J Walter Thompson is launching a new limited company called Brand Dating, thought to be one of the UK’s first specialists in brokering brand alliances.
Run by David Hall, the head of JWT’s direct marketing and sales promotion operations, Brand Dating officially opens this week.
It aims to offer a confidential service bringing together complementary brands to increase sales, establish new distribution and gain new customers. The aim is to keep costs to a minimum, because one partner in the alliance provides one service in exchange for another.
Hall says: “We started the concept about a year ago, but it has taken this long to test whether it works. It has proved so popular that JWT has backed me in forming this company.”
One partnership which has already been successfully brokered was between Nestlé, which was looking for a sample market of young men for its Maverick chocolate bar, and Jewson, the builder’s merchant, where the bars were handed out with every purchase. In this case both companies were JWT clients, but Brand Dating has also worked with non-JWT clients such as the Royal Mail.
Hall, who has a personal stake in the company, will oversee a team of researchers who aim to find exact brand matches and a team which negotiates the deals.