What do GoPro & Red Bull, Burberry & Line, and EVA Air & Hello Kitty, all have in common? They all developed killer corporate partnerships.
Whether you’re an ambitious marketing executive looking to build a brand partnership or a corporate partnership manager who wants to land deals that turn heads, being able to build value-adding partnerships consistently is a skill. If you are looking to do the same, here are some things you need to consider.
Be Aware of the Differences in Business Size and Scale
Finding the right business to partner with can be tricky. One neglected consideration is the differences in business scale and maturity. If you’re a young start-up looking to land a large established corporate partner, think about what benefits your business will bring them. Can you open them up to a new customer base or unique products, networks or technology which the larger corporation might not be able to achieve?
From the larger businesses’ point of view, partnering with a start-up could be seen as risky. They are putting their brand on the line, putting in time and investment which could have been spent on a more established partner. With very early stage businesses, start-ups often struggle to achieve a level of impact to make it feel worthwhile for larger corporations.
Do the Math
Partnerships take a lot of investment from both partners. Whether in terms of internal resources or marketing dollars. So, it is crucial to work out the commercial element of any potential corporate partnership and quantify the cost vs. value of any partnership you’re considering. While a partnership might look like a great idea on paper, you must determine what terms your partner is expecting you to uphold and what that equates to in terms of costs. It can be hard to quantify the value sometimes especially when it comes to brand or marketing related partnerships but setting out what you believe can be achieved will allow you to have a baseline in your mind allowing you to assess the partnership as it goes on.
A Match Made in Heaven
Consider the synergies between you and your target partner business. If your tone, brand values or even management styles are completely at odds, it will be hard (and potentially detrimental) to build a mutually beneficial relationship.
Partnerships, just like romantic relationships between individuals, depend on thousands of factors which can help or hinder the partnership. But understanding and planning ahead of who to target, why and how will help you land killer corporate partnerships that can survive the test of time.
Circles.Life‘s Head of Partnerships, Mateen Kirmani lays out a checklist you need to tick off before you proceed with any partnership and shares how to set out commercial terms and prospecting tips in his Tigerhall Power Read.