5 Things You Should Know About Brand Partnerships
Leverage your identity and audience: Start with creative initiation
You do not need to be a Fortune 500 company or an Influencer with millions of followers to engage in a brand partnership. If you correctly position your personal brand in a strategic and unique way, it is of value to the other party to enter into a collaboration. No longer think in strict terms of partnerships being about the number of followers or viewers. There are new marketing agencies strictly based on micro-influencers, people with a following as low as the hundreds but have out of this world engagement.
So, whether you are a company looking for a collaborator or an individual looking for a brand: you need to brand yourself as diverse and with something distinctive to offer. Having readily available analytics of your reach, impressions, and engagement is a must when entering into a brand partnership. If you need assistance researching and combining your data for the creation of a media kit or brand partnership pitching/media communications, talk to us here.
Make the first move: Pitching for brand partnerships
Make yourself visible and indispensable. A brand can build its relevance by associating with related and appealing subjects and brands. If you have a desire to partner with a company it is in your best interest to show the initiative. Crafting the perfect pitch is challenging but creative tailoring is very worthwhile.
It is wise to have a fully developed and enticing business plan that will be implemented if a partnership were to arise. Brands see you as confident, serious and professional when you engage them first. Always follow up a pitch. Pitching is a fine art, which we will designate a whole article in due time, but it takes strong relationship building and research to land a rewarding partnership. With a solid business plan, an enticing pitch, and open communication, it is possible to land your dream partnership.
Nurture the brand collaboration – before, during & after
Research, nurture, sustain
The key to landing your dream brand partnership is hard work. You need to grind to show how valuable you are. We can always help you with the grind, it is a lot easier with support instead of reinventing the forever changing wheel. First, you need to research the brand or individual you wish to do a partnership with and know their brand identity inside-out. Once you do the research on the ins and outs, you need to find that initial connection or point of contact. Make a splash with that first impression, but ensure it's a genuine interaction. Do not try to sell the brand partnership like the used car salesmen. Follow up with social interaction for an added touchpoint.
Voice your admiration and compliments of the brand and how you wish to collaborate and how you bring value to the table. Once the process is initiated you need to maintain sincere interest in the partnership and have constant communication. If you fail to maintain a dialogue between the liaison or the point of contact for the brand, we can bet you will not be brought on or recommended for any future partnerships.
Failing the second step of nurturing and maintaining brand partnerships can be detrimental to your personal brand: word does get around. Finally, sustaining the brand partnership means following through on contractural agreements and staying in contact with the brand even after your partnership. You never know when additional partnerships or campaigns are on the horizon.
The unexpected: Transformational partnerships
Many brands have developed their connectedness through unexpected, transformational partnerships. These partnerships are usually the big guy pairing with the small guy scenarios, or two very distinct powerhouses team together. Transformational partnerships are the campaigns you might not immediately think of when you contemplate brand partnerships. These days, many of the world’s most elite brands are willing and to anxious partner with other businesses who are maybe not within the same market or produce as much revenue.
Large auto-manufactures are pairing with ‘instafamous' teens; skate board brands partnering with luxury design retailers; celebrity chefs partnering with serious crime documentaries; all of these collaborations would never be associated with one another which is why brand partnership is so effective. A transformational partnership can introduce your brand to a whole new market.
More then just a product review
Initially, when brand partnerships started to become more popular; which increased with the rising popularity of social media, the partnership was viewed as what we now define as sponsorship. A brand would provide goods or services to their partner and then the partner would give a review. This common practice of sending free product then hoping for a ‘shout out’ or product review is the foundation of sponsorships which leads to paid partnerships. Either way, the end goal is about extending your reach through another person or brand.
Having brand partnership pop-up parties, product endorsements, brand takeovers and branded trips are just some of the new formulas for brand partnerships that focus on an exclusive, behind the scenes look at the brand as an experience. Experiences are immersive and exciting but they provide context and inclusivity for audiences. Providing creative yet contextual content about CEOs, employees, manufacturing practices, office space and company culture are just some of the routes you can think about when deciding who you want to partner with. A valuable partner can create behind the scenes content about these aspects that make up the company in a way that will extend the brand’s reach and hopefully solidify new brand engagement and loyalty of consumers.
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By: Mackenzie Dunham