How to Find the Right Brand Partner for Retail Demos

If you’ve read many of our blogs, you’ve probably seen that one of our recommendations for cutting down the cost for experiential marketing activations is to find a like-minded brand to go in on it with you. We’ve seen beautiful partnerships grow over the years, but we’ve also seen some…well… “irreconcilable differences.”

How to Find the Right Brand Partner for Retail Demos If you’re not careful, your demo partnership can go from a “Love Story” to a “We are Never Getting Back Together” situation in no time. The key to avoiding this mistake is to get to know someone really well before jumping into a demo. It may take years to find that special someone. Ok – that’s an exaggeration. You can probably identify if a brand you’re looking to partner with is a good fit in a handful of phone calls.

But the point remains. Before launching a demo program together, make sure:

1. To set up a demo schedule.

You’ll need to agree on a store list, how many times to visit each store, and how long the program will run for. This sounds like common sense but trust us – it’s best to iron this out before you get too far into the process. If your products work well together at a demo, but you’re not in the same retailers, the program won’t work.

How to Find the Right Brand Partner for Retail Demos 2. You are going after the same target demographic.

If you’re a plant-based chicken product, you probably don’t want to pair up with a beef jerky. How confused would your target consumer be? Identify your target demographic (if you haven’t already) and make sure this overlaps with your partner brand’s target demographic to ensure you are interested in speaking with the same consumers.

3. You are aligned on core values.

Are you both sustainably minded? Great. Do you believe in education first? Are you a company who values diversity? Your program will go smoother if your companies have at least some similar core values. As you come to decisions such as whether or not to use sustainable demo supplies, which cost more than other demo supplies, you can come back to the core values to help you guide the decision-making.

How to Find the Right Brand Partner for Retail Demos 4. You’ve agreed on cost breakdowns.

Some brands want to split costs 50/50 with their partner brand, while others just want a product donation to help them save on the cost of sample prep. Of course, there’s no right way, as long as both brands are in agreement.

5. You have the same idea on how each brand will be represented.

Often this lines up with the way the costs are broken down. Brands with a lower financial investment are usually represented with smaller branding than the one footing the larger part of the bill. Sometimes smaller brands will entice larger brands to partner with them by offering them more representation. The larger company’s brand equity may help build the credibility of the smaller brand.

If you are on the same page on these topics, you’re looking at a successful and cost-effective program.

What brands do you think would make a power couple?


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