Written by Sarah Tadier, Senior Associate Director.
This isn’t the first post you’ll read about brand partnerships and I’m sure it won’t be the last. They’ve been acknowledged as a go-to marketing tactic for years due to the ways they can strengthen reputations, change the way consumers view them, highlight a purpose, reach new audiences, add value for existing customers… the list goes on.
But as with most things, brands will reap the benefits if a partnership is done correctly (think Nike and Apple) and suffer the consequences if poorly thought through (ahem Kim Kardashian and the bizarre dieting lollipop).
And in a world where brand trust is paramount, it’s important to get these partnerships right. So, whether it’s brand partnering with brand, or brand collaborating with talent, here are our top tips to making sure every partnership gets the right kind of attention for your brand:
- Do your homework
Without meaning to sound like dating app, have you checked out your brand’s potential partner? What’s their back story, are there any skeletons in their closet and do their values conflict with yours? More so, is there a balanced benefit for both sides? It’s not just about the picture you see in front of you – you need to do some digging!
- Question whether the partnership will make your audience say ‘eh’?
If you have to overly explain the reason for the partnership, it probably isn’t right. Good partnerships should feel natural due to their common goals and values. They don’t have to be as famous as each other – partnerships can certainly help boost awareness of smaller brands – but should never feel forced. And it goes without saying that if they are competing brands, they’ll never get along.
- Ensure the partnership is mutually beneficial
Successful partnerships occur when both brands are looking to gain something from it. Something they’re unable to do on their own that will ultimately add value. And it doesn’t need to be the same goal – a charity might want to raise its profile, so partners with a brand wanting to position itself as socially responsible. Essentially, if one side is less invested, interested, bothered than the other, that’s simply not a partnership.
- Be ‘real’
For a partnership to be viewed as an authentic and meaningful collaboration, promotion shouldn’t be overly pushy. Promotion should feel more natural, which is where PR can play a key role via the endorsement of journalists or influencers.
- A partnership beyond the ‘partnership’
This mainly applies to partnerships with talent as any collaborations should have legs beyond the time the contract ends. At Stir, we try to ensure that link ups with celebs result in them becoming long term ambassadors for said brand. This ties in with the points above as it will only ever happen if the partner genuinely supports the brand and its values. A win win as it’ll also make the partnership appear more authentic.
- Get it signed
It may seem obvious, but it’s imperative you get a contract in place before the partnership begins. It doesn’t matter how big or small the partnership is, this will protect both sides later down the line if something unforeseen crops up.