Trade spend glossary: All the essential terms you need to know

Richy Ugwu
June 24, 2022

Talking about trade spend often involves specialized terminology, with some terms that seem very closely related. Whether you’re new to the world of trade spend or simply want clarity on the industry jargon used, we’ve got you covered with this handy glossary. 

Brand marketing

Brand marketing definition

Brand marketing includes all the activities that aim to promote the whole brand, which could include a range of different products. It does not directly urge a sale, but rather communicates awareness of the brand and establishes a relationship with its target audience, which could be consumers or business partners. A strong brand has high brand value, which, in theory, transfers to value for the brand’s products. Logo design, catchy slogans, social media presence, advertising, and media creation all form part of brand marketing.

Good brand marketing does more than simply highlight a product’s quality and advantages. Effective brand marketing is based on extensive market research that communicates a brand’s values in a way that appeals to multiple demographics as a key part of their lifestyle.

Brand marketing promotes the brand as a whole rather than a single product. Via Pexel

Brand partnership

Brand partnership definition

Brand partnership, also known as co-branding, is when two brands partner to offer their branded products in conjunction, for example, when a fast food restaurant offers a branded toy from an entertainment franchise with their kids’ meal, a make-up brand features celebrity-branded products or an airline partners with a hotel or taxi booking service. The aim is to transfer the success of one brand to the other partners, and vice-versa. 

Brand partnerships offer all partners involved a chance to broaden their reach, reach new demographics and benefit from the knowledge of all partners. Of course, the partnership must make sense for the brands and works best when they share similar values and offer complementary products. Well-known brands can often create significant social media buzz from their devotees simply by announcing their association.

Brand partnerships is when two brands collaborate, like in the case of co-marketing campaigns. Image via HypeBeast Copyright H&M/Versace

CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods)

CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) definition

Consumer packaged goods are items that customers buy and use frequently, so they also require regular replacement or replenishment. Typically, these are items such as food, beverages, toiletries, cleaning products, cosmetics, clothing, and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.

Consumer packaged goods are usually low-priced, widely available commodities. Because they are things that are regularly bought and replaced, the demand for consumer packaged goods is typically quite stable, staying constant even during times of economic volatility. Since consumer packaged goods are cheap to produce, competition for shelf/store space is extremely high, and a strong brand can make all the difference in sales. Take a look at any supermarket shelf display to see how branded goods compete with cheaper store branded alternatives.

CPG (Consumer packaged good) refers to all goods or commodities that consumers frequently buy, either in stores or online. Image via Pexel

Trade spend 

Trade spend definition

Trade spend is all the activities that a brand undertakes with retailers. Most brands do not exclusively sell in their own stores. Instead, they work with multiple sales partners (merchants) that sell their products. Merchants have direct access and interaction with consumers through their sales channels (e.g., physical and online stores). Brands have the product and the corresponding marketing resources to create demand for it. Therefore, it makes sense for brands and merchants to partner together to increase mutual profits.

The ‘spend’ part of trade spend refers to all costs associated with selling products through a reseller’s point of sales, whether through physical stores or eCommerce. The brand spends money and resources on this via marketing, promotion, outreach, and business deals.

Trade spend are funds that brands spend on promoting their items in retailer or merchant stores, both online and offline, in the form of promotions, sales, slotting, free samples, etc. Image via Pexels.

Trade spend can be seen as an investment by the brand in its relationship with retailers. In return for the spend, the brand achieves higher sales and brand recognition, and both brand and retailers increase their monetary returns. Trade marketing, trade promotion, brand marketing, and brand partnerships can all be seen as techniques within trade spend.

Trade marketing

Trade marketing definition

Trade marketing, also called B2B (business-to-business) marketing, is the promotion of a brand’s product toward potential sales or supply chain partners, rather than consumers. The aim of trade marketing is to convince other businesses that a partnership with your brand will be advantageous to them.

Through trade marketing, the brand wants to increase demand from sales partners (i.e., get them to order more products, and feature the product on their stores or websites). Trade shows and industry conventions, where representatives of different companies conduct in-person networking, display their latest products, and attend speeches by industry thought leaders, are significant events for trade marketing. Industry publications such as magazines and websites are also channels for trade marketing, as are industry award ceremonies.

Trade marketing is a B2B activity where brands try to attract sales and supply chain partners who in turn would sell their items. Trade shows are central place where this takes place. Via The Hustle.

Trade promotion

Trade promotion definition

Trade promotions are marketing campaigns and promotions by the brand with the aim of increasing sales within a particular retailer. This could be targeted at a particular chain of stores, an eCommerce platform, or a store at a particular location. The idea is to get the retailer to feature your brand’s products over the competition. Shelf space, even website space, is limited, so having more products from one brand will limit space available for competitors.

Much like consumer-targeting promotions, trade promotions can consist of lowered prices, bonuses, loyalty incentives, bulk discounts, package deals, and any other technique that convinces the retailer to order more of the brand’s product. Manufacturers will often employ teams of specialized business-to-business sales reps to offer trade promotions and secure partnerships with suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers.

Trade promotion involves pushing the sales of a certain product through many tactics such as discounts or bunk sales. Via the The beverage journal

Retail media

Retail media definition

Retail media is a form of marketing that targets consumers at or near their point of purchase, or point of choice between competing brands or products (i.e. when they’re just about to buy something, whether online or in-person). This can include techniques such as in-store advertising, online advertising, sampling, loyalty cards, sales, and coupons or vouchers. In eCommerce, this means native and display ads for the brand on the retailer’s website.

Because it targets consumers at a critical decision point, retail media is seen as a highly desirable method of increasing sales, with multiple branded products competing for this space on a retailer’s point of sale.

Retail media is an omnichannel marketing strategy that is in-store, both offline and online, and targets consumers when their buying intent is the highest.

About unea

At unea, we've created a no-code software that both retailers and brands can use to collaborate on trade marketing campaigns. It's a dedicated workplace that makes cooperating and communication easier, faster and less time-consuming.

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