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Advantages of Brand Partnerships – and who’s got it right

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Louise Findlay-Wilson

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Why do companies or brands co-market? The answer is easy, the advantages of brand partnerships are huge:

Advantages of Brand Partnerships

1. More Oomph

Working with another brand or business gives you the chance to pool marketing resources, expertise, and contacts. Your partner will plug deficiencies in your marketing team and vice versa.

2. Bigger Reach

If you are promoting the partnership to your communities, and they are marketing it to theirs, you are both reaching a bigger, combined audience. We brokered a partnership between Galt and Trunki which is a brilliant example of this.

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3. Reaching Tricky Audiences

Choose your partner with care, and a brand partnership could be a good way to get your brand in front of people you normally struggle to reach.

4. Magic Shared

Advantages of brand partnerships don’t get much bigger than this one! If the brand you work with is known for something you want to be associated with, some of their magic will rub off. Think Adidas and Kanye West, who together created the Adidas Yeezy brand in 2015. West brought ‘rapper-design kudos’ to the German sportswear brand, helping it develop a product to rival Nike’s Air Jordans.

Similarly, we helped Sanlam Private Wealth add some rugby magic to its financial brand through a joint initiative with iconic rugby stars Saracens. The resultant office fitness guide created in conjunction with the club, separated Sanlam from the pack and added value to its affluent City worker clients.

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5. Demonstrating Caring Credentials

Many partnerships involve a brand working with a well-known charity or cause. For the charity, the benefit of the tie-up is obvious – fundraising. However, for the brand it’s an opportunity to demonstrate caring credentials in a practical, engaging way. Recently both Snapchat and Cadburys neatly embarked on charity tie-ups, in this way.

6. Penetrating a Market

Co-marketing is also good way to launch your brand into a new geography or market where you are not known.

7. Building Trust

One of the many advantages of brand partnerships, is the way they enable you to build trust around your brand. For instance, let’s think about Kanye and Adidas again. While Adidas gained design/cool credibility from the connection, it’s important to note that for Kanye the tie-up had value too. Retailers could trust a ‘celebrity brand’ with the Adidas machine behind it.

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8. Extending Products

Beyond this, brand partnerships are a good way to extend or rejuvenate your products. Through developing a clothing range with world-famous male model, David Gandy, M&S elevated its core menswear staples. They gained a more designer edge, without alienating or scaring off its die-hard fans.

9. Reinforcing Market Position

You can also use a partnership to also reinforce what you are known for. For instance, by working together both BMW and Louis Vuitton underscored their luxury travel credentials without stepping on each other’s toes. These two giants - which share the exact same customer base with the same desire for luxury - partnered together to create a four-piece luggage collection. The collection fitted into the trunk of the BMW i8. The innovation added kudos to both brands and offered something new to their loyal customers.

10. Content

Content is king, brands can never have too much - but as you will know, generating it can be expensive and time consuming. That’s why it must be one of the key advantages of brand partnerships. Think GoPro and Red Bull – the latter’s events, the former’s cameras in the hands of thousands of adventuresome over-sharers and you have a content match made in heaven!

11. News

Often the partnership creates news in its own right – for instance the campaign between Cadburys, Age UK and Captain Tom captures the spirit of the moment and has garnered great news exposure for the brands and causes.

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12. Business Strategy and Sales

A brand partnership can go way beyond being a convenient marketing tie-up. It can have a profound impact on your overall business strategy and bottom line.

Kanye West has helped boost sales at Adidas, creating the fashion company, Yeezy, which has a nearly $3 billion valuation, according to Bank of America.

Similarly, as part of its circular economy work, Adidas has operated a strategic partnership with Parley for the Ocean since 2014. As a result, it’s producing trainers made from recycled plastic found in the sea. It’s estimated 15-20 million trainers will be made of 95% recycled material in 2020. It’s no greenwash stunt. By 2024, it has pledged to use 100% recycled polyester in all its products.

But perhaps the most profound example of a brand partnership delivering business is Intel’s collaboration with PC manufacturers. This was a fundamental part of its strategy to avoid being stuck in a commodity microprocessor market. Intel developed a superior chip and then persuaded PC brands to not only install it in their PCs but to trumpet the fact it was there. Remember this was at a time when most people had no idea what a chip was! Intel asked the PC partners to present the “Intel Inside” logo on their products and in their ads. Motivated by the 10% premium they could command for “Intel Inside” products and Intel’s generous contributions to their ad budgets, they embraced the strategy and advertising for computers exploded as a result. Retail sales followed and Intel avoided commoditisation.

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Advantages of Brand Partnerships - Conclusion

As you can see there are many advantages of brand partnerships. Plenty of smaller companies have benefited from them. But how do you work out who’s the right partner for you? A great start point is our blog which covers the 7 Simple Rules of Brand Partnerships.

But if you want to cut to the chase, call us. As part of our service to clients, we help them identify appropriate partners, broker the deal and bring it to life. So if you are keen to unleash the advantages of brand partnerships in your business, but aren’t sure where to start – email Louise@energypr.co.uk or call 01993 823 011

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