Partnership marketing (where two brands or companies come together to create a campaign, offer or experience), offers an incredibly exciting and cost-effective route for both tactical short-term campaigns and long-term strategic brand planning. This could be in the form of a simple barter of assets and content, an on pack offer, or developing a loyalty platform whereby partners help add value at minimal cost. However, often partnerships are not always front of mind when it comes to planning a campaign. Forming partnerships, and then nurturing these relationships, can help to address several different challenges a brand may face. Here we look at some of these challenges and what the associated benefits are.
Overcoming budget constraints
Even from a short-term tactical perspective, partnerships can deliver exceptional value at a time where budgets are tight. Costs can be shared, driving efficiencies and ultimately helping budgets go further. What’s more partnerships allow brands access to exclusive prize funds or reciprocal offers that can add value to your brand plans. Last year we helped Pizza Express to activate a year long campaign with Puffin called Story Explorers, offering all of their family diners the chance to explore new books, play games and win amazing prizes. The campaign was a barter deal, giving Pizza Express exclusive access to authors such as Jeff Kinney, in exchange for exposure for Puffin in restaurant, across the Pizza Express website, CRM and social channels.
Reaching the right audience
A partnership can help get your brand in front of an audience who have an interest or need to engage with a highly relevant offer. Headspace, the Mindfulness app, have recently partnered with Transport for London by curating a collection of meditations as well as offering everyone a 2 months free Headspace subscription to help with the daily commute. Not only does this place Headspace in front of the right audience, helping to drive acquisition and awareness, it also allows TFL to encourage more travelers to take some time out of the hustle and bustle and explore a more tranquil side of London.
Reducing wastage through targeted campaigns
Traditional media is not always the most cost-effective way to promote a new product or campaign. When collaborating with a partner that shares a similar target audience, a brand can be confident they’re communicating with the right people and reaching an audience that’s far more likely to go on to engage. We recently worked on a campaign for VK drinks partnering with New Look. Both brands were looking to appeal to the millennial demographic. The campaign ran on pack with a 20% off New Look offer, social PR and experiential shopping event.
A partnership with an entertainment property allows a brand to unlock exciting, unique and topical content, not to mention a host of amazing prizes. We recently worked with Shockwaves to develop a campaign with X-Men: Dark Phoenix. Shockwaves were able to unlock film assets and prizes on a license fee free basis, helping them to deliver a cost-effective campaign, whilst also driving sales via incremental off shelf display in key accounts.
Despite a growing interest in partnerships, there is still a question mark for some as to whether the juice is worth the squeeze. But done well, finding a kindred brand that shares similar values and synergies often means amazing things can be achieved through a short or long-term brand alignment. At the very least it’s worth reaching out, making connections and exploring what might be.