14 May Taking the leap with brand partnerships
The old truism that the company you keep says a lot about you is never more apt than when developing brand partnerships. People are quick to judge, so you have to get it right. Even when you get the brand fit right, there is still a big unknown that can make it feel like leaping into oblivion… Is the partnership fair and equitable for both brands? Or, put another way, “Am I getting sc***ed?”
When done well, the right partnership can invigorate a brand, bringing new attention and interest, whilst casting the brand in a new light. Think Star Wars and Covergirl, Nike and Apple, LEGO and Shell, GoPro and Red Bull, Spotify and Starbucks, Spotify and Uber, Spotify and, well, any brand…
On the flip-side, the wrong brand partnerships can be disastrous. Think LEGO and Shell after Greenpeace waded in, Apple and U2 (when they automatically downloaded a U2 album into every user’s library), Mercedes Benz and SsangYong (still see the Musso driving around), McDonalds and the Beijing Olympics… History is littered with the wreckage of unholy partnerships gone wrong.
So, why do it when the risks are so evident?
The thing that a partnership offers, that very few forms of marketing can deliver, is immediate access to new customers. These new customers are best reached through the partner brands owned media assets because it is cheaper, more effective and speaks more to the partnership. So, any brand partnership needs to be accompanied by a mutually agreed owned media solution by both parties. The solution will detail the media, such as website carousel; solus email; social posts; mobile app; instore screens etc. that will be provided for each partner. These assets must reflect an accurately valued, strategically aligned owned media plan. Without it, the true value of the partnership, for both parties, is subjective.
Partnerships are about trust and mutual growth. Subjectivity jeopardises trust, however, the empirical nature of owned media value is impartial. Accurately and fairly traded owned media is an essential element to a partnership. This way, both brands can get the most out of their partnership and take the jump with confidence that the deal is both fair and equitable.