Traditionally, brands and retailers have always battled head-on when it comes to gaining shoppers attention, loyalty and most importantly, money - but the question is why? As the clock ticks by, the digital world grows its footprint and the rise of millennials creates shifting behaviours, both brands and retailers are having to re-identify their role in the consumer landscape, and what better way than to do this collaboratively?
We're all trying to differentiate. Ultimately, we know that shoppers are looking for a reason to go to stores; they want their in-store experience to feel unique to them and inspire them. By choosing to work together, brands and retailers have the opportunity to deliver the bespoke experiences their shoppers demand.
Take Co-op as an example. A retailer with a passion for delivering the best products on a local scale. In 2018 Co-op decided to work with it’s key brands to implement a campaign that would support the 2018 Football World Cup. By bringing together the ideal branded snacking & drinks range, perfectly suited to the sporting event, Co-op would become the destination to pick up all of the football viewing essentials, easily.
That was just one example. The success of this idea has grown in to delivering additional retailer events such as Curry Week, Italian Event and Gin Event, in turn growing Co-op’s opportunity to meet shoppers’ needs for quick and easy solutions.
The likes of Spotify have gone one step further when it comes to collaboration and brought their product direct to the shopper through a partnership with Starbucks. As shoppers arrive at Starbucks, they can run a sound recognition on either app and then save the song playing in-store to one of their playlists; thus, taking the shopping journey home with them. Created to encourage shoppers to download either loyalty app, the collaboration incentivised shoppers to make return purchases. Introducing this omni-channel experience also provided shoppers with a sense of belonging. The music played in Starbucks is locally inspired and would create an association with the destination; consequently, making the journey to buy coffee not just a stand-alone purchase and instead a sensory experience.
Another key benefit is the sense of retailer endorsement for a brand. With shoppers becoming more savvy about what they buy and in what way, it’s important to gain shopper trust if you want your marketing to seem genuinely helpful and exciting.
Whats more, the hidden benefit for supplier brands is the enhanced retailer-supplier relationship shown through true collaboration on a campaign and demonstrated interest in what is best for the retailer’s shoppers, not just for a brand’s own gain.
As we see more examples of this type of collaboration, we know that it's unlocking new ideas, new shoppers and new opportunities. Ultimately, by working together, retailers and brands can unify their strengths to ensure they are delivering the best campaigns to their valued audiences.
Perhaps as time moves forward, rather than seeing retailers and brands as two stand-alone entities we may actually view them as a match made in heaven…