Steps to choosing the right brand to work with.
Choosing the right brand partner is critical, whether it’s for co-branding, cross-promotions, brand alliances or even strategic joint ventures.
Brand partnerships can do wonders for your business, but if you don’t choose your brand partner carefully, the partnerships may not show results, or in rare circumstances, may even cause harm to your brand.
1. Alignment With Goals
It’s important that you define your goals before identifying prospective brand partners.
Some common goals include:
- Extending your marketing reach by acquiring new customers or new markets
- Added value for existing customers
- New revenue streams (e.g. co-branded products)
- Building customer engagement and loyalty
- Reiterate your brand positioning and increase brand equity
Defining your goals are integral to being able to identify the right brand partners.
2. Customer Alignment
An important consideration in choosing your brand partner is customer alignment. Do you and your brand partner share similar customer segments? If you’re catering to an entirely different customer segment, your brand partnership may not be effective.Probably, the most common brand partnerships are between airlines and hotels. The customer segment is exactly the same and it makes perfect sense because they’re complimentary services. Your brands don’t necessarily need to be complimentary, but at least they should share an overlapping customer segment.
3. Brand Positioning & Brand Identity
What’s also important is brand positioning and brand identity. Does your partner brand enjoy a similar brand positioning as yours? A great example is the partnership between BMW and Montblanc Both the brands are positioned as luxury brands and so, they jointly launched the “Montblanc for BMW” collection of on-the-road and in-office products.
4. Shared Values & Ethics
One of the most common mistakes companies make in seeking out brand partners is not looking at shared values and ethics. Shell and Lego’s brand partnership lasted for 5 decades…But came to an abrupt end. One wonders how does Shell and Lego’s partnership make sense? What does one of the most loved TOY brands have to do with one of the largest oil production companies? After 50 years of partnership the collaboration ended and it was simple, they didn’t share the same values.