Cross Marketing

If you run a small lingerie label - or a small business of any sort - then you've probably been told that any other small businesses that sells products in your category are your competition.  That's how it works for mid to large business, after all, everyone fights for market share of like, cheese, or lightbulbs or smartphones, right?
Logically it follows that you have as little to do with your peers as possible.

But what if that's wrong? What if doing it all yourself just makes life harder? What if working together can help us pull in more customers?

Over many years plenty of us have worked on things together - anything from swapping fabric stashes, to sharing spaces at events, through full on cross promotional campaigns. Why?



The benefits of cross-marketing;

  • Fun! An underrated concept in business. You need something to get some joy from, or it's all bills and fighting with manufacturing
  • Are your peers really the competition? Or are we better off working together to take the disposable income from M and S, or from other areas altogether?
  • Struggling to come up with content? Working with other brands means you get a clear to-do list with structures and timelines - often producing evergreen content, or pooling resources to do things most couldn't do solo
  • Increased traffic - nothing is guaranteed but mentions by other brands can work like mentions from influencers, press etc. Some small brands are quite heavily rated as authorities by search engines, too, so that content back and forth can continue to improve your search ranking and pull people in
  • Mentioning other brands works well on the marketing principle of reciprocity - customers remember you for being generous - and confident!
  • Reducing isolation. If you're working solo on your brand from home or your own workshop, you may have hit the stage where you start talking to the mannequins. It happens to the best of us. What you need is a work friend!
  • Increasing numbers for mailing list offers, competitions or giveaways - promote whatever you are up to through the cross marketing event and you might well pick up new people


But what are the drawbacks?

  • You might have to work with people you don't like. Some of us wouldn't socialise together outside of work by choice. Some of us are litigious as hell. If you're at the latter end of this scale, then cross-marketing is not for you
  • Are you often convinced that other brands have stolen your ideas? Then cross-marketing will probably just worsen this notion
  • Sometimes, brands let you down. As small indies, almost all women, every year, someone will be too ill to work, or something will happen with a pregnancy, or some other personal issue that means there's no-one left to tackle the tasks. We balance this out by making sure there are plenty of people involved including some brands who have more staff, but you need to bear in mind that you may get let down
  • It may just not work out for some other reason. Marketing is always a bit hit and miss

What to consider when joining a cross marketing campaign

  • Does it fit with your brand?
  • What do you want to get out of it? Do you have a very clear business or personal goal? (Mine is personal - I'm more likely to get things done if other people have deadlined me!)
  • How will you measure whether you have met your goal?
  • What is the worst that could happen if it went wrong? Are you going to be OK if that happens? Like any marketing, approach it like gambling  - or trial and error - and don't bet what you can't afford to lose
  • Can you take a generous approach with the other people involved - are there any professional or personal resentments that will get in the way, or are you able to work constructively with everyone if there's any issues?

Current cross-marketing plans in motion or in planning are;

Lingerie Secret Valentine

Lingerie Lovebomb

Lingerie Paperdoll Library

Interested? Then drop a line to