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Brands & Retailers: A Marriage on the Rocks (TMZ Style)

We don’t like to think of ourselves as marriage counselors, but in a sense, that’s what we are.

While no one could have predicted Kim Kardashian’s nuptial demise (sarcasm), most marriages show clear signs that they’re on a rocky edge.

What does this have to do with a brand and its retailer? Let me explain.

A Tale of Two Lovers

A few weekends back, I was at one of my favorite local shops in the North End. While chatting it up with the staff, I asked if they had more of a specific brand that usually covers the shelves. One guy grumbled, another said “Well, we used to have a lot, but they opened a store close-by, and have been marketing heavily to locals. Now, most people just go directly to their store, so we don’t sell much of their product. We used to sell a lot. Maybe we’ll just stop carrying it.”

He sounded a bit like a dismissed lover. Or maybe I’m just too enamored with my own metaphor. Whatever the case, there was a sadness and frustration on the part of this brand’s (soon to be former) retailer.

Some Back Story

To understand, you’d have to know that local, independent retailers depend on the national brand to help drive traffic to their stores. It’s a symbiotic relationship – the more retailers sell, the more re-orders they place with the brand. Everyone wins. In the case of this North End store, the brand decided to forget them and just sell direct.

Ways to Mend a Broken Marriage

National brands can choose to support their greatest partner and asset – their retailers – by helping to drive traffic to the local stores. Local business purchases are good for the community, good for the retailer, and good for the brand. Everyone wins.

Brands, if this is striking a chord in you and you want to promote your retailers online, here are some easy ways to drive traffic and sales on a local retail level:

– Create local store events
– Schedule one-day sales
– Run regular in-store coupons
– Plan for a sweepstakes giveaway
– Create a new product line launch kit

Retailers, if this is striking a chord in you, let your brands know that you’re interested in working with them to sell more of their products, in-store. Tell them that you want to co-promote with them to drive more shoppers to your store, and more sales of their products.

Local businesses are the lifeblood of our economy. Brands, let’s all work together to support them as co-community owners that have a stake in the vibrancy of our cities. Learn more about co-marketing with your retailers at