How ‘non-destination’ brands can win after shopping festivals


The best deals have gone and the big-ticket items have been snapped up, but brands from “non-destination categories” – think toilet paper, protein bars or toothpaste – can still capitalise on retail holidays, according to an industry expert.

Writing in the current issue of Admap (topic: smart approaches to occasion marketing), Chris Perry, VP of Global Executive Education at Edge by Ascential, observes that destination-worthy categories like TVs, kitchen appliances, toys and other top gift-giving and more discretionary products “never disappoint” during the retail holiday season.

“Where the greater interest lies is in the unique strategies that brands from non-destination categories can leverage,” he says.

“Because they don’t benefit from the retailers’ limelight or shoppers’ wish lists, these brands must work much harder and more creatively to stand out, be relevant and capture their fair share of traffic and sales.”

He outlines several strategies they can adopt, including one he terms “the sun will come out tomorrow”.

In this, the non-destination brand may not choose to participate in the retail event itself, but instead seasonalise its product content to make itself more relevant as a follow-up purchase.

At the same time it can focus its promotional investments into display ad and coupon retargeting aggressively in the following weeks when their brand message is more seasonally relevant, says Perry.

He notes incidentally that Amazon specifically offers brands ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) retargeting capabilities with their display advertising campaigns, as well as with their vendor-powered coupon (VPC) promotions.

“The retail event itself may be a less relevant and financially-sustainable moment for the brand to stand out,” Perry says, but “the spike in traffic, visibility and sales may be leveraged by the brand later to reframe and retarget those shoppers with more relevant brand communication to drive higher conversion”.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday last weekend kicked off the holiday season and ultimately the New Year, two follow-up periods behind which food and confectionery brands may choose to activate for holiday entertaining and stocking stuffers, as well as vitamins, supplements and personal care brands may activate for New Year’s Resolutions.

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