Joint brand promotions make sense

October 25, 2011

Make shoppers happier by offering savings and convenient meal solutions at the same time.

Whenever possible, brands vying for better seats at the retail strategic table show off their intelligence with trade events tweaked to suit chain objectives. On-point consumer insights are behind the best results achieved when the right messaging, logistics, execution and hot price combine to help grow categories, differentiate stores and satisfy shoppers. 

For CPG companies, trade promotions are their second-greatest expense after cost of goods sold. This explains why many are investing in trade promotion management (TPM) and trade promotion optimization (TPO) systems – the latter with predictive analytics – to develop and track ever-smarter plans, and refine analysis to make subsequent programs even better. 

While they consider this route, they shouldn’t forget that retailers are impressed by performance however it is achieved, with costly systems or not.  And since stores increasingly aim to offer convenient, complete meal solutions rather than simply appealing items at a hot price, The Lempert Report thinks they’d like to see more joint promotions between non-competing brands – think olive oil with mozzarella, bread and tomato, or hot dogs with buns, ice cream with pie, berries with whipped cream, lemons with cola, and countless other combos.

So brands need to work harder to find common ground that will fill shopper needs. Then it will be up to store operations to put to rest traditional category turf wars so the right merchandising can occur and partnerships like these can become win-wins. Which is why we’re glad to see ConAgra Foods’ Ro-Tel canned tomatoes (in limited distribution) promoted in joint media ads with Kraft Foods’ Velveeta cheese product as a dip.  Good timing for football watching on TV with chips.

And in our view, this is an enlightened partnership. The two manufacturers do compete in other categories, but were able to find a media efficiency and a promotional concept connecting two brands consumers could combine to make a dip. The brands have worked together for seven years, says Ad Age, first on in-store displays and most recently with stepped-spending on TV, print and digital ads.