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The product brief: key to a successful trade marketing plan

As a trade marketeer, multitasking is your middle name. You deal on a regular basis with many different stakeholders. You’re also responsible for the budgeting and planning of the entire branding process. All with the ultimate goal of delivering your trade marketing items in accordance with the plan. 

There are many factors, however, that can influence your project along the way, and it is sometimes impossible to avoid deviating from your original plan. How can you be sure to minimize these delays and limit any associated expenses? To help you stay in control of your branding process, we’ve drawn up a practical guide that outlines the ideal trade marketing item development process step by step from start to finish. 

This blog gives a preview of the first two stages of this process. It explains how an internal assessment (stage 1) and product brief (stage 2) form the groundwork for your trade marketing plan. It provides advice on how they should be tackled and how they contribute greatly to a successful branding item development process. 

Stage 1: internal assessment

The first item on your to-do list when starting a new branding project is to conduct an internal assessment. This assessment constitutes the foundation for the remainder of the marketing process, so you should take the time to perform it thoroughly. Also, call upon important stakeholders within your organization to collect all the relevant information. 

Ideally, an internal assessment should include, at the very least, detailed documentation regarding:

  • Your business’ mission and vision
  • Brand guidelines and corporate identity
  • Marketing objectives and KPIs
  • Target groups, target markets and locations
  • Internal values regarding quality and sustainability – and how these should be reflected in the process
  • Property rights
  • Available budget, planning and deadlines

Create a vision of your ideal partner profile

As you perform this internal evaluation, think of a possible partner who, in your opinion, would be a good fit for this project. Then arrange a meeting at which you can bring your internal assessment to the table. The more extensive your assessment, the better your potential partner will be able to form a complete picture, not only of your brand but also of your objectives and target markets.

This may sound like a no-brainer, but the more information a supplier receives upfront, the easier it will be for them to:

  1. present design ideas that match your needs and wishes
  2. select materials which are in line with your quality and sustainability standards
  3. act as a worthy sparring partner throughout the design and branding process, rather than just playing the role of an executing party.

Presenting a full-blown assessment during the briefing phase is the first step toward developing a valuable partnership with your supplier.

Product brief is key to a successful trade marketing plan

Stage 2: product brief

A concise assessment together with your brand guide and artwork files provide an excellent foundation for an efficient briefing, and give the experts an opportunity to pose additional questions and fill in the blanks. 

Pro tip: List important details, but leave room for your partner to engage in the creative process and material selection with you. If you keep an open mind and use your partner’s expertise to your own advantage, they will most likely come up with innovative suggestions which would never have occurred to you!

Discuss your quality and sustainability requirements

Your counterparts shouldn’t be the only ones gathering information. A supplier’s proven track record working with leading brands is often a good indicator of quality, so don’t hesitate to devote some time to become acquainted with your future partner.

Thorough preparation on your part before the meeting enables you to ask in-depth questions regarding quality and sustainability, allowing you to select the partner that best reflects your values.

Are you interested in learning useful questions to ask in order to get a full picture of a supplier’s quality and sustainability standards? Our practical guide contains specific and ready-to-use examples. 

Request your copy of our Guide here.

After the product brief, our designers start working on your trade marketing planOur design experts create impactful designs that exceed your expectations! 

Collaborating with a specialist favors your planning and budget

When selecting a supplier, consider a specialized partner with extensive product knowledge as well as design skills. Collaboration with just one specialist throughout all stages of the branding process is advantageous for both your budget and your planning. Your product’s feasibility is taken directly into account, which will greatly reduce the need for any design alterations later on in the process. This could save you thousands of dollars. 

And with no time lost transferring work among different parties, your branding project will unfold in much more efficient fashion! 

Interested in further reducing your Total Cost of Ownership while maintaining high quality and sustainability standards? Dekkers International is a specialized partner who can help you achieve this objective.  Based on our long-lasting experience working with international leading brands, we’ve created a practical guide that outlines our best practices throughout the different stages of the ideal trade marketing item development process. 

Looking for valuable advice regarding the creation of innovative, high quality and sustainable branding items while realizing the highest possible ROI? Download our guide and discover opportunities within your trade marketing plan:

Practical guide: Stages of the trade marketing plan top brands never skip


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The Heineken® Company

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