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Partnerships, Milk and Chocolate

Partnerships Milk and Chocolate

Rarely can a business make it solely on their own. In this post I talk how partnerships and innovative marketing can catapult the growth of your business.


Nowadays you get used to seeing a security guard when you go to the supermarket.

Generally they are there to put people off helping themselves to the goods without paying for them.

But this week at our local supermarket the security guards were there to protect one particular product.

Chocolate milk.

And it’s not just our local supermarket, it’s something repeated at supermarkets up and down the country.

Lewis Road Chocolate Milk Rations

New Zealand has gone mad for chocolate milk


The Perfect Marriage


The case of Lewis Road Chocolate Milk will surely be worthy of a Harvard Business School Case Study before too long, for it must be one of the most successful product launches in New Zealand, ever.

So let me fill in a bit of back story here.

Lewis Road Creamery is a New Zealand based premium dairy producer making products using organic milk.

In the process they have won many many awards for the quality and taste of their products.

A few months ago they announced a partnership with iconic Kiwi brand Whitakers chocolate, shortly after they had a marketing campaign staring celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.

The marketing campaign included a number of personal appearances and TV adverts filmed in high traffic areas (railway stations, shopping centres etc)

[My wife even sat next to Nigella on a flight to Auckland 🙂 ]



Becoming Social


So the ingredients of the campaign comprised of two well known products coming together to form something very special.

For weeks Lewis Road have been running teaser campaigns on their Facebook page.

So when the chocolate milk finally arrived in store, a lot of people who had heard about it went out and bought it.

Or at least they tried to buy it!

Then of course people shared photos on Facebook that they had bought some or tweeted about the fact that they couldn’t buy any.

Which of course encouraged other people to go out and buy it (or at least try to buy it!)

Which in turn led to supermarkets selling 500 bottles or more in under 90 minutes and Lewis Road posting delivery schedules on Facebook.

Of course, with it being a fresh milk product, Lewis Road has quickly ran into supply problems.

Which in turn, has created more demand for the chocolate milk.

Which in turn led to stores imposing a limit of one bottle per person.

Which of course has created more demand and more people talking about it, including the press and TV news.

Some supermarkets even require the supervisor to authorise your purchase if you use the self checkout aisle like they do for alcohol.


5 Lessons For Business Owners


So what’s the lessons you can learn here as a business owner? Here’s 5 things you can take away from this Lewis Road Case Study which you can implement in your business straight away.

1. Look to create partnerships with other non competing businesses to create a new product or service which is seen by potential buyers as game changing.

2. If your product or service is genuinely game changing, then give away your product freely to influencers. This will encourage the influences to start talking about your product and service, which in turn will generate buzz and create anticipation.

3. Limit supply, by producing small batches and create a waiting list.

4. Use social media for people to share their experiences and where they found the product.

5. Create “spot give-aways” of the product when people share your Facebook status updates about lack of availability – announce your delivery schedules online “so potential customers can go on the hunt for your products.

What’s holding you back? Your imagination probably and your lack of network of potential partnerships.

Think about what you can do to turn your product or service into an experience people are prepared to queue (and pay!) for.

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