“Ask L2” is a series where we answer questions about all things digital.
Question: What are best practices when it comes to cross-brand marketing?
Many of our retail clients operate a number of unique brands within a specific sector, as listed in L2’s Speciality Retail Report, and are seeking opportunities to leverage enterprise efficiencies and build awareness across the purchase journey. There are a multitude of options to better integrate the site experience and marketing strategy, but here are a few places to start.
Data Capture: Building Email List Size
Cross-marketing should be informed by a targeted data capture strategy. Promotions and giveaways that link sister brands are one solution, allowing email lists to be shared across brands and expanding reach for all.
Casper introduced a sweepstakes to its email list that automatically shared emails of users that signed up to partner brands in adjacent categories. Many of the partner brands (two shown below) followed up within a few days with their own discounts and content in order to build the new relationship while the sweepstakes was still top of mind.
Merchandising: Highlighting Assortment and Redirecting Site Traffic
Larger enterprises are starting to leverage smaller, digitally-focused acquisitions to increase distribution of a key assortment as opposed to assuming new acquisitions into their historical platform. Newer platforms tend to have more robust data capture to provide better insights.
Historically, acquired brands merge onto the parent company platform. Today, the data-first nature of today’s acquired brands is leading enterprises to fold their traditional products into the new digital platform. Quick to this trend, Jet added Walmart’s Great Value private label (the largest PL brand in the US) to its own assortment.
Another way to highlight assortment is to redirect traffic to the sister brand’s site. Amazon and Shopbop are the most prominent example of this strategy. Not only does Shopbop feature over 16K SKU’s on Amazon, it was the largest outgoing ads domain for Amazon (higher than Facebook and Best Buy), benefitting from Amazon’s higher viewership to direct brand.com site traffic. Amazon referrals accounted for almost 2% of its brand site traffic in March – May 2017.
Fulfillment: Shared Checkout and Unboxing
Simplifying the checkout experience to a single interface can improve conversion and brand awareness for smaller brands. While easier said than done, integrated fulfillment networks provide best-in-class shared checkout experiences and minimize the number of boxes delivered to the end consumer.
Tory Burch separates the discovery and browsing of Tory Burch and Tory Sport products, but integrates checkout features for a single journey. The two sites share a wish list, checkout (including cart editing functionality), and items arrive in the same box. Enterprise initiatives, such as charitable efforts, are highlighted regardless of the brand/s the user is purchasing.
The opportunity for cross-brand marketing continues all the way through unboxing. Consider amplifying unboxing efforts to promote enterprise brands, providing brand story documents, promo codes, and/or branded packaging to build awareness and drive site traffic.
Gap Inc. has a shared checkout experience across all its brands, as well as a best-in-class unboxing strategy across the enterprise. For a given order, multiple packages from all its stores are consolidated into a single shipment branded with all Gap logos, a tactic outlined in L2’s Post Purchase Insight Report. In shipping emails, all brand logos have equal presence as well, and users can choose to automatically receive promotional emails from the individual brands purchased.