Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Brand Partnerships – Do Your Homework First

As companies compete more and more for the ever-elusive consumer, many companies have chosen to form brand partnerships in the hope of differentiating themselves from their competitors, and, appearing to provide additional benefits, or added value, to the consumer.

This arrangement can be very successful, IF you find the right partner who can provide as much benefit to you, as they believe you can to them.

There are some great examples out there of partnerships that work, and I have to assume that they passed the partnership brand test, which is comprised of 4 key attributes:

1) A Complimentary Partner – Consumer must be able to see how this partnership makes sense, they need to see the connection and view it to some degree as obvious. If you need to explain it, you’ve already lost them.

2) A Shared Goal – Consumers want to understand the full value being created by your brand partnership. They want to know that your organization believes in what it’s supporting, and who you are aligning yourself with.

3) A Solid DNA Match – Your partner must share similar core values and see the world as you do, and be committed to the same causes as you do. Consumers will test the match in their own way, and it will be obvious, and potentially catastrophic, if it is determined that the partners are not working effectively as one unit to deliver the partnership brand promise.

4) It Has to Work Both Ways – It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating nonetheless that any partnership must have a win/win perspective, from the beginning and continuing throughout. If one partner is not as committed as the other, the relationship is doomed to fail.

Remember, at the end of the day, you are your brand, and your brand is a mirror reflection of you and your business.

This is your reputation that you are messing with, and you have probably worked hard to create a reputation for your business that you can be proud of, and, that has brought you success.

In short – this is like a marriage, so be careful and be thorough before you walk down the aisle.

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