Trade Communications and trade PR: the five golden rules

Trade Communications: Five Golden Rules

27th March, 2019 by Lauren Gimbel

Trade Communications should be a crucial element of any food or drink brand’s PR strategy. Why? Because if your product isn’t on the supermarket shelves, in cafes and coffee shops, or stocked behind the bar, it doesn’t matter how compelling your consumer marketing activity, or how innovative your product – shoppers simply won’t be able to get their hands on it!

For food and drink brands, trade communication is all about ensuring important decision-makers – and that might mean supermarket buyers, independent retailers or pub landlords – have clear rationale which demonstrates why your product must be stocked ahead of the competition.

In turn, securing good distribution in key locations means that the rest of your marketing campaign will work harder. With good distribution you’ll make it simpler for your target market to choose your product and you’ll also be more accurately able to measure your campaign’s effectiveness through sales figures.

So, what are the golden rules?

  1. Give your audience compelling reasons to stock your product. Remember, whether you’re talking to a buyer at Tesco or an independent retailer with a single store, they both want to know the same thing: Will this help us to grow our sales?
  2. Know your audience(s). Trade audiences across channels have different concerns and different motivations, so – while they all want to know how our product will grow their sales – applying a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is not the way to best engage with these diverse groups.* Be sure to tailor communications to each of your different channels.
  3. Get your messaging right. Trade audiences are reading for work, not for pleasure. This means, more than ever, every sentence needs to make an impact. So, work with FMCG communications specialists (like Richmond & Towers 😉) to make sure your messaging hierarchy is clear and consistent. Not sure what these messages should be? We’ll run a workshop with your team to develop these based on your brand’s commercial goals.
  4. Don’t underestimate the importance of advertising. Within trade media, editorial coverage and paid-for support often go hand-in-hand, and a trade communications programme isn’t complete without an impactful advertising campaign that can reinforce your editorial messages and further inspire your customers to purchase.
  5. Get the right spokespeople in place. Insightful, non-generic spokesperson commentary adds colour to the picture for trade journalists and maximises coverage opportunities for your brand. Ensure your spokespeople are put through their paces with media coaching so that they’re primed to tackle everything from trade media interviews to networking events.

Want to find out more? Give us a call to find out how we can develop the most impactful trade communications programme for your brand.

*Hopefully it goes without saying that communicating consumer-focused messages to trade audiences is a dreadful waste of your budget…