10 outstanding success stories of collaboration exemplifying how brands and retailers can create a winning playbook by leveraging each other’s capabilities and resources
By collaborating, brands and retailers can reach out to new customers and expand their reach in the market. Retailers can help brands distribute their products more effectively by leveraging their existing distribution networks. Brands can benefit from retailers’ expertise and resources, such as data analytics and omnichannel capabilities, to enhance their operations and offerings. Together, they can collaborate on marketing and promotional activities to drive sales and raise brand awareness besides helping each other to tap into new revenue streams, reduce costs, and improve overall profitability.
We bring you 10 outstanding success stories of collaboration between food and FMCG brands and retailers in building new consumption/ product categories or transforming a traditional category with innovation.
Coca-Cola and Le Marche mount retail-tainment around Schweppes
The collaboration raised the average bill value for Le Marche by 3% immediately while buyer penetration for Schweppes rose from the pre-event 14% mark to 19%.
When Coca-Cola and retailer Le Marche joined hands, the underlying philosophy behind the partnership was to generate greater customer engagement and retention for one of Coke’s line-up of brands, Schweppes. The collaboration was also about driving deeper geographical penetration for the brand rather than brand-building per se. “The idea behind the collaboration was to optimize the reach of tonic water and mixer brand Schweppes among the premium shoppers who frequent Le Marche stores and to use the retailer’s consumer-centric platform for product sampling and developing deeper consumer insights,” says Vidisha Chandra, AGM – Marketing and Digital, Le Marche, which is a premium grocery chain with a fleet of stores across Delhi-NCR.
Le Marche stores have built a stellar reputation for serving as one-stop destination for up-market food and grocery shoppers in the region. With the kind of SKUs available and the width and depth of brands inside the retail space at Le Marche stores, the retailer aims to engage more and more consumers for its stores by offering customers the best services and retention policies. The chain prides on its various initiatives for driving more customer-engagement activities, and it has been very successful at instigating shopper conversion through its thematic brand-activation campaigns, which have also been very successful inbringing about better customer retention.
Elements of the collaboration
Both the brand and retailer understood that their association offered an opportunity to ignite sales of cocktail mixers and galvanize a category usually thought of as being niche. “We made sure that all Le Marche 9 stores in Delhi-NCR carried the full range of Schweppes’ mixers throughout the year and our focus on providing the shoppers with the best solutions that the mixer could offer ensured that there was a lot of value-add that took place both for the brand and customers,” says Akash Kumar, Associate Manager, Coca-Cola.
Le Marche and Coca-Cola decided to go above and beyond plain-vanilla sampling of the product. The brand and retailer devised a strategy to create a theatre-like drama around the sampling process itself.
“We actually set up a complete mixology spectacle with all the attendant paraphernalia at hand inside the store, which drew customers like bees to honey. Customers could select from ginger ale to tonics to sodas and mix them with various other juices available and could sample their drinks. All of this on-the-ground-live activity inside the store inevitably created a lot of hype, excitement and drama around the sampling process,” says Vidisha, adding that the whole concept was executed as a perfect example of retail-tainment, where shoppers enjoyed the elements of entertainment and experience along the retail mix.
Also, in order to achieve maximum reach for the product and forge stronger consumer connect, shoppers could also take advantage of various bill-buster promos offered by the store where they could avail of alluring discounts and offers.
“Immediately after the collaboration came to a close, the average bill value for Le Marche had climbed by 3%. For brand Schweppes, buyer penetration rose from the pre-event 14% mark to 19%. Sales of the brand saw a strong uptick and the category as a whole benefitted with new consumers coming in,” says Akash, adding that consumer recruitment was the biggest gain for the mixer category as witnessed through this collaboration.