On the shoulders of giants
Being the new brand, the little guy, can be tough. Out there hustling, getting stores to pick up the brand, fighting for shelf space and trying to make a name . . . it’s hard work.
So when a lesser-known brand gets to team with a known winner, the little guy can really benefit. But these relationships are more than a pick-me-up for the new guy. The better-known brand wins too, and here’s how.
The smaller brand can fill a specific partnership need. Some cross-merch programs are designed to fit specific niches, and aren’t expected to happen across U.S. If a client wants to focus on a key retailer or two, a nationally known brand isn’t a requirement. That allows for more creativity for those of us doing the searching, and opportunity for brands that otherwise couldn’t be part of a national program.
One success story? Gourmet Garden. A few years ago, a colleague was looking for partners for a Target-only cross-merch program. Gourmet Garden makes fresh, squeezable herbs, great for those of us less included to pick, rinse and chop our herbs. While you can find them just about anywhere now, there were a few gaps back then. But they were 100% in SuperTarget, and that’s all we needed to know. Partnership: delivered.
If the smaller brand has a big-name parent, everyone wins. A beer client, Pacifico, wanted a salsa for a summer 2014 program. Sabra, best known for its hummus, recently launched a line of salsa. Santa Barbara Salsa is fresh, not jarred, and is carried in the produce and dairy section — bonus! The challenge, however, was that Santa Barbara Salsa doesn't yet have the distribution or name recognition that parent company Sabra enjoys.
The ultimate solution benefited everyone, as Sabra agreed to lend its name. The coupons, currently in market, feature “Santa Barbara Salsa, brought to you by Sabra.” We’re hopeful the program is helping some retailers notice there might be a fresh salsa missing from their produce aisle. And to be ultra-safe, the coupons ring even if the consumer buys hummus . . . NEVER risk a bad experience at the register!
At Dovetail, we’re always thinking big . . . but sometimes, thinking small can lead to brand pairing success as well. On the shoulders of giants, both the new guy and the big-name favorite can benefit.