When looking to elevate your brand recognition, it can help to form strategic partnerships with brands whose offerings and values align with your own.
By leveraging these partnerships, you can gain an array of benefits, including increased brand awareness, customer loyalty and lower costs by splitting labor. At the same time, however, a poor partnership can muddle alignment with consumer messaging, create interpersonal conflict and ultimately risk your brand’s reputation.
Knowing how to spot a good partnership opportunity, and what to do with that opportunity once the partnership is formed, takes savvy planning. There are different kinds of partnerships and a host of different ways a partnership can be beneficial.
Finding Your Partner
Knowing who would make a good strategic partner takes understanding your own brand well. You must ask yourself: What do you value, who is your target market, and who would best enhance your brand while not being direct competitors?
The best partners complement and enhance your current offerings. Their target market and yours should align well, and may even overlap. As such, you should ensure that your company cultures, values, and approach to branding and marketing match before agreeing to a partnership.
This will provide the best outcome on both sides and guard against the partnership souring at some point due to misaligned goals and values.
Types of Partnership
There are a number of different types of partnerships that you can enter into for brand growth. One kind of partnership is a co-marketing partnership. This partnership involves conducting joint marketing activities across each brand's own platforms. This can include guest posts on the partner’s blog, appearances on each other’s podcasts, or social media giveaways.
Another kind of partnership is an integration partnership. Remember when Taco Bell began selling Doritos tacos? That was an integration partnership, when two or more brands combine forces to create a totally new product or service.
A sponsorship partnership is another option. Relatively self-explanatory, these partnerships involve one brand sponsoring another, which can often be found during special events.
Getting the Most from Your Partnership
In order to properly leverage any sort of partnership in which you decide to enter, you need to make sure all of the goals are outlined from the outset of the relationship. The goal for both partners should be increased brand awareness and growth in their individual customer bases. Providing value to the other should be the goal of both parties, as should meeting their own needs and benchmarks.
Contracts will be necessary so all of the terms and conditions of the partnership are clear and in writing.
Regular communication will be critical throughout the lifecycle of the partnership, especially regarding metrics for the partnership’s success. Some examples of metrics brands can use to measure the success of their partnerships include:
- Overall ROI
- Attributed revenue
- Conversion and click-through rates
- Cost per acquisition (CPA), and
- Customer lifetime value
By releasing creative co-marketing efforts and overlapping offers for each customer base, all sides of the partnership can get the maximum benefit from the relationship. It’s important to remember that you cannot just be out for your own brand’s gain, but keep in mind what you can do to enhance brand recognition for your partner as well.
Strategic partnerships are one of the best ways to increase attention for your brand and positively influence your bottom line. With smart choices concerning who you partner with and thoughtful marketing efforts, brand partnerships can go a long way toward enhancing your overall business success.
Aja Bradley-Kemp is the founder of Conversate Collective