Growing Partnerships

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As a member of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), they send me a monthly magazine – I flick thru’ it for 10 minutes and into the recycling it goes. But in the July edition, something caught my eye – an article written by Richard Jackson, who presents a garden show on the shopping TV channel QVC. Unsurprisingly, he was enthusiastic about the role of new media in supporting the industry, and the sales figures are undeniable – over 5% of all garden products are sold on-line, despite the obvious inability to touch and smell what you’re buying.

Digging a little deeper, I found that QVC had arranged a co-promotion with the RHS, offering an exclusive deal on extended membership if ordered through the QVC website. At first glance, this seemed an odd combination of brands and their audiences – with RHS being traditional and old-media, and QVC quite the opposite. Yet, this partnership started to make sense to me – both brands are specialist in their own way. QVC knows how to bring products alive on-screen, and RHS is able to convert new gardening enthusiasm into a lifelong interest.

Both QVC and the RHS are ultimately seeking the same thing – a faithful following of customers, who value what they offer, and who in time, will come to trust their advice. Their partnership can open up new customers from a recruitment source that each would have been unlikely to succeed with otherwise. Smart marketing, guys.

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