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Retail Brands Use Media Partnerships to Drive Engagement

Retail Brands Use Media Partnerships to Drive Engagement

Retail brands are using media partnerships in creative ways to drive engagement, reaching consumers at more parts of their day-to-day routines.

Take, for instance, insect repellant brand Off. The company earlier this month announced a partnership with The Weather Channel to provide an “OFF!Cast Mosquito Forecast” on the latter’s app. The forecast combines data from the bug spray brand parent company SC Johnson’s Center for Insect Science with The Weather Company’s information and insights.

“As weather patterns change and increasingly impact the health of both people and businesses, innovative teams like the Off brand are using weather intelligence and factoring changing weather conditions into how they help consumers from the start,” The Weather Company CEO Sheri Bachstein said in a statement.

The two companies’ combined “trove of trusted, scalable data” makes the partnership “a natural fit,” she added.

Across the retail space, brands are finding creative ways to get consumers to engage digitally. Last week, for instance, beauty brand e.l.f. extended its partnership with virtual world and gaming platform Roblox to feature real-world buying opportunities, with an in-game kiosk where consumers can buy a Roblox-exclusive limited-edition physical product to be shipped to their home. Additionally, buyers also get a “virtual twin” item for use within the platform.

“Testing commerce on Roblox is the next evolution in our journey of merging beauty with immersive platforms,” commented Kory Marchisotto, chief marketing officer at e.l.f.

Nike, for its part, kicked off a partnership with workout app Strava last year to expand its own fitness services to new audiences, enabling members using the Nike Run Club and Nike Training Club apps to sync their data and share workouts on Strava’s platform.

Then there are retail brands’ partnerships with major podcast networks. Take, for instance, Sephora working with Girlboss Radio Network on #Lipstories, a series of conversations around self-image, or GE’s LifeAfter/The Message podcast in partnership with Panoply.

Plus, many retail brands are moving into in-house digital content to generate similar boosts in engagement while getting to own and control the experience (and the profits). For example, there are brands’ livestream shopping events or the slew of branded retail blogs that have emerged in the last decade.

Many consumers, for their part, turn to digital content for shopping inspiration. The PYMNTS Intelligence special report “Generation Zillennial: How They Shop” found that 1 in 5 consumers said that in the last month, they had made retail purchases at least partially due to the influence of something they read, such as an article about a product. Plus, the study’s survey of more than 3,600 U.S. consumers further revealed that 13% had done so at least partially due to a social media influencer or celebrity, and that share more than doubled to 28% for Generation Z.

Retail brands are finding that well-considered media partnerships offer the opportunity to engage consumers in novel and meaningful ways. By integrating their products and services into platforms that consumers already frequent, such as weather apps, virtual gaming worlds and fitness communities, brands can meet their audiences where they are, fostering a seamless blend of entertainment, information and commerce.