Brand collaborations are like your favorite soundtrack remix, the original was good but the remix adds a little something extra on it. Brands partner together for many reasons: visibility, increased exposure, attachment to other brand values and/or anticipated revenue boost. But for a true strategic partnership to work, both brands must complement each other and deliver true value to their audiences.
Let authenticity lead the way
In the age of social media, there is a lot of demand for collaborations with influencers: individuals or brands with loyal niche following and high conversion rates. Crafting a brand media kit, partnership deck or one-pager, is an essential branding tool to let other brands know exactly who you are, what your mission is and how they can partner with you. Sending out an inquiry email with your media kit to potential brand partners can spark conversations and open doors for new collaborations.
In your search for symbiotic partnerships, look at how that brand engages and interacts with its customers on social media, online forums, and more. This will tell you so much about the brand's values, principles and core beliefs. Being intentional about building partnerships where core values are aligned attracts collaborations that are organic and true to both audiences; nothing forced or ingenuine.
Seeking out strategic brand partnerships
There are ways to be strategic about reaching out to brands. In your research on brands you’d like to partner with, pay attention to the conversations the brand is currently having and stock your own content channels with quality information that adds to the conversation. A simple cross-promotion is probably not going to cut it; offer valuable content with a creative twist, add your own voice and personality or provide a new solution. This will help you stand out amongst the many influencers a brand might be considering for a partnership.
Regularly tagging brands that you support and engage with on your social channels is another way to make brands aware of the conversations you are creating and introduce your connection with the brand.
Mutually Assured Success
Focus on the benefits your brands can give to one another. Large well-established brands tap into the intimate, trusting relationship influencer/smaller brands have with their niche audiences. While influencers can increase their brand equity through association with said established brand as well as access to products and resources for their audience.
Set target metrics for success for each component of a partnership that make sense for everyone; by truly understanding what each brand is seeking from the partnership you can ensure everyone leaves satisfied. This includes your target audience as well. Collaborations that focus on providing solutions to their target audiences generate more engagement and revenue.
Don’t miss your chance to grow
Collaborations allow you to tap into new like-minded audiences, take advantage of the exposure and capture them into your network. Make sure your email sign-ups and partnership request portals are set up and ready for all the new people that will be introduced to you. Use this moment to leverage the momentum of your brand partnership and funnel new audiences into communication channels you own. This means email, subscribers list, digital courses, places where you directly communicate with your audience and don’t rely on someone else's platform to reach them ( i.e. Instagram, Facebook, etc) This is increasing your brand network which increases your brand value and is very attractive for future brand collaborations.
Brand partnerships have become a necessity to combat the highly saturated marketing space, access new audiences and grow net new revenue. As you think about your next partnership make sure you consider how it fits into your brand mission and how it will ultimately help achieve new growth.
Want to hear more from the author? Sabine is participating in a special International Women's Day panel in Staples' Spotlight Space in Costa Mesa, CA along with 3 other dynamic women in the southern California business community, Balancing Your Time as a Business Owner and Professional. Click the link to learn more and reserve your spot.