PR stories hiding in your supply chain: Suppliers of tomorrow

For those frequent readers, you may have guessed that one of my greatest passions is the stories behind your suppliers.

I’ve written quite a few times now about how retailers can leverage these stories to inject their private label products with expertise, interest and passion; making them more compelling and thus drive sales.

In this ongoing series of posts, I’d like to explore how you can further leverage these stories to naturally grow brand loyalty and advocacy through public relations.

A week doesn’t go by without my coming across a story and forwarding it on to a colleague in PR. I also inevitably end up delving deeper to find out more.

For example, I was prompted by the National Farmers Union’s (NFU) announcement earlier this year that they are to publish scores for ‘British’ private label source authenticity to explore their other content. I quickly came across their admirable drive to promote the education of farm crafts in primary schools.

Of the dozens of suppliers that I’ve visited so far this year, I can’t think of any who wouldn’t relish the opportunity to share their passion and enthusiasm with the next generation:

  • Whether it be exploring opportunities beyond being “a chef” for those who love to cook – I certainly can remember thinking in such blinkered terms when I sat in food technology classes at school. Oh, how wrong I was!
  • Or those kids who love to make things. How would you like to get paid for that and see your product on the shelves of national chain?

The opportunities are as endless as the categories within your supply base.

By working as ‘One Team’ with your suppliers and facilitating these activities, your organisation can create the best kind of PR – press releases or social media stories of genuine win-win situations:

  • Your brand is associated with educating the next generation, supporting British industry and championing provenance in your product range.
  • Your suppliers receive national press coverage, potentially increasing the sales of their lines.
  • The kids get to meet truly inspirational individuals who can broaden their horizons and convince them to pursue a passion in later life.

And in the world of social media marketing, the relatively small time investment to facilitate this initiative doesn’t end in one press release. You can repurpose that content in a number of ways to maximise the return on investment:

  • Ask the supplier or a teacher from the school to blog about their experience for your social media channels.
  • Get your YouTube channel camera crew to accompany the supplier to create a short video of the event –  they could even film a few recipe videos whilst they’re there!
  • Tweet, tweet and tweet again – the visit is coming up, the visit is happening, the visit happened, here’s the video from the visit (In the fast-moving world of Twitter, we’re always short of compelling content).
  • Add additional point of sale material around the product promoting the visit in the local area on the run-up to the event.

You get the picture…

Ultimately, by inviting your suppliers and PR function to join you in your extended private brands team – working together as one team, you can create dozens of pieces of authentic content from a single supplier school visit. Each piece working to slowly improve your brand perception in the eyes of consumers using something right under your nose – your supply chain.

Further reading:

Tags: Supplier engagement

David Taylor

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