Partnerships may help customers navigate a new shopping world

According to a Mintel report, activations can also help shoppers deal with a wealth of choice and price concerns.

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Partnerships and activations are going to be key value propositions for consumers as we emerge from lockdowns.

That’s according to a new report from Mintel’s Comperemedia looking at omnichannel trends for 2022. Faced with an increasing number of product offerings and choices, as well as inflationary pressures, the report says consumers are demanding fresh entertainment experiences, in addition to stability and simplified choices.

In order to gain market share, partnerships and the marketing of the partnerships will flourish as companies utilize the strengths of multiple stakeholders. Brands will center campaigns around partnerships, and the newfound benefits they bring.

One example cited by Comperemedia is a partnership between Lysol and TripAdvisor, Airbnb, and other hospitality brands to position tourism as a safe and sanitary activity.

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Last summer, Tripadvisor and parent company Reckitt even assembled a public health and disinfection expert panel to guide hospitality businesses through travel recovery.

7-Eleven is supporting Lightlife Chick’n Tenders with a 360 marketing campaign, part of a move to evolve its food offerings in a healthier direction. Working with Greenleaf Foods’s agency of record 160over90, both Lightlife and Field Roast amplified the news of this partnership on owned social channels, across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

To tap into “fear of missing out,” or FOMO, brands are getting consumers hyped for offerings that don’t yet exist, or are new. And this messaging will still be a powerful tool to drum up excitement and forward-looking conversations, the report notes.

This February, Best Buy announced “Happy Hours,” in which consumers decide what deals the tech retailer offers. The way it works is that Best Buy offers up a selection of potential products that can go on sale and consumers can then vote for their favourite products in the stories of Best Buy’s Instagram.

As consumers experience big life changes, brands will see themselves as a resource more than ever before and will position themselves as life coaches assisting with important decisions, such as starting a new job.

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As “The Great Resignation” continues to shake up the job market, brands such as Lowe’s are taking a consumer marketing approach to recruitment, with home reno fails being the central concept behind its latest execution.

The campaign came to life not just through social, but also with an activation, a faux art exhibition OOH in three major cities, to further amplify its need for summer staff and also to be perceived as more relatable.

Out-of-home (OOH) campaigns reported a resurgence in 2021, as consumers felt more comfortable engaging in outdoor activities again, the report notes.

As digital experiences become the norm, in-person engagements will be seen as more novel and coveted, especially as jurisdictions such as Ontario have eased masking requirements.

Toys”R”Us Canada is a retailer that’s exploring this kind of engagement, offering an invite to an exclusive look at the new book expansion in its stores. It is hosting a Book Fair on April 9 at Sherway Gardens Mall, an event which will include interactive activities, games, a children’s book reading and appearances by its “chief play officer” Aiden Hepburn, and also Geoffrey the Giraffe.

According to the report, brands are treating mascots in new ways as well. For example, Toys”R”Us has gamified Geoffrey the Giraffe through Snapchat, while last fall, the retailer made an animation of Geoffrey and auctioned it live as part of the first ever Toys”R”Us NFT collection.

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