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How Brands Can Support Non-Traditional Retailers

Including non-traditional retailers in your retail marketing campaigns is a great way to ensure brand consistency, engage with current customers, and reach new ones.

By providing these retailers with assets that will help them market locally, you’ll strengthen your relationship with these local businesses while also building relationships with their customers. Only currently working with traditional retailers? Keep reading for tips on how to expand your reach through new types of stores.

Keep it Consistent

The influence of non-traditional locations shouldn’t be underestimated. Local retailers ingrained in their community are often trusted resources for unbiased advice on the best products. When small businesses carry your line, it serves as an almost personal endorsement—the best kind. Any local touchpoint where a customer interacts with your product is a place where your brand has the opportunity to make an impression and build a relationship with that consumer.

Due to their small nature, local shops and non-traditional retailers often don’t have the marketing resources to create engaging content and targeted advertising, and it’s possible that when they do post, they may not present your brand in your ideal way. It’s the small and non-traditional retailers that really need your marketing support and will truly benefit with it.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is a great example of a company that supports all of its retailers with marketing support to ensure consistency and local sales. The company has an omnichannel strategy that invests in supporting and selling through big-box retailers, independent stores, and direct-to-consumer—as well as veterinarian clinics and animal shelters.

Supporting non-traditional retailers like adoption clinics is more than just a feel-good move by the brand – it’s also the first touchpoint with a customer.  

“You adopt, and then you’re going home with an adopter bag. So starts the consumer journey,” Keith Lehman, Head of Digital and Social Content for Hill’s Pet Nutrition said.

Sending pets home from the vet or the adoption center with a bag of food from Hill’s Pet Nutrition is a first interaction that serves as an expert endorsement of the product to owners, one that could ensure lifelong loyalty to the brand.

Engage New and Existing Customers

Knowing the importance of non-traditional channels, Lehman recognized that providing those businesses with branded content needed to be a priority. This meant considering the audience for each channel and creating content that appealed to their specific wants and needs.

“We want to make sure we have a great partnership and we’re providing content to them to help their businesses grow because clinics are too busy worried about appointments. The retailers are too busy worried about their planograms. We needed to supply a little bit of support there,” Lehman said.

Using Promoboxx, Hill’s Pet Nutrition provides all of its retail partners with branded retail marketing materials that will drive local traffic and sales.

In one campaign, which was awarded as the Best Inspirational Campaign in 2018 by the Aligned Awards, Hill’s Pet Nutrition supported the national Clear the Shelters event, the largest single-day pet adoption event in the country. The campaign provided all local retailers, veterinarians, and clinics that worked with Hill’s Pet with digital and social content promoting local adoptions. These locations shared this content on their social channels with their local customers and worked together to help pets in need find forever homes. The campaign resulted in over 300,000 consumer impressions and a click-through rate of 5.4%. Over the course of four days, 11,000 pets were adopted through the Clear The Shelter program.
Clear the Shelters Campaign Content, shared through Promoboxx by the CT Humane Society

This is a phenomenal example of the reach of non-traditional retailers like shelters can have, and the benefit to both the brand and the retailer when they work together. Each of those pets was supported with a Hill’s Pet product, effectively reaching 11,000 customers through this campaign.

Find New Partnerships

Brands that don’t yet work with non-traditional retailers have a few ways to find local shops, clinics, gyms, or other businesses to integrate into their strategy.  

First, a brainstorming session with your sales and marketing teams can uncover some new, creative options. If you’re looking for a more data-centric method, try looking at businesses that are ranking for some of your target keywords or related terms.

Looking at keyword rankings, you can discover businesses related to your industry. Plus, the ones that rise to the top likely already have good content on their site, so you won’t need to convince them to host yours.

Another way to start building partnerships is by paying your local retailers a visit. Talking with an owner about your product line and how you can work together is often the most effective way to reach them. And giving them free samples never hurts.

When you have one or two successful partnerships, you can use those as examples to show prospects how the relationship can benefit their business and customers.  

Reach New Audiences Through Non-Traditional Retailers

Building relationships with non-traditional retailers helps brand and the retailers while reaching and engaging with new audiences. Customers learn about the brand and products in a consistent way with which they’ve encountered the brand before – with the added benefit of being at a local place they trust.

By providing non-traditional retailers with marketing assets through a platform like Promoboxx, you can ensure brand consistency everywhere your products are sold, engage with current customers, and reach new ones. Get a demo today >

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