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How to Partner With the Biggest Brands

Feb 23, 2019 | 10m

Gain Actionable Insights Into:

  • Confidently approach a large global organisation even if you’re from a small local company
  • Craft an email that has a chance of being read by top management in reputable companies
  • Juggle and conduct partnerships that are positioned for success and bring in long term value


Key Mindsets

You look at the big names and established brands that seem so unattainable and you look at yourself in comparison - do you really have a shot at striking a partnership with them? Forget the partnership, would they even read your introductory email?

I know this feeling because Circles.Life was a new, small and unknown brand and it wasn’t easy getting the attention of more prominent brands. We had to use everything at our disposal and I’ll show you what helped bring me success in partnerships with large organisations.

The Mindset of Equals

If you walk in with the mindset that you're really small and have less to offer, it won’t serve you well. You can’t walk into a partnership if you are ridden with fear.

Regardless of whether you’re approaching a small local company or a large global organisation, you have to see it as a partnership between equals. At the end of the day, you’re going to create something that is in their interest and yours.

Many people miss out on great potential partnerships because they think a big company wouldn’t care about what they have to offer and so they just don't try. Yet there are many ways to bring good value to big organisations, and some of these organisations are on the lookout for such partnerships.

You need to set out this expectation and show that the partnership benefits both of you. Then you go into what each of you is bringing to the table and how you want to be investing into the partnership. Show them the value you are bringing to the table so that they prize the partnership and what you have to offer. It’s really about the art of negotiation.

Of course, it’s not going to be easy at the start. When I joined Circles.Life, the first company I approached was a big global organisation. I went to them, and within two short meetings, they said that they weren’t interested, which is a great thing because then they aren’t stringing you along for two months. This company that said no to us approached us again two months later when we were working with their competitor. You can’t take the rejection personally and have to keep trying.

If you’re a small fry, nobody is going to give you the time of day. It’s especially so for start-ups. You need to leverage the context of your founders, your own personal contacts and the contacts of your investors. This is where selecting investors becomes really important because this is how they can add value to your organisation. They open doors for you when nobody knows about your company, but people will take meetings because of your investor. So, you have to leverage those contacts or any of your contacts to get meetings.

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