How to Partner with Other Brands to Market Your Business
What's more powerful than one successful brand? Two successful brands!
Yes, even though your brand is a very personal thing for your product, there are benefits in working together with someone else.
This is brand cross promotion. You see it all the time, probably without realizing it. One big combination you'd probably recognize? GoPro and Redbull working together.
Both of them promote an extreme, high-energy lifestyle.
The partnership is working out well for them and they have success all around the world. Why not tap into cross promotion and see if you can make it work for your brand?
Start with the details below.
Why Use Marketing Cross Promotion?
It's a simple concept, it goes back to the idea that two sets of hands are better than one. When you tap another company to cross promote with you, you're doubling your reach and audience.
Their marketing budget becomes part of yours and vice versa.
If they reach part of your target audience you don't get a lot of engagement with, you now have a direct avenue to them. If you're looking to expand your market into theirs, you can do that too.
Brand loyalists will respect the brands they're loyal to and are more likely to check you out if their favorite brand gave you the nod of approval.
Now that you know why people use this method, let's look into how to find the perfect partner.
How to Find Your Brand Partner
First and foremost, you want to look for a brand partner that you admire and respect. For example, Geico always has impressive creativity in their ads. That's something we respect.
Does it make sense for us to partner with Geico? No, but now you have an idea of what you're looking for.
What's important to you for your brand? What are you not quite meeting your expectations with? Find a brand that fills that gap.
If you sell a product, ask yourself, where or what else do people need when they use our product?
That's what (we assume) RedBull and GoPro did. Athletes who use GoPro are always at events like The Winter X Games, which Redbull usually sponsors.
They thought, "hey, we could capture some moments with GoPros and use them for our campaigns".
What does partnering with a specific brand give back, in value, to your clients? Does it give them a discount? A better idea of who you are? A quicker avenue to fill their needs?
The key to success in this overcrowded market is to deliver the most value and the best product. Product quality isn't enough anymore.
You need to provide outside (more than) the box.
A good example of brand collaborations providing value is when Chrissy Teigen paired up with Blue Apron. Blue Apron customers got to try out some of her recipes.
Chrissy's recipes were from her cookbook, which was what she wanted to subtly cross promote.
Blue Apron customers got the value of a "sneak peek" at her recipes and she got to hit a new market.
Consider Your Competition
One thing you don't want to do when collaborating with other brands is to take business away from yourself. You want a brand that's similar to you and makes sense, but not one that has the same products.
You'd never see Coca-Cola team up with Pepsi. They're too similar.
Going back to the Blue Apron example, people who buy Blue Apron buy food. Chrissy's book is about how to cook food.
They go well with each other, but no one is going to not buy Blue Apron because they bought her cookbook instead. You need food to use her book.
Check Their Presence
Now that you have a few companies in mind that pass the first two steps, check into their web presence. How do they interact with their customers?
First, you'll want to look at their business reviews on Google, their website, and any third parties. What do unhappy people say about them? How do they respond?
If people are happy, what are the common factors? Are they something you'd like for your brand?
Then, dig into their social media. How do they respond to comments on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter?
Do they ignore it when people mention them? Do they like people's tweets and comments? Respond to them?
You know what you value in a social media presence. If you're not strong in that sense, we'll give you a hint: engagement is key!
Finally, how do they interact with other brands on their social media? Do they at all?
On Twitter, you can see the Tweet's a profile has liked. Do they regularly like other businesses posts? Once in a while? Do they respond?
If they interact with other brands, do they take positions on issues or associate with brands that do?
These are all things you need to check before you contact a brand. You don't want them going through and deleting things so they look better to collaborate with.
Finally: Ask Away
Hopefully, you have two or three brands that have passed all three steps. Approach them about a potential cross promotion campaign.
How do they respond? Do they seem excited? Hesitant? It's normal for them to have some questions before they sign on.
However, you'll be able to tell from their language who is willing to cooperate and who doesn't fully love the idea. Let them know that their willingness to move forward working out details is not a done deal.
You have other players on the table and you need to make sure their idea of cross promotion matches yours.
Gather your Yes Companies and have a meeting with them one by one. What ideas do they have for working together? What are their non-negotiables? Do they work with yours?
It's a long process, but so is success. If you're playing a short game, spending all the time and money working together isn't worth the work.
But if you're playing the long game and are willing to put in the effort, you may hit a marketing gold mine.