Sept. 8 2022 10:22 AM

Snowball your brand utilizing the bandwidth of other companies

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    When two (or occasionally more) brands put their heads together and work on a project, something beautiful can happen. Strategic marketing and product partnerships is about two businesses combining skill sets, audiences and, normally, budgets while working to their respective goals. Cultivating partnerships can snowball your brand utilizing the bandwidth of other companies.

    WANT TO GROW FASTER AND STRONGER?

    Before discussing what makes a great partnership, it’s important to have a concrete brand for yourself. Start by defining your brand using these 3 steps, enabling you to clearly showcase who you are and how you help others when pitching your product or service.

    STEP 1: Define your target audience: First, understand your ideal customers. Create buyer personas, called avatars, by listing what you know or envision about them, such as their age, occupation and interests. Understand what problem you answer for them. Knowing your customers will make it easier for your brand to address their needs, speak their language, and hence, identify and share it with potential brand partners. Remember, the riches are in the niches. An inch-wide meaning, be a very highly targeted subsection within a category. A mile-deep meaning, there are a lot of people looking for a solution to a specific problem. Dominate one niche at a time. Author Simon Sinek said, “People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Sinek’s famous “Golden Circle” encourages brands to focus on the why, before tackling questions of how or what. Focus on your brand’s core values and purpose, and the rest will easily and organically fall into place. Ask yourself the following three questions: Why does your business exist? How does it do business? What does your business do?

    STEP 2: Establish your brand personality. As part of your brand strategy, compose a list of adjectives describing your company’s character, as if talking about a person. Would it be better portrayed as classy or trendy? Is it reliable and mature, or edgy and youthful?

    It’s important to have your brand’s personality well defined because it allows potential partners to “see themselves” aligning with you. Your brand personality will comprise your core values and your mission statement, not just design and look. Companies do business with companies that share similar goals and stand for the same ideas.

    STEP 3: Establish a reputable brand and name for yourself.
    My friend, Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals, coined, “People do business with people they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST.” Your track record, even small, means a lot. Being consistent in social media depicting your core values will go miles. Trust is stored and nurtured like money in a bank account. Your brand makes deposits into your customers and potential business partnership every time you show up — beware of depicting political affiliations and negative talk. Likewise, do your research! Does the person or company you want to work or partner with have a track record of making business moves that align with your own?
    • Be sure to have testimonials and references to share.
    • Establish your communication style — how you talk and write about your brand.
    • Showcase your branding consistently — “Live and breathe your brand”
    Now that you have solidified your unique selling point (USP), and have a clear focus on your audience, let’s look at what makes a great partnership.

    Look for companies that are communicative, accessible, flexible, provide mutual support and you can create measurable results with. These qualities are crucial in optimizing your partnership relationship and agreements for the long haul.

    There are many ways for brands to partner. Broadly, you can split collaborations into those that make something new (i.e., co-creating a product, an event or a campaign), and those that boost distribution or marketing for a pre-existing resource (i.e., republishing content, social media shout-outs or distributing another brand’s products). What you do will depend on your business’ needs and where you are in your life cycle, but it should help you capitalize as much as possible on your partner’s assets.

    Overall, a multifaceted strategy where you’re open to anything — like distributing a company’s products and shouting about them on social media — will deliver maximum impact for both parties.

    Cash isn’t always involved. You’re more likely to have funds involved if you’re making and co-branding something new with your partner because of manufacturing, distribution or marketing costs and the like. But brand partnerships don’t need a big budget to have an impact. In fact, they’re a great way to make waves without spending anything. Who needs an Instagram ad budget when you can make use of another account whose followers fall into the demographic you’re targeting?

    You don’t have to partner with a similar-sized brand. It might feel natural to buddy up with another small business, but big brands have a lot to gain from partnering with newer companies. They might want to reinvigorate their image, show support for emerging ventures or reach groups of people they haven’t thought about before. Leveraging a big brand’s following and expertise can lead to big wins, but you need to make sure your business gets its fair share of profit or benefit and that your values align with those of your prospective partner.

    You’re not confined to your own industry. Cross-industry collaboration is often an overlooked aspect of brand collaborations. This is most often seen when brands look to push social goals — on topics such as sustainability, diversity or mental health.

    Once you’ve found your partner, set up the guidelines and deliverables for both parties with a solid agreement. LegalShield is a company that provides inexpensive legal advice and can help you with your contracts and agreements. A partnership agreement is a legal document that outlines the way a business partnership or legal entity is run. It details the relationship between its partners, defines assets, profit shares and liabilities for each partner. Partnership agreements can be called different names, some of which include: Business Partnership Agreement, General Partnership Agreement and Partnership Contract.

    Here are 14 steps you can follow to write a partnership agreement:
    1. Give your partnership agreement a title. Make sure it reflects the type of partnership being formed. These can be limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, general partnerships or limited liability limited partnerships.
    2. Outline the goals of the partnership agreement.
    3. Mention the duration of the partnership.
    4. Define the contribution amounts of each partner (cash, property, services, etc.).
    5. Define the ownership interests of each partner (assets such as stocks or shares).
    6. Outline management roles and terms of authority of each partner.
    7. Add accounting obligations of each partner, if applicable.
    8. Provide details on the distribution of profits and losses between the partners.
    9. Detail the salaries, work hours, sick leave and vacation policy for each partner.
    10. Add permissions and restrictions on any outside business activity for any partner, if applicable.
    11. Include information about the partners’ buyout options, if any.
    12. Include the process for adding new partners or removing original partners.
    13. Add clauses and provisions. Clauses and provisions set separate rules for certain special circumstances.
    14. Add terms and conditions under which the partnership can be terminated.
    Becca Tebon developed a three-band system used today called powHERbands™️, has launched the “Woman Band Together” movement, has been featured in magazines, podcasts — and many fitness trainers now use her system. She can be reached at Becca@BeccaTebon.com, via Instagram @BeccaTebonfit or visit www.BeccaTebon.com.

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