Building and supporting brands can cost millions of pounds and therefore, once created, companies will go to great lengths to protect them. When using another major brand as well as your own in support of a promotion it is important that the following points are considered:
1. Both brands should attract the same target market and be capable of complimenting each other in their appeal.
2. Care should be taken when selecting the second brand because if it is an extremely well-known and powerful one it could override the appeal of the other. What should have been a successful promotion for the supported brand could actually result in a disaster -a loss of market share and damaged brand values for the original brand or product having been 'eclipsed' by its promotional partner.
3. There should be no conflict of interests. The supporting brand must be comfortable with and appropriate to the chosen target market -some brands will not be associated with controversial sectors such as tobacco and alcohol.
4. Particular attention should be paid to both brand's colours and logos - making sure the weaker brand has the same emphasis and the stronger brand does not take over.
5. Research into the chosen brand is important and attention should be given to both past and present advertising campaigns. These will give you an overview of how the brand is portrayed in the market plus information on the reactions of consumers and readers.
6. Should the promotion be pan-European or indeed global it is essential that written confirmation is received that the brand can be used in all the targeted countries before valuable budgets are spent. Even the largest brands can work very much independently from country to country.
7. With regard to Europe, even with the relaxed trade barriers and an open market, implementing a pan-European promotion presents a legal minefield. Every country has its own laws regarding the use of promotions. Many of the tactics used in the UK market -with great success and with the utmost regard for the protection of the consumer -are unacceptable in other countries. Germany, Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Austria, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland have particularly strict regulations on sales promotion whereas Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland are more flexible. It is essential that you check the regulations in every single country before you progress.
8. The UK's £20 billion sales promotion industry is successfully run on a self regulatory basis and therefore the proposals by the European Commission in 1996 to harmonise cross-border communications provoked a mixed reaction from UK promoters. The possibility of a tighter and more restrictive framework, a position favoured by Germany, posed a real threat to the UK's self-regulatory system which has been extremely effective for many years and continues to flourish. Harmonisation progress is still slow but it is possible to create pan -European promotions -just tread very, very carefully.