Lay down arms and co-operate

The cover story “Vying for Promotion” (MW January 6) resurrected the long fought battle between manufacturers and retailers. I would like to add a new approach to the power war where “manufacturers pay and retailers benefit” – co-operation.

Millions of pounds are spent building retail brand images and many retailers now see themselves as brands in their own right, every bit as important as the brands on their shelves. It is increasingly important that everything in the store supports the overall positioning.

So how should brands be promoted in-store if they want to sell more of their product to retailers’ existing customers? It’s simple. Branded promotions must be integrated within the retailer’s own marketing strategy. The promotions plan within this will take many different forms and provide a wide range of opportunities to suit most brands. Support this plan, and manufacturers will benefit from a higher level of marketing support for their products, which may include television advertising, additional point-of-sale and extra space in-store.

There is, however, another way for manufacturers to work with retailers. The more proactive suppliers find out what retailers are planning and go to them with their own suggestions. If suppliers worked more closely with retailers at this level they will find that they can achieve far more than they ever imagined, both in terms of support and maintaining their own brand integrity.

The war may continue but at least this way there may be winners on both sides

Ian Hall

Director

M&K

Hertford

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