April 6, 2018
Some exclusives are the product of brand owners and retailers trying to come up with a new twist on a popular brand. That was the case with Dora Loves Puppy, an exclusive that teamed Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer with Sears Holdings and its Sears and Kmart stores.
"That was a case where we took a popular brand and gave it a new twist
Fitzgerald says the promotion was a success because both Nickelodeon and Sears dedicated time and space to develop it.
"We expanded the brand across multiple categories, promoted it on our websites and dedicated an entire wall to the product. And when people saw a whole wall of product dedicated to Dora Loves Puppy, that equaled big sales," says Fitzgerald.
Other exclusives develop when brand owners sense untapped potential. That was the case when The Hearst Group purchased
magazine and inherited its "Seventeen at JCPenney" exclusive.
"We inherited a brand with a single princess bed pattern at 600 stores," says Glen Ellen Brown, vice president of brand development for the Hearst Group. "And they [JCPenney] wanted to increase sales so we developed an entire Fashion for Her Room line that reflected different styles for different personalities of teenaged girls."
Brown says the exclusive now features 500-square-foot Seventeen shops in 800 stores.
But not every exclusive is a success and even the most promising programs may not generate the desired returns and can create bad blood between retailers and brand owners. Fitzgerald says a good rule of thumb for both parties is to have realistic expectations.
"You have to build in and manage expectations to create a good relationship," says Fitzgerald. "You can't go into a program expecting the most optimistic outcome because anything can happen in this business and everything does, whether it's an economic downturn or a volcano in Iceland."
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