The ways in which a strategic partnership can benefit your brand are extensive. A business strategy involving the creation of mutually rewarding relationships with which to create and share value should be at the top of every brand’s to-do list, especially now that we know how impactful co-creating can be – because we are constantly seeing new partnerships form and drive success for all stakeholders.
One benefit of strategic partnerships that may often be overshadowed by new revenue streams and improved customer relations is the idea of credibility. Engaging in a partnership with another brand is in fact a smart way to build your company’s credibility, so long as it is done with the right partner and under the right circumstances – those being the requirements for any good strategic partnership.
One might think the only way to build credibility through partnership is by pairing up with a big name brand that already has its own. While it is true that engaging in a strategic partnership with a well-known brand is absolutely one way of positioning yourself as a credible brand to the masses, partnering will smaller, community-based brands has the same effect on niche markets. Smaller audiences who may use products and services geared specifically for them, may not appreciate more mainstream brands as much as the greater population would. By partnering with more niche brands, you show those audiences that you care about them too. At the same time, they see your brand as one trusted by the companies in which they are tied to.
For example: SoDanca is a brand that creates specific products for a very specific market – shoes and clothing for dancers. Dancers who are loyal to the SoDanca brand may not pay much attention to Nike, for instance, who is geared more toward runners, gym trainers and basketball enthusiasts. If Nike were to partner with a niche brand like SoDanca to co-brand a new product or create an interactive program for dancers and other athletes alike, the brand would have the potential to become a lot more credible in the dance world. Nike has started branching out into yoga, pilates and dance through the development of products like the Nike Studio Wrap 4, but has yet to really break through and be seen as a brand created with those audiences’ needs in mind. A strategic partnership with a brand focused on dancers could be the catalyst Nike needs in order to be seen as credible within those groups.
The same thing goes for any brand thinking of branching out into new markets with new products or services. Instead of jumping right into marketing to new audiences, see which brands currently own the space and are seen as credible within those audiences, and discover how a partnership can help position your brand in the same way.