The 3 golden rules of a successful brand partnership

According to Henry Chesbrough’s seminal text ‘Open Innovation’, “Partnerships are both a form of open innovation and a means of accessing external knowledge to find new ways of doing things.”

That being said, all partnerships essentially do one or a combination of four things:

They also vary in scale—ranging from a more temporary brand partnership such as a joint marketing campaign to a longer, much more involved partnership—like a joint venture in which two or more partners may create new products or services to bring to market. 

The most fundamental goal of any partnership, however, is that it must be of equitable value to all parties and create a win-win situation.

Here are three golden rules to ensure your brand partnerships are a success:

  1. Clearly understand the value you bring to the table.


It is critical that you clearly identify the value your brand brings to the table ahead of any partnership conversations. Then once you have established how your value intersects with the value brought by any proposed partners, you will be able to clearly define the ways in which the partnership will enhance your businesses and the additional value generated for the consumer. 


  1. Operate from a shared vision


What are you both looking to achieve? When creating a partner strategy it is important to identify a joint vision upfront and agree key principles that will guide how partners work together. These will provide the foundation for how you each interact and collaborate. 

When separate entities collaborate, objectives and agendas don’t always align—a joint vision and guiding principles help to mediate differences. 


  1. Build a shared operating system with clear parameters.


Finally, it’s important to establish the parameters of working together by mutually agreeing the roles and responsibilities of each partner. List the goals each party wants to achieve, the metrics you will be using to measure the results, and specific timelines for achieving those results.


At the Marketing Store, we operate a seven step process to ensure every partnership campaign is a resounding success:

  1. Establish the nature and overall goal of running a partnership operation. What problems are we looking to solve and what opportunities are available to us? This will tell us the kind of partnerships we need to explore. 

  2. Explore the partners we would want to work with, leveraging research with the target audience.

  3. With the partner companies in mind, establish the value proposition that your company is putting on the table. 

  4. Take this proposition to any potential partners and manage the process of exploration, pitching and negotiation. 

  5. With a partnership secured, we define the goals of each partnership proposition as well as how we operationalise them.

  6. Partnership contracting, set up and trial. 

  7. Build a stable, operational relationship by establishing metrics, performance reviews and creative insight sessions to monitor performance and demonstrate ongoing value. 

Reach out to us if you’d like to learn more about how smart brand partnerships can support your business growth.



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