to start when considering a brand partnership and we think it’s vital to consider each one carefully when managing a campaign through. Deciding on the perfect concept and clinching the ideal partner to share it with can be an exciting prospect, but unless key steps are adhered to a campaign may not land the way initially imagined. Creative and promotion aligning can be the most difficult obstacles to overcome, but with dedicated time, the right team, and a shared vision, partnership greatness can be achieved.
To hear more about landing a fantastic partnership campaign or even to work with a relevant FMCG brand within our network, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0203 553 5555.
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