March 23 2021  |  Industry News

SPARK offers brand management with positive ROI

By Hibah Noor

SPARK Group of Companies has announced a new sales and promotions concept for airport retail called the Brand Partner Program.

In this new initiative, SPARK employs Brand Partners and then trains them to provide airport shoppers with a highly engaging, personalized and sophisticated airport retail experience.

SPARK devised the program to bring the role of sales personnel and brand ambassador up to becoming a dedicated airport store brand manager.

The one-year extendable program, which comes complete with real-time sales reporting via a bespoke app, aims to transform the effectiveness and ROI of the shopfloor sales function.

A strong advocate for sales optimization, SPARK has delivered successful programs for brands and retailers including Estée Lauder, Godiva, Dufry, Coty, L’Oréal, Andrew Peller, Sisley, AmorePacific, Hermès and Bulgari among many others.

The Brand Partner Program has a goal of helping boost post-pandemic recovery; cohorts at key airports are scheduled to commence later this year, in line with North American air travel recovery.

SPARK Brand Partners are given exceptional training to provide optimal service, sales and brand representation

The program includes comprehensive training designed to complement the established product training programs of brand and airport retailer clients. The Brand Partner Program has been designed to tackle head on the many issues currently facing brands and retailers in the face of COVID-19, according to SPARK Group of Companies President Heidi Van Roon.

Issues include reduced shopfloor accessibility and travel budgets, obsolete activation models and ROI uncertainty for brands, and reduced labour budgets, high turnover costs of brand ambassador programs, and the need to adapt activations to what is safe and impactful in the post-COVID era for retailers.

Brand Partner Jenny representing Coty Fragrances at YVR, observing COVID-19 protocols

Brand Partners are available in full-time or part-time packages, with a positive ROI as an important part of the equation. Companies receive dedicated 12-month contracts from SPARK with competitive wages. The program fee includes recruitment, SPARK training, on-site support, wages, bonus, employer obligations, regular reporting and an administration fee.

For SPARK Group of Companies President Heidi Van Roon, a positive ROI is imperative for companies that take part in this program

Heidi Van Roon said: “Collaboration is right at the heart of what we are trying to achieve. The success of the program is dependent on a team of 5-10 Brand Partners per airport location and full retailer support. We have used our experience of delivering some of the most profitable brand ambassador programs and brand activations seen in Americas travel retail in pre-COVID years to create this new, all-encompassing airport retail sales employment service.”

Heidi Van Roon with SPARK team members at YVR

She concluded: “What we are delivering with the Brand Partner Program is benefits to the retailer, benefits to the brand, and benefits to the employee. In other words, a win-win-win situation. We urge brands and retailers to provide input and to work with us and lead the airport retail sales model forward into a bright future.”

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