Effective Co-Branding Reinvents the Fountain Season
When we do our 3000 Mile Store Walks during the Summer season, which we call “Fountain Season,” there are several significant things we notice. In years past, it’s been about price. In some chains it was a simplified price of 79 cents or 99 cents for any sized drink. While this brings many fuelers into the store, it still leaves an opportunity for a bigger basket.
And that’s where smart co-branding comes into play. These past two Fountain Seasons, we’ve noticed how convenience stores and QSRs have been working with Mtn Dew and providing their shoppers with exclusive flavors and then promoting this uniqueness at the pumps and in-store. Do the names Purple Thunder (Circle K), Solar Flare (7-Eleven) or Overdrive (Casey’s) sound familiar? All of those are unique flavors for specific stores.
Here’s another interesting perspective. Rather than taking their co-branding to the fountain, Wawa does it with their handcrafted frozen beverages. During Fountain Season, they co-branded with two extremely famous brands from Mondelez. You know them as Chips Ahoy and Oreo. As we’ve seen from Wawa’s messaging in the past, these are what we call “Priceless Promotions.” The brands are very strong, so price doesn’t get mentioned. What’s more, our regular viewers will know how we view “boomerang” promotions, the limited time offers that return, and that’s exactly what Wawa has done with Chips Ahoy and Oreo. These are co-branded boomerangs. The customers don’t focus on the price, they focus on the experience.
The important element to recognize is that when a store co-brands beverages, it is smart marketing, and it becomes uniquely theirs.