Reality Check: Searching for The Perfect Brand Partnership

Brand Partnership and Searching for Brands

With more businesses becoming more ‘digitally focused’ and the interest in traditional marketing mediums heading towards a downwards slope, the choice of brands/causes online are endless. This could cause confusion, pose a lot of questions, research and time just to find the one perfect partner. (When I say traditional, the likes of TV, radio, print and billboard etc but this doesn’t mean they aren’t effective.) But do not take any worries, this post has the aim to ease the ‘search’ process. 

With ‘digital first’ thinking, today’s landscape consists of many types of partnerships being taken on in the marketing department and one you’ll see often are ‘influencer partnerships.’ The most common now due to the power they have on sales and their audiences.

Six out of ten times there is a hefty budget against partnerships as a whole, no pressure then… No matter how small or large the agreement is, this part of marketing holds itself to high satisfaction and memorable rewards.  

Below I am going to take you through short steps to finding a ‘brand partnership,’ you’ll find some points will overlap with the influencer side too. 

What Is a Brand Partnership? 

In the past few years there has been a shift in the meaning of a brand partnership. Gone are the days of simply paying a fee then dictating your needs. This type of marketing now relies on two brands forming a relationship to find an authentic fit.  

Benefits? 

If executed properly the benefits list goes on; the key is to identify which story you are going to tell to your audience and how your partner is going to endorse this message.  

To keep this more applicable across various industries, top three things hopefully you’ll reap; 

  • Reaching a larger and diverse audience 
  • Enhancement of brand perception 
  • Creating social engagement (could lead to more website traffic, product sales, sharing) 
  • Partner resources beneficial to other areas of the business 

Common types of partnerships 

What Information Do I Need from My Boss? 

Before venturing on your research, a few important details you’ll need to cover off with your manager if they haven’t already.  

Firstly, what is the sole reason for creating a new partnership? To get to the WHY will automatically narrow your searches and a list of brands will come to mind. 

Secondly, the goal and objectives which would help in the sector you’re looking into. For example, does your company want to increase brand exposure? If so, looking into a brand which is indirectly in a similar sphere could help to capture the audience you want.  

Lastly on the last two points, key timeline dates and budget.  

Making sure to tick these questions off your list first (if not already covered) will keep your mind laser focused, due to the overwhelming number of brands online. 

Process of Search 

Now that you have a rough checklist, it’s time to begin the actual search. Whilst searching through hashtags, influencers and articles, this would be a good time to reach out to your PR or media agency. The potential that they have the lead you’re looking for is high; utilise your resources first before wasting countless hours.  

Hint: finding partnership opportunities through your internal communications team and/or PR/ agencies you already work with could result in better negotiations and benefits if there were already plans in place to work with the brands or ones worked with previously. 

Before Shortlisting 

Once you’ve started investigating the above and narrowed potentials, you will need to compile a comprehensive checklist before even reach out directly. Here is a table of questions to take into consideration.  

Remember to be thorough and be smart with your time. Hopefully this piece can shorten your search time and get to the next nitty gritty process which is reaching out to potentials. 

Do they sell competing products?  
Are you in the same industry and would this result in conflict of interest? 
Are their brand values in line with yours? 
Has the brand received any bad press recently or over the years? 
Will the brands be working with a competitor in the near future? 
Could they help achieve the goals? 
Would they fit into the campaign during a certain time period/seasonal calendar event? 
Do they have a similar target market? 
What can you offer from your side of the deal? 
Shrima Patel
Hi! I’m Shrima, currently work in Brand Marketing. Combining my love for writing and marketing, I'm excited to be a part of this platform with an amazing network of female marketers. Apart from being an absolute beauty industry fanatic, I’m either gorging on chocolate for a snack, reading a good book or planning my next trip. So that's enough about me but hopefully I'll be able to help you through this journey!