How Peeps Reinvented Itself Through Brand Partnerships and Clever Marketing

May 22, 2022

Either you love Peeps, or you don’t, but everyone knows what they are.

I buy Peeps every year, but I don’t actually eat peeps because I personally think they taste gross.

Don’t look closely at the ingredient list – copious amounts of sugar, artificial flavoring and gelatin (I once took a Peep and put it in the microwave to entertain my niece and watched it grow to about four times its size (because of the gelatin in it).

Peeps used to only haunt us around Easter, but thanks to brand partnerships and clever marketing, they are now a year-round item, with odd flavors continually popping up such as pickle (say what?), hot tamale, fruit punch, red velvet, candy cane, pancakes and syrup (ew), sour watermelon and more (check out this article for a review of these flavors).

So why am I bringing up Peeps today?

Because Peeps are a great example of the power of brand partnership marketing.

According to Pica9, “a brand partnership is a mutual agreement between two or more businesses or organizations. Through these partnerships, companies help one another to increase brand exposure, break into new markets, and add extra value to products/services.”

Peeps is a product line that was just supposed to be in stores for Easter (Easter season accounts for about 75% of Peeps sales each year), but has branched out into a year-round line with home, clothing, personal care and other food products.

Peeps had a challenge from which we can all learn a valuable lesson – how do you keep a brand in front of people, and keep people thinking about your brand when you don’t have a lot of money to invest in marketing? The answer? Several key strategic marketing partnerships.

Brands often partner up on hybrid products as a way to build off each other’s visibility. When reputable brands partner, the visibility that you create around the partnership helps to create buzz and anticipation. This can provide media and social media influencer opportunities.

By teaming up with huge brands like PepsiCo and Kellogg (for Peeps cereal among other products), Peeps used the benefit of their brand names and marketing strengths.

Those partnerships helped to bolster Peeps’ position and the more partnerships Peeps had, the more other brands wanted to partner with the sugary marshmallow creation.

Joining forces with Peeps around Easter offered brands a way to make a stronger seasonal marketing push and keep their products top of mind.

Peeps is a nostalgic brand that brings to mind childhood memories and the start of spring. That emotional connection goes beyond any affinity for actually eating Peeps.

So as we can see with Peeps, creating a positive association with your brand and utilizing the power of strong partnerships with big brands, is a great recipe for a successful marketing initiative.

There are two kind of people: Those who stock up on Peeps, and those who can’t stand them. Which one are you?

Visit the Peeps website for the full Peeps line of products.

Copyright © 2022, Stefanie M. Marrone. All Rights Reserved.
National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 142