The perfect partnership - how to market your business
Businesses are always looking for ways to create a deeper connection with their customers and grow their brand, and many are sitting on assets that other companies would love to have access too. Using the power of strategic marketing partnerships or brand collaborations as a lever to scale and the opportunity to put your customer first is the post covid trend for 2022. Many brands think that unless they have a large social following, that they aren’t partnership potential but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The value of product creation, distribution, professional skills, the customers you serve, your foot traffic or website community is of great value to many other businesses. The American Express Collaboration Index explored the question, does the investment made in collaboration generate a worthy return? Unequivocally the answer was YES. The research revealed mid-sized and small businesses achieved a return on their investment faster than they expected. The ROI within six months took the form of increased sales, reduction in costs or both. Customers are having conversations right now and brands can be part of the information they are actively seeking. But how? By finding other brands that have your mutual customer and collaborating with that other company to exceed the customers’ expectations. Strategic partnerships are simply relationships you build with other companies who have the same values, and the same customer profile, who could create something together that has more value to the customer than they could offer by themselves. This is a tactic that the big brands have been using for generations. Think of how long the McDonalds happy meal has had a toy from the latest Disney movie? Tiffany and Co recently announced their latest collaboration with streetwear apparel brand Supreme, as a way of finding a new younger audience for their jewellery. Locally, Bonds and Japanese born Australia artist Kentaro Yoshida have collaborated to create high quality undies with an array of Kentaro’s colourful designs on them. While Zoe Foster Blake collaborated to create ‘My New Go-To Gin’ with Four Pillars. This limited-edition gin bottle came with her GotoSkincare ‘Transformazing sheet mask’ for your skin for the morning after and sold out without within hours of her announcing it on Instagram. Finding a brand to create a marketing partnership with doesn’t have to be grand or global. It could be co- branded content you both publish on your websites, an artist doing a capsule collection with a sculptor where both communities are invited to purchase or an online event where your customers get an experience or knowledge from a guest that they wouldn’t have got from your brand alone. The main point is for both parties to find a partner they can be themselves with, where you can both contribute and feel like you are both getting something out of the collaboration and can grow. But the magic formula is to do something the customer will love in an authentic and informative way. You need to make it a Three-way win. So how do you find brands to collaborate with: What are your customers asking for that you can’t provide yourself? It could be a service like Blooming Keepsales to preserve the bride’s bouquet after the wedding that a florists is always asked for. What does your customer do right before they buy from you? Homeowners engaging an interior designer before they buy furniture for their new home like the collaboration with designer Jono Fleming and Globe West. Who do you or your customers admire? Sparke Helmore Lawyers created an opulent event for 32 VIP clients at the luxury Paspaley Pearls location with Collet champagne and oysters from Harvest Catering which created a cross promotional opportunity for all involved. What other brands share your position in the market? Like the Four Pillars Gin example above, they have also worked together with Messina on a Christmas pudding gelato, but swapped the brandy for a spiced gin. Who is already speaking to the customer you covet? MamaMia podcast Lady Start Up stories interview past students show share their business journey, providing a wealth of new potential customers to the business, while their lady startup activation plan sees new enrolments from the students path to success. While we are all being encouraged to #shoplocal, it’s also the right time to collaborate locally too and help all our businesses grow together.