A few weeks ago, Macy’s bought Story. If your reaction was the same as mine (and I live in NY), it doesn’t surprise me. WHAT is Story? And WHY is it important enough for Macy’s, a massive department store chain, to purchase it? When I dug into this a bit more, it made complete sense and represents a positive direction for the brand.
Story is a concept shop – it’s located in NYC’s Chelsea neighborhood and is famed for leveraging partnership marketing to create curated, rotating brand experiences. If you’ve been into a Macy’s department store lately, experience is NOT the first word that comes to mind. Story’s founder will now serve as Macy’s head of experiences.
So why aren’t more department stores investing in experiential branding? Today’s malls no longer focus on just shopping. They are about the experience, offering more entertainment and dining options – trying to become destinations. However, retailers notoriously do not want to share data, shopper habits or opportunities with their brand partners. This is akin to living in the dark ages.
Retailers have square footage, which doesn’t make money and what’s the best way to change this? Activate it by building partner brand relationships that can bring in new shoppers and differentiate the store’s merchandise, offering and overall narrative storytelling. Interactive displays are one thing but what often goes unrealized is that offering exposure to non-endemic yet complementary brands can have a significant effect on marketing ROI too.
Macy’s will do this with Story on board and it’s a good move. Other retailers should follow suit and consider brand partnership marketing as an avenue to bring in new customers and increase marketing ROI.
My partnership-marketing agency Regatta has been helping brands increase marketing ROI for over 15 years. Don’t miss out on leveraging your brands valuable marketing assets too! I’m just an email or phone call away.
Recently, Gillette decided to can its MLB sponsorship…. And I don’t mean the type of can that holds shaving cream. This announcement says so long to a 100-year sponsorship – one of the oldest in the league. Is this a sign of more things to come?
Sponsorship activations are a desirable marketing platform for brands that want to thrust themselves into the spotlight. But if you want one, prepare to open your wallet. Wide. It might be glamorous but it’s also a costly proposition seeing your name in lights (or on banners, doors and windows, etc.). Your brand is also following the brand that came before it, and before that one and so forth.
Sponsorships are also one of the biggest revenue generators for many entertainment and sports properties. But they often don’t pan out for the sponsoring brand. Take Papa John’s, which recently severed ties with the NFL, or Bridgestone that cancelled its World Golf Championships sponsorship. While the brands both still promise to be involved with the respective sports, the larger investments were clearly not reaping enough benefits to justify their extraordinary cost. That’s a big chunk of change to toss down the toilet. Of course sponsorships aren’t totally worthless. But one of the things brands often fail to recognize is how to make the marketing partnership – whether paid or unpaid – work more in their favor and deliver better brand experiences.
Here are a few BrandAgent tips for creating better brand alliances:
Want more information? Ask Regatta, The Original BrandAgents partnership marketing agency. We’ve been helping brands maximize their marketing partnerships for over 15 years. Reach out. Stop by. Say hi. We won’t bite. We promise.
Regatta is The Original BrandAgent, singularly focused on Partnership Marketing. Sam Kaufman is the founder and Chief BrandAgent.