In September 2018 the Elysée Palace announced the launch of an official online store that sells branded products related to the palace and its history. Widely used by private companies, the marketing technique is now being adopted by the public sector with the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre selling branded products and many other museums and historical monuments following suit.
What is a “branded product”?
A branded product is a product designed to exploit the reputation of a brand, a concept, a person or an organization. It is not a product placement technique, which consists of product manufacturers trying to gain more exposure by featuring their products in the media, as it involves creating new products to promote a brand. Manufacturers of branded products are required to obtain licenses that would allow them to place a brand name on their product.
In order to offer branded products to a public organization, it is necessary to go to the public market.
Why branded products?
For private companies branded products represent above all an opportunity to increase brand awareness. For example, it’s not uncommon to find homeware and apparel with the famous American carbonated drink logo on it. By selling branded products, companies can reach a wider audience, diversify their product line and establish partnerships with manufacturers of complementary goods. In such a partnership, brands get more exposure and product manufacturers get an opportunity to partner up with well-known and beloved brand names.
For example, after the French soccer team won the World Cup 2018 many products related to the winning soccer team brand such as clothing, stationary, balloons and plates became widely available in France.
In the public sector, offering branded products represents a fundraising opportunity, as the majority of historical places are already popular destinations that do not need further awareness building efforts. The reason for offering branded products at the Elysée Palace is to renovate the palace.
What products to choose? Beware of bad publicity.
Companies choose carefully the kind of branded products they want to offer. They tend to select products that are likely to interest their target audience. An animation studio is likely to sell branded toys whereas a soft drink brand will choose drinking glasses. The right selection of branded products can serve as an opportunity for brands to get more visibility while contributing to a good cause as it seems to be the case with the products offered by the Elysée Palace.
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