What do your local retailers care about? What makes them tick? These are questions you need to ask yourself (and your retailers) before even thinking about partnering with them for brand marketing programs.
Starting out, you have to make the effort to truly connect with your retailers, identifying and addressing their needs, interests, and goals. Otherwise, your marketing efforts and initiatives will never hit home.
To get started on the path to a more holistic brand and retailer marketing relationship, take a look at the five tips below.
1. Reward your retailers for their efforts.
Retailers are time and resource-strapped, so providing them with incentives beyond hopes of product sales will spur them to take greater action and push programs to local consumers. This could be anything from a contest or sweepstakes to additional funds for digital advertising.
2. Help retailers create new brand experiences in the stores.
You can help your retailers drive local customers into the stores by working together to create in-store events around your brand, perhaps a new product launch.
Provide them with the materials and know-how to assist in planning, promoting, and executing these events, then use the events to get consumers to take action. This could mean allowing customers the opportunity to have tactile experiences with your brand and the products that they wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere.
These kinds of in-store events will only further ingratiate your brand with your retailers and local audiences, keeping you top of mind.
3. Apply learnings from retailer stories.
Your retailers are the ones interacting with and marketing to your customers on a regular basis, so talk to them and listen to their stories.
What kinds of brand content and campaigns do they find to be most valuable? What strategies do they use to drive local consumer engagement? Which products do their customers respond well to?
Collect this kind of valuable information from your retailers through your sales reps, in-person, over the phone, or via online surveys and email. You can then begin to learn from past successes and failures and apply this knowledge across your larger retailer base nationwide.
4. Get involved in retailers’ local communities.
Cultivate goodwill with your retailers by developing an active presence in their local communities.
Link up and find out what local causes they’re passionate about. Use brand resources, from content and assets to marketing power and budget, to help them in supporting the cause.
You can also sponsor local events in their area that align with your brand’s image and messaging. From there, you can tailor marketing campaigns to create relevant localized content that retailers will want to promote.
5. Provide retailers and consumers with direct access to your brand.
You want to keep your audience on the ground floor, both your local retailers and your local consumers, excited about your brand. One way you can do this is by bringing industry experts from brand HQ to the local retailer.
This will allow you to turn the retailer’s store into a spot for consumers to come and ask questions and learn more about your brand. This will also allow your retailers to learn more, too.