How-to Create the Perfect Brand Partnership

May 28, 2013

Making the Introduction

The first step in building a marketing brand partnership is to have your introduction down. Whether you’re networking at a conference and looking to make face-to-face connections with brand representatives, or chatting online using your brand’s voice through social media, getting your elevator pitch ready for either type of conversation is key to turning contacts into colleagues.

Your opening line on Twitter is going to come across much differently than a pick-up line at a marketing event. You’ll want to make a lasting impression, either way, so get the lingo prepared for your opening act prior to making a proposal for working together on a campaign or promotion.

Do Your Research

Just like with a job interview or first date, doing research ahead of time will help you feel more prepared to propose a potential partnership to a brand representative. If you think you have something to offer this brand in working together on a campaign, promotion or giveaway, know exactly what you can put on the table and exactly what you plan on asking of them.

Cold calls are not appreciated in any industry, so make sure your relationship is strong with the brand representative or you have a mutual connection that can vouch for you and the brand you represent.

Types of Partnerships

Depending on what your marketing goals are, partnerships can be leveraged in many different ways, both long-term and short-term.

Giveaways

Partnering with a brand, or several brands, to build prizing for your giveaway helps reach a larger audience as all involved can help promote the sweepstakes through their social networks and marketing channels. One of our clients, Sport Chalet, works with vendors to secure products and the latest merchandise to add as incentives to get people engaged and willing to participate in their online sweepstakes.

Sponsorships

For media events, product launches and press junkets, working with partner sponsors to reach a wider market helps bring in foot traffic as well as influencers to come out to cover events and will gather more exposure for your campaign and can help reduce the cost for all brands involved. Drybar, a styling salon that offers blowouts only, recently partnered with HBO to promote their series GIRLS and Enlightened. Drybar managed to fill up every seat available during this promotion which ran in January for one hour each during a three-day window. HBO picked up the tab for every clients’ appointment, including tip and guests were gifted with a complimentary DVD of the first season of both shows as they left the salon. A win-win for both brands, bringing guests into the salon by enticing them with free services and HBO, no doubt, created a loyal following for both of their shows.

Exclusive Products

One of the best ways brands can work together is through an exclusive product or promotion. Suja Juice, a local company which recently launched their organic juice drinks, partnered with Searsucker, located in downtown San Diego, to create signature cocktails which can only be found at this restaurant. Guests of Searsucker are introduced to the fruit-filled beverages with the potential to turn into long-term customers. Those who purchase Suja Juice from their local natural food stores will be excited to try an alcoholic version as they are enticed to head to Brian Malarkey’s venue to try them out.

suja
Photo Source: Thrillist.com

Back It Up With Metrics

Measurement and reporting is important for all campaigns and contests run by a brand in order to determine what worked and how much engagement was created. Make sure you have a way to track how much your brand played a role in the promotion of your campaign versus that of your partnering brand. If your campaign was successful, and it will be if you form the perfect partnerships, both brands will benefit and can work toward a way to continue working, and growing, together in the future.

How do you create long lasting brand partnerships? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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