Over the past few years, you’ve may have noticed some interesting brand partnerships. When a brand partnership is executed correctly, it can prove to be very valuable and revenue-generating.
A solid example of a branding partnership is when VW and Tata Motors came together to help another boost sales. And without even realizing it, you’ve even seen brand partnerships all around you; even when you were young. For instance, when you opened up a box of cereal as a child and found a toy—that was co-branding. Strategic alliances are everywhere, and for good reason.
Here are just a few benefits of partnering with another brand:
Increase audience awareness by expanding reach. This is one of the biggest benefits of co-branding and partnerships. With two businesses working together, each can leverage the audience of the other, and will have double the marketing power and reach.
Creates a higher value perception. When one or more companies gets together, it increases the perceived value of the partnership to great more of a powerhouse duo.
Expands the marketing budget. This is obvious: two businesses equals two marketing budgets, and when combined, you can take your efforts much further. This also helps to save money. Want to print custom posters? Need a flag designer for your event? Plan to increase your Facebook spend? No matter how you decide to allocate your funds, you’ll have more wiggle room.
Reach new segments. Not only will you reach a wider range of people in your industry, but you’ll also reach new audience segments that weren’t in your original marketing plan.
What to Consider When Choosing
There are several things you should consider before you begin researching potential brands to partner with. For instance, you should choose a company that will benefit equally from the partnership as you. For instance, as a the owner of a coffee shop, you might want to partner with a local bakery. This allows you to serve customers great baked goods with a “locally sourced” tag, as well as makes it easier for the local bakery to spread their inventory outside of their own location.
Additionally, the value of each brand should match one another. As a local coffee shop, it would be difficult to partner with a brand that far exceeds yours in value. As previously mentioned, both companies should benefit equally, and therefore, both should be on level ground with one another. If you’re a new business, you’ll likely want to partner with a business that’s relatively new as well.
And lastly, the strategy you have in mind with the other brand should be easily understood by the consumer. A coffee shop and a bakery partnership makes sense, but a coffee shop with a candy company might not seem as strategic or sensible.
Choose Complementary Businesses
The main objective of choosing a business to partner with is to choose a brand that complements yours well. Now that you understand some of the key points in choosing a brand, you can go ahead and start researching complementary businesses. The options available to you depend on whether you’re a physical or online location, and whether your business requires local partnerships or can come from any direction. Typically, local business owners have an easier time cultivating relationships with one another.
Keep in mind that you don’t always have to start off with a full-blown contract and partnership agreement. You could host a small event, or have a trial period to see how one another’s businesses fares once cross-promotion and marketing has begun. It’s important that you’re flexible and choose businesses who have similar values and management as well.
Now that you’ve created a list of potential partners, it’s time to start reaching out. Your introductory email should be short and simple. Begin by introducing yourself and your business, and briefly stating what your brand is about. Then, let them know that you’re interested in creating a co-branded campaign, or a long-term partnership (depending on what your own objectives are).
The important thing here is to clearly state the benefit of the other company entering a partnership. You can’t approach the partnership by thinking only of what their brand can do for you, or how your business can take benefit. Brainstorm concepts and use bullet points to describe what your brand can bring to the table.
Host a Joint Event
Once you’ve identified the perfect partner and have agreed to work with one another, what better way to celebrate that partnership than through an event? After all, events are a great way to generate buzz. Of course, with your event, you want to put your products or services on display, so be prepared to give out freebies and discounts. You may even consider working with your partner to bring in sponsors who can make budgeting even more manageable.