Sales promotion through collaboration: two are better than one

© Arne Trautmann

In collaborations is huge potential; © Arne Trautmann

When two brands join together, both want to benefit from each other. There are countless examples for this. Philadelphia and Milka sweeten your breakfast and outdoor specialist Gore-Tex refines the products of many high quality brands with its water-repellent Teflon coating. More and more stores are also trying to jointly tap into new target groups and benefit from it. And it works: thanks to well-thought-out collaboration, lots can be accomplished in the travel agency, the bookstore or online.

There are many shop concepts out there. Companies are trying to set themselves apart from the competition through special store design, nice lighting, attractive displays and price savings. Shop collaboration is also an effective tool to address customers and to win new groups of buyers for your own store. Aside from coupon or rebate promotions that are located on the sales receipt for instance or special sweepstakes that alert the customer to the respective other company, the attractive sales floor can also be shared and you can participate in joint marketing campaigns.

Scoring points with service

Service is something that is always well received in this instance. And this service can be tied to a brand that attracts customers. The L’TUR Shop in Baden-Baden, Germany, has recognized just this potential and used it to its advantage. The tourism enterprise collaborates with coffee expert Starbucks and shares a store location in the city’s shopping mall.

Since this is the first Starbucks Coffee Shop in the city, L’TUR benefits in two ways from this collaboration. On the one hand, coffee shop patrons cannot help but spot the L’TUR offers while they stay at the Café, and on the other hand, Starbucks is a particularly strong brand that is also attractive and inviting to new customers. ”The combination of coffee shop and travel agency works wonderfully. Both companies benefit from each other in this instance. This way, L'TUR customers for instance stop by to book their travel or get service and then quickly also grab a coffee or a muffin to go. Starbucks’ customers on the other hand notice our special travel offers on our displays, while they drink coffee.“ L’TUR spokesperson Nina Meyer shares more on this successful collaboration, joint marketing campaigns and increased sales in our interview.

© L'TUR Tourismus AG

L'TUR and Starbucks at the opening of their branche; © L'TUR Tourismus AG

Getting price advantages

Another sales promoting aspect of course is price. It is not a big secret in Germany that dm drogerie markt is the market leader for drugstores here. In addition to a wide array of drugstore products, many dm stores provide the opportunity to purchase and order over-the-counter drugs. Thanks to the smart addition of a product segment, new target groups were developed through collaboration in this instance as well, thus serving a wider customer base.

At the turn of this year, the collaboration between dm drogerie markt Deutschland and Europa Apotheek Venlo came to an end.
However, the company did not want to miss out on increased sales from more attractively priced, over-the-counter drugs and has since collaborated with the Swiss mail-order pharmacy Zur Rose, which is already partnering with dm stores in Austria. ”Through this collaboration, we take advantage of the only opportunity we legally have at our disposal to offer our customers over-the-counter high quality pharmaceutical drugs at significantly more affordable prices. In the end, customers embraced this offer in a way that by far exceeded our own internal projections“, commented Harald Bauer, Managing Director of dm drogerie markt in early 2012 on the first year of collaboration in Austria in a press release.

Combining different types of products

During times, when online retailers like Amazon dominate the bookselling trade, bricks- and mortar bookstores in particular have trouble luring customers into their stores. More and more bookstores are closing in city centers and the industry sector’s larger companies slowly but surely also have to rethink and create new product portfolios for their customers. Collaboration is one approach for this that several bookstore chains have already discovered. The Mayersche Company from Aachen has brought Spielwaren Förster (“Toys by Förster”) and the Teddy & Co. brand on board to win new customers along with the toy store. At this point, both companies collaborate in more than ten locations.

© DiTech/ APA-Fotoservice/Preiss

DiTech and Thalia are glad that the collaboration in Austria works well; © DiTech/APA-Fotoservice/Preiss

Entering into strategic partnerships

Competitor Thalia also brought toys on board and collaborates with Toys“R“Us to expand its customer base. Early trials of combining toys and books attracted positive feedback from customers. “We are looking forward to our collaboration with the leading German-speaking bookseller and see many opportunities for successful future development from which both companies and especially also Thalia customers can benefit“, Doctor Wolfgang Link, President Central Europe of Toys“R“Us, comments on this strategic partnership.

Identifying and jointly benefitting from synergy effects

Thalia Austria has implemented the potential of non-book materials for book retail in a special partnership. DiTech is an Austrian company that is committed to selling computers as emotional products. Both companies believe that this concept fits wonderfully with books, which are also personal products. This collaboration between bookstore and consumer electronics in Austria is already entering its third round. Through their shop collaboration, Thalia and DiTech combine the two worlds of literature and technology; and each benefits from the other’s customer base.

DiTech founder Damian Izdebski is pleased with the result of the collaboration:”By positioning ourselves in the sales environment of Thalia, we succeeded in catering to new and particularly female clients. In doing so, the percentage of our female clientele has increased. In one of our already established shop-in-shops, at this point 50 percent more women shop there compared to other DiTech locations. The new store concept by DiTech, which focuses on look and feel, also contributes to this. Here, even otherwise not quite as tech-savvy customers are able to take their time, take a look around and try things out”. Find out more on how literature and technology harmonize well in a store in our Interview interview.

The potential of collaboration is multifaceted, ranging from chocolate and cheese, cosmetics and drugstore to books and technology. As long as the concepts match, the combination of different product portfolios can work well together.

Elisabeth Henning;