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How promotions can build your brand while rivals simply slash prices


Whatever your views on Brexit, economic forecasts seemingly all point to the same post-deal financial issues. Reports from both government and independent bodies suggest that prices in many sectors could rise sharply – not least in food and drink.

According to The UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex, post-Brexit trade tariffs could translate to a hike of 8% in the price of dairy products, as well as 8% for oils & fats, 6% for meat and 4% for vegetables.

The UK’s major grocers are already warning about the potential need to pass on the cost of those increases to consumers. The retail environment has been fiercely competitive for years for the brands that adorn supermarket shelves. The arena could be about to get tougher yet.

The food and drink sectors are vibrant, with hosts of new product launches every year in the UK alone. But that also means it’s crowded. Many brands opt for the tried and trusted method of discounting to help their products stand out. After all, in an era of price comparison websites and apps, added to the past decade of economic difficulty, we’re constantly told that the consumer is price-conscious above all else.

Yet there are opportunities to get off the discount treadmill and find new ways of engaging your audience. Brand promotions can ignite interest among both customers and prospects, helping your brand gain cut-through against rivals that resort to cost-cutting.

Here are two recent examples of successful promotional campaigns we’ve run for clients. The first relates to a food manufacturer, the second to a premium confectioner.

We’re working with a meat products company to manage a promotional initiative that is promoted only on social media. The brand has pledged to donate a prize fund to selected local organisations. In return for buying a product and visiting the promotional microsite, shoppers receive a chance to place a vote for their chosen community club to win the prize funds. The organisations receiving the highest number of votes will receive the prize; a great social value promotion.

The campaign is underpinned by Granby’s SwiftReceipt platform. It uses automated receipt validation to recognise a product and till receipt, on behalf of the manufacturer, simply by reading a photo of the customer’s receipt alongside the product. It’s a very simple mechanic to boost participation in the promotion, a great example of engaging the community-conscious shopper and offers a brand experience that goes way beyond a discount.

Meanwhile, we’re also handling a personalisation campaign for a luxury chocolatier. Each customer can request a free personalised ribbon to add to their purchase, making it a promotion that consumers enjoy and engage with. According to industry reports, personalisation will continue to grow. We’re used to running personalisation promotions and understand what logistics need to be put in place to ensure personalisation campaigns run smoothly.

With over 60 years’ experience handling promotions, we have seen a lot of creative and impactful promotions. Brand promotions continue to be the best platform to help you get to know shoppers, change their behaviour, make them consider your brand in a new light and fire a sales uplift, without having to resort to competing on price.

We’re seeing a growing number of innovative campaigns come through our doors, from sampling activity to digital campaigns, and we’re adding to their success. We’re a firm believer in the power of a well-executed promotion winning over price – if campaign logistics are correct.

In the face of a new, looming price war, now is the time for promotions to shine.

Suzanne Kay 20 March 2019

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