Lessons from Carvel's Co-Branded Westward Expansion
Carvel, the much beloved ice cream franchise known for its fancy cakes, is expanding beyond the Northeast, and is using co-branding as a way to appeal to new markets who might not be familiar with its products.
It's an interesting approach. According to Restaurant Business Online, the eight-unit deal will see the Carvel brand cohabitating in restaurant concepts alongside other restaurants like Buttermilk Baby in Texas, or combining with Cinnabon to become "Swirl."
"Having two brands under the same roof allows you to cast a wider net," Jim Holthouser, CEO of Carvel parent Focus Brands, said to Restaurant Business. "You can appeal to a lot more customers."
While this idea pertains to food and drink, it also works for promotional products. Attaching a client's logo to a product from a well-known or luxury brand, like Sony, Beats by Dre, the North Face, or something like that, adds new credibility to your client.
In this instance, it's taking a brand and introducing it to a new market by attaching it to a better-known brand.
This could also relate to the concept of kitting multiple products from different suppliers – maybe even food and drink mixed with a promotional item or apparel item. The end-user receives a mix of items that complement one another, creating a more well-rounded promotion that could be more memorable or useful to them in the long run. That means a more positive association for your client's brand, too.
So, while you don't have to open a new ice cream shop or re-invent the cinnamon bun, it's worth looking at real-world examples like this and scaling it down to your own business, looking at ways for co-branding and co-mingling of brands or suppliers.
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.