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Krispy Kreme is going viral.

This should be a good thing, but a flawed business strategy puts the company’s success on the line.

Here’s what happened: Krispy Kreme partnered with PrettyLittleThing on a viral ad campaign. It was pink, bubbly, and everything else you’d expect from PrettyLittleThing. The collab went viral, and according to every metric, their social engagement increased.

Typically, increased engagement would be something to celebrate. More people clicking on an ad equals more people buying your product…if they’re able to buy the product. 

Krispy Kreme has found itself in a situation where they lack enough grocery store partners to meet demand. People can go to their local Krispy Kreme’s chain or Krispy-stocked gas station. But some towns lack these venues, so Krisy Kreme needs more grocery-store partners. Right now, many fans can’t buy the product. 

Noticing a sales gap in grocery locations highlights a key lesson: ensuring partnership alignment across all channels is essential for success. Broader distribution requires tailored strategies, and successful marketing campaigns require tailored distribution.

It’s impossible to know what occurred, but in similar situations, I’ve encountered a breakdown between the distribution and marketing teams. Internal groups fail to communicate, and then they forget to discuss business logistics with external media buyers and ad agencies. (And this doesn’t even account for marketing failing to speak to publicity!) Organizations must ensure all sections of their business are communicating, including their vital vendors, so everyone can maximize the bang for their buck. 

If distribution doesn’t match marketing, ad dollars are going to waste. Which is why it’s so important for all segments of a business to communicate.