Cross-Promotional Ideas

Cross-Promotional Ideas

Cross Promotion is a great way for a business to expand its product into a new consumer market by riding on the coattails of a successful product already in the market, in a store, or in a category.  Cross promotion can work for any product but it’s important that a logical connection exists between the two products even if manufactured. There are dozens of cross-promotional ideas that can help you succeed or expand.

Peanut Butter and Jelly is probably the first cross-promoted products and this pairing came as a result of consumer behavior when making a simple sandwich, not from marketing savvy. An MP3 player and a free music on the MP3 disc is a natural cross-promotion pairing because the one uses the other to operate.

Cross-Promotion Basics

Most products can think of at least one natural pairing of another product in terms of routine usage, or end benefits, or fostering a new totally new use that can be exploited via cross promotion. Armed with this information, the first step to initiating a cross-promotion partnership would be to contact the company’s brand manager and reference the opportunities to for joint promotion.

Cross promotion may require new advertising, sales promotion at the point of purchase and perhaps even packaging changes.  The majority of cross promotions get market awareness through packaging.  All these potential initiatives represent potential new marketing expenditures.  There also has to be a give and take exchange in terms of what the other company benefits from the association.

Without a clear end-benefit and rationale for possible additional money outlays, the cross-promotion might not be viewed as advantageous.  Even with one company agreeing to foot the cross-promotional marketing bills, a company would still want to evaluate the impact of a marketing pairing on its consumer perceptions and its distribution partners.  If the two products are not viewed as brand equals, the opportunity to cross-promote may not be realized.

Cross-Promotional Ideas

Often marketers can learn of noteworthy pairings through information gleaned in market research from consumers. Cross-promotional ideas often exist naturally, others need to be manufactured.   Shampoo and conditioner is a natural cross promotion idea.  Toothpaste and toothbrush is another natural cross-promotional duo.   Combs and brushes still another logical pairing for promotion.

Manufacturing unnatural cross-promotions is more of a challenge.  Brands within the same company are more likely to cross-promote.  Procter & Gamble and other household product companies often cross-promote products to energize a mature brand like Prell Shampoo by promoting a newer product entry like Pantene hairspray.  Even here, the pairing has to have some logic.  Pairing shampoo with laundry detergent, for example, would never work.

Liquor companies often promote new flavors of an alcohol beverage through cross promotion.  Absolut Vodka introduced a number of brand flankers by packaging sample sizes with original Absolut.  These pairing can be quite successful to create both awareness and trial.