While scouting for partnerships, brands should lead with an accurate proposition and target segment fit. Needless to say, business partnerships should be mutually beneficial and should open new profitable opportunities; either by tapping into a new customer segment/market or by leveraging an existing customer base to solve a unique customer concern. An alternative path would be to provide new ways of making the product or solution more accessible. Lastly, there is much to be gained from building a positive brand-associative image. Most importantly, brands should keep in mind that partnerships are meant to add value to the end user, and they should remain focused towards the maximum convergence of commercial and utilitarian benefits.
Brand Partnerships are supposed to initiate a fresh user perspective about a specific product/service, all whilst achieving a preset commercial goal. A holistic brand strategy is often brought into public view through the right kind of partnerships.
One of the best examples of a perfectly balanced partnership, is the long term association of MTV and Coca Cola for the branded property ‘Coke Studio @ MTV’. Here, each brand was able to leverage the popularity and relevance quotient of the other to build a positive vibe about themselves and about the end-product. Evaluating tactical partnerships, the OLX and Flipkart model of joint communication was amusing, where users were encouraged to sell their used goods on OLX and buy new ones on Flipkart. It offered a clear business advantage to both brands in terms of client acquisition.
Brands must understand another facet of partnerships in a profitability-vs-visibility context. Although the ensuing ‘hotness’ quotient won’t necessarily translate into a sustainable approach, it can certainly add value in terms of product/service visibility. For example, “Ariel – recommended by LG” helped Ariel setup a distinct and authentic cue within the ‘smart detergent’ space. In this case, their product categories were different, but the partnership proved to be an intelligent recall tactic.
Suffice to say, partnership objectives should fit into the holistic business goals of each brand, and only by studying the ‘before and after’ effects of such a tie-up, can one truly evaluate the power of collaboration.