With mobile phone engagement perpetually on the rise, I find it fascinating to analyze how retailers are continuously turning to employing new tactics to draw in the attention of customers, giving old marketing ploys a fresh new breath of life.
One such tactic that I am particularly familiar with is that of bundling, the practice by which brands combine two or more products together in the hopes of driving increased sales. It’s a well-known marketing approach that’s taken on many forms in previous years, including popular bundle options like video games paired with consoles and the quintessential “free gift with purchase” offers so prevalent in the health and beauty sectors. And while it’s undoubtedly an approach that’s well-loved by consumers and marketers alike, it’s a strategy that’s adapting with the times, taking on a more digitalized form in order to keep up with the consumer’s increased reliance on mobile technology.
What I’ve observed in recent years is that bundling’s gone digital: with a multitude of instantly redeemable offers available like free e-gift cards with purchase, the idea of making an already enticing offer more easily accessible (and mobile friendly) is one that’s becoming increasingly popular with consumers. Apple, for instance, employs the use of such promotional tools by bundling a $100 iTunes gift card along with the purchase of any Mac, an approach that’s wildly successful in drawing in customers looking to get their money’s worth. It’s what the industry calls a “value add”: by adding on popular digital items like e-gift cards to their products, Apple manages to drive increased sales through creating value—or rather, by creating the impression of higher value without actually increasing their costs.
While Apple reaches out to new consumers fitting to its namesake, I’ve spotted other brands that are beginning to look for new ways to maximize the true potential of the bundle: namely, through the power of cross branding.
The Swedish telecommunications company Telia decided to take a new approach to their mobile marketing campaigns by offering users free Spotify trials with every phone purchase. Telia was able to generate new leads by appealing to a pre-existing fan base, successfully integrating potential new customers through the power of cross-branded content alone.
In my opinion, it’s a key marketing tactic for established brands to leverage digital content or services from another appealing brand to maximize potential leads and reach a new audience segment. And this is a good deal for the brand providing the digital content as well, leading to an increased exposure.
To further illustrate this, I would like to dig into the example of Beats by Dre partnership with AT&T. Beats by Dre, a company specializing in premium headphone sales, recently took on this theory with their Beats Music campaign as they sought out to create a music platform specially tailored to Beats clients. By partnering up with phone provider AT&T, not only will Beats allow a for pre-existing AT&T customers to have exclusive access to their new service, but will expose an entirely new database of potential clients to the world of streaming music services—clients that may have otherwise remained ignorant to the industry.
In an era notorious for its tendencies towards instant gratification, I believe cross-branded bundling packages are highly effective solutions not only because they increase brand awareness, but also because they appeal to the impulse buyer. The power of digital content like Spotify lies in its instantly redeemable nature, which is exactly why it’s such a strong motivational tool, allowing brands to gift consumers items of high perceived value (and foster brand affinity) for no additional cost. The consumer redeems his free electronic gift while the marketer integrates their data into invaluable CRM tools and everyone goes home happy, finding themselves content in a system perpetuated equally by both buyer and brand alike.