My Best Promotion: Gregg Emmer
This month's My Best Promotion comes from Gregg Emmer, chief marketing officer and vice president of Kaeser and Blair, Batavia, Ohio. Emmer shares a story of when his company solved a major practical hurdle for a client—and created a sellout item in the process.
Promo Marketing: Could you briefly describe a promotion that you consider one of your best?
Gregg Emmer: A national grocery chain wanted to promote its house-brand soda in 2-liter bottles. Market survey information indicated that the large bottles were not considered convenient for out-of-home use (tailgating, on the beach, picnics, etc.). They did not fit in most coolers. We came up with a concept that accomplished the company’s objectives, as well as provided brand support.
We designed a soft-sided insulated sleeve with a drawstring that fit the 2-liter bottle. The private-label logo was imprinted on the sleeve. The insulated sleeve was offered at $1.99 with the purchase of two bottles of soda or $4.99 without the soda purchase. (This was actually more than the cost at $1.99 + $2.00 for the soda!)
The objective was to get people to try the house brand, like the taste and continue to buy it. The insulated sleeve made it convenient to take with you on picnics and took up little space once the bottle was discarded. The store logo provided brand support even if a different brand of soda was in the sleeve.
PM: What did you like about the promotion, and why?
GE: I have always looked at the promotional advertising specialty business as a way to realize objectives—not to sell promotional items. In this case, the client had no thought of promotional items when they began the discussion with me.
PM: What was the best decision you made with the promotion?
GE: Putting a purchase price for the item into the promotion allowed consumers to calculate the great value (getting a $5 item for $2). It also allowed the grocery chain to execute a self-liquidating promotion with the consumer purchase price covering the total cost of the item.
PM: Did you run into any problems or hurdles with the promotion? If so, what were they, and how did you overcome them?
GE: It was too successful and the initial quantity of sleeves ran out in just four days. Customers were allowed to use their receipts as rain checks, which actually increased store traffic.
PM: Do you have any other advice you’d like to give to distributors running a similar promotion? If so, what would it be and why?
GE: Self-liquidating promotions are great concepts for large programs where high volume retail traffic exists.
Want to be considered for a future edition of My Best Promotion? Contact Executive Editor Michael Cornnell at (215) 238-5449 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of questions and other details.