Three Factors of a Successful Trade Promotion


In the B2B wholesale space, the brands that are most successful execute strong trade promotions. Using unique and highly valuable offers, these brands are able to stand out in a market place that just keeps getting louder and more competitive. 


Brands that execute strong trade promotions aren’t simply lowering their prices or increasing the frequency of their promotions. They know that this only devalues their product, reduces profits and hurts the longevity of their brand.


Having helped hundreds of wholesale businesses grow with our software, we’ve been able to highlight the aspects of the most successful trade promotions. Below are the three most important fundamentals that you need to consider in order to make your next trade promotion a success. 


Trade Promotion Fundamental One: A genuinely valuable offer


Before you say ‘I know this stupid’, this is often one of the most overlooked aspects of a strong trade promotion. Here’s a short story to get you thinking...


The boss has told you to run a trade promotion this month to help you make more sales. You look at what items you can still make a profit on at a discounted rate, then you go out looking for a customer to ‘cash-in’ on your trade promotion. 


Now look, I know that story wasn’t exactly up there with something JK Rowling could have scribbled out, but it will do the job for the point we’re trying to make. This trade promotion is doomed from the very beginning. 


Here's why.


It’s doomed because it’s not about helping the customer - it’s about making money. The person in this story has created a promotion that suits the business, instead of the customer. Trade promotions that are based around simply making money are destined for heartache. Worse, they devalue your brand, annoy your customer and lower your profits anyway. 


So, how do we fix this issue with our next trade promotion? We create an offer that our customer will really want. This seems simple, but it involves looking at our numbers, listening to the market, and being prepared to provide more value than we take - not the other way around. 


If you give more than you take, your trade promotion will be successful. Simply bundling up the crap that’s not moving in your warehouse and interrupting your customer with an urgent deal isn’t going to do your bottom line any favours. 


The best deals are great for both parties. A great read after this article on the subject is this one here by Brent Beshore on Forbes. Brent speaks about the fundamentals of a great deal. 


Trade Promotion Fundamental Two: Ease of interaction & user experience


The next fundamental of a successful trade promotion lies within our ability to present the promotion in a way that our customer can easily take action and capitalise on our strong and well thought out offer. It needs to be friction-free. 


This means making sure that there are no barriers to the customer taking you up on your offer.


Creating a friction-free trade promotion has many different aspects to consider, so below is a list of key considerations to get you thinking about your own trade promotion and how easy it is to access for your customer.


  • Ensuring all email links to the trade promotion are in working order

  • Ensuring all copy surrounding the trade promotion is simple and easy to understand

  • Transparency of all terms and conditions.

  • Do you have an online portal that allows your customer to purchase stock themselves?

  • Is the trade promotion advertised across all available mediums?

  • If the trade promotion online-based, is all the necessary information present for the customer?


These are only a handful of the considerations that are required when launching your trade promotion. Once you have a strong offer, the success of your trade promotion now lies in how easily your customer can interact and act on the promotion itself. It’s always worth the time it takes to get this stuff right, and having a solid CRM is always a great start.


Trade Promotion Fundamental Three: Divergence


Lastly, divergent trade promotions win. In marketing, divergence simply refers to creating a promotion that’s different and unique. Reducing your price, offering a two-for-one, or any other cliche special isn’t divergent, and it won’t help your trade promotion breakthrough - especially if your promotion is online-based.


In order to create a divergent campaign, presenting your trade promotion with an original point of difference is a must. It’s hard for us to say what this might be exactly for your business, and from here it’s up to you to think outside the box.


Remember, the first fundamental of successful trade promotions are strong and relevant offers. Providing that you already have a strong offer, to create divergence perhaps you can look at the way you market the offer? 


You could use humour, or maybe you could reach out to your customer in a different way than usual. 




Throughout this article, we have covered the three fundamentals of successful trade promotions for B2B wholesale brands. Based on our knowledge of working with hundreds of businesses in this space, and seeing what trade promotions have worked and what hasn't, the following three fundamentals were found. 


Firstly, a genuinely valuable offer is vital for any trade promotions success. Simply slapping together a discount on something you’re not sure your customer actually needs won’t cut it. 


Secondly, we need to ensure that our customer can easily access our trade promotion when it goes live. This means clearly articulating the value, terms and conditions - while making sure there are no roadblocks in your customer’s journey to the checkout. Think friction-free.


Thirdly, we spoke about divergence - which simply means to be different and unique with how you present your trade promotion. Doing the same thing as everyone else won’t help you break through the noise, and without a doubt, the businesses that take the time to come up with original ideas around their trade promotions always see better results. 


Are you a wholesale business looking to grow?


At Inzant, we provide wholesale professionals with a tool that helps generate sales and save time. Our easy to use iPad app is changing the game for our clients, and if you would like to learn more about what we do, simply get in touch below for a free demo.

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