Sometimes, two brands are better than one! However, you should ensure you enter a brand partnership for the right reason. Let’s start with what they are first.
Brand partnerships are a great way to gain exposure for your business and increase overall awareness among your target demographics. These partnerships can be as simple as teaming up on a giveaway, creating a product bundle, or hosting an event together. Entering a brand partnership can help get you in front of a new audience with low financial risk. As a top-rated business strategy, partnerships of any kind can benefit both parties in immense ways but there are always things to be wary of before entering a partnership.
The main reason people enter brand partnerships is to leverage each other’s customer base and audience to gain exposure. It can be very risky to enter these kinds of partnerships, so be sure to keep an eye out for differences in target markets and messaging. The biggest risk is leveraging your brand loyalty and your audience’s trust. Read on as we break down the pros and cons of brand partnerships so you have everything you need to make the right decision for your business.
Pros of Brand Partnerships
Some of the best brand partnerships are the ones that surprise consumers and give them insight into what their favorite brands value in other companies. Consumers are constantly being bombarded with content and have seen it all, so an unexpected brand partnership could end up being the most successful. There are many examples of brand partnerships, sometimes having similar audiences and sometimes having different messaging but this does not mean the campaign will not be successful. Lego and Ikea did a campaign together and it was well-received by both of their audiences. Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart even share a wine partnership. It’s 2022 - anything is possible! A great way to see if the partnership is feasible is to get the opinion of your audience. Marketing does not always have to be blindly throwing out messaging and hoping it resonates with your audience. Instead, go straight to the source. Ask your audience how they would feel about a potential partnership and take their advice.
Cons of Brand Partnerships
Watching for red flags in business can often be confusing and stressful, but if you know what to look for, it can help you avoid a horrible situation. While there are many positives to entering a brand partnership, there are also negatives that could bring you the wrong kind of attention. Always make sure you trust the company you are entering into a partnership with. Sometimes, smaller brands try to grow quickly and accept any partnerships for exposure. While this is can be an effective method to build an audience, you want to make sure the partnership aligns with your values and goals.
Another con you need to keep an eye out for is brands that do not have similar messaging to you. This can include their beliefs and the tone in which they present their company. Disparities between collaborators can be the downfall of many campaigns if the partnership doesn't make sense to consumers. These days, when brand values are one of the top three important concerns for consumers, partnering with a company that has differently aligned beliefs than yours can deteriorate your brand’s image. We cover this on our podcast, Adapt and Thrive: A Survival Guide for the Modern Marketer.
A great way to test the success of a partnership is by simply asking your audience, “who would you want us to collaborate with?” Loyal customers know your company and what you stand for. Otherwise, they wouldn't be loyal customers. It never hurts to evaluate every potential reaction before entering a partnership, and doing so can give you insight into how the project would go.
Proof that Brand Partnerships Work
One of the most effective brand partnerships to date was between Nike and Apple when they designed the Apple Watch. Nike is already one of the most famous brands in the world, and Nike’s consumers were interested in getting the Apple Watch for its features that could be paired with Nike workout plans. IKEA and LEGO teamed up for a partnership that was surprising for their audiences but was well-received. . A favorite childhood toy of people around the globe, LEGO blocks allow children to have fun while building. As adults, many of us have built something from IKEA. Tying in the nostalgic childhood experience of building with the experience of furniture assembly as an adult, LEGO and IKEA created a campaign they could market to both audiences, resonating with multiple age groups at once.
Ultimately, aligning with partners that have similar goals, the same ethics and a new audience are what make the most successful brand partnerships, and this process can work for businesses of any size. If you need help with business advice or want to develop a brand partnership campaign for you and another company, give L7 Creative a call. Our amazing team is ready to curate the most unique brand partnership campaign that will drive your engagement through the roof.