In today’s competitive world of brand marketing, using the power of partnership brand marketing to gain marketing exposure and utilize new distribution channels is not only smart but also an essential marketing tool for businesses that want to remain competitive in today’s constantly changing marketplace. As corporate and marketing budgets are always an issue, partnership programs provide a way to grow your business and acquire new customers and reach new market segments.
What is Partnership Brand Marketing?
Partnership brand marketing brings two companies and brands together—each with its own brand equity and its own distribution strength. Whether teaming a fast food restaurant with a movie, pairing cereal with toys, or aligning a car manufacturer with a theme park to capture the family segment, partnership brand marketing creates strategic alliances for companies that reach areas in which they may not normally compete—providing more marketing exposure and ultimately gaining new customers.
True partnership brand marketing programs are more than just promotions. When carried out at a strategic level, partnerships can be expansive and deliver its full potential. Strategies can involve all elements of the marketing mix and thus have an impact on a company’s overall marketing message, its advertising programs, as well as product packaging and merchandising. Partnership marketing programs can also create joint sales and distribution opportunities, broader in-store merchandising, more compelling packaging and marketing material and overall offer stronger value to the consumer.
Creating strong, relevant and effective brand partnerships can be a cornerstone of every company’s marketing plan. Partnerships can actually affect and contribute to all elements of the marketing mix, including product and service offerings, price, locations, distribution, and promotions. For example:
- Partnership marketing can affect the actual product or service, increasing the overall value and providing stronger benefits to consumers
- Partnership marketing adds value to the overall price element by delivering a higher level of perceived value and providing consumers more reasons to purchase
- Partnership marketing impacts the location and distribution element, as it can open up new places to offer services or sell product and gain shelf space
- Partnership marketing delivers increased marketing exposure and shares in the equity/strength of each partner’s brand.
What are the key benefits to Partnership Marketing?
Benefits of creating partnership brand marketing programs include:
- Broadens the reach of a company’s target audience
- Increases marketing exposure
- Extends its marketing budget
- Broadens the scope and purpose of marketing strategy, allowing a company to market in a variety of new ways
- Saves money
- Help in gaining new customers in new market segments
Elements of a company’s marketing plan, such as promotions, advertising, product, in-store merchandising, distribution, direct, online and public relations can be added to ensure that partnership brand marketing programs become more expansive. Program overlays can include cross-company functions, including corporate/general management, human resources and special events. By leveraging possible program overlays, companies can deliver special incentives and employee benefits with the partner company and create special product-launch events.
How do you identify a Strategic Partner that is right for you?
When looking for the right marketing partnership, you need to carefully align with another brand that delivers similar attributes and quality, while providing increased marketing exposure in an alternative means of distribution. Choose a partner that makes sense to your business and to the consumer. There should be a synergy and balance in a relationship between two very different brands that consumers identify with. In order for it to work, it must be a win-win-win relationship for the consumer and both companies. For a strategic partnership to work,
- There must be equal value for both brands in the relationship
- The brands’ values must match each other
- The strategy must be easily understood by the consumer