Partnering up: How to pick a brand beneficial to you
1. Find what assets you have to leverage. The partnership needs to be mutually successful to be balanced, as both parties need to bring something to the table.
2. Identify who you are targeting. Who exactly are the specific customers you are trying to reach with this partnership?
3. Pick a partner that makes sense. Research brands that your customers can identify with or recognize, and create a list of the best matches.
4. Fully understand your partner’s goals and begin a dialogue. What is the main thing that they want out of the partnership? Driving up sales? Raising brand awareness?
5. Establish your currency. Is it a number of rooms a night? Or is it something else?
6. Build your database. Sending out a cooperative message or promotion will gain a larger market for both parties.
An example of a successful partnership includes WeSC (We Are The Superlative Conspiracy) — a young, hip clothing and accessories brand — teaming up with The Standard hotels, a group known for its playful sensibility. By combining their images, they have created items travelers might need for everyday life such as wallets, passport holders, iPhone covers and premium retro-style headphones, all in different colors representing the hotels’ various color identities. In this case, The Standard is reasserting its “cool” image (as it often does by promoting up-and-coming music and such), eventually appealing to the age-35-and-under market.
Another example includes Marriott International and its strategic partnerships with Christie’s, Tumi, nutritionist Keri Glassman, Aromatherapy Associates and Treasury Wine Estates as part of the brand’s initiative to deliver a higher-level luxury experience at JW Marriott hotels worldwide.
“We’re making an effort to drive awareness among luxury consumers. One way is through our partnerships,” Mitzi Gaskins, vice president of JW Marriott said in June of 2011. “We want to align ourselves with people in a space relevant to our consumers. Our goal is offer unique experiences and knowledge to our guests.”
Overall, alliances between brands can be a highly effective tool in expanding your market at a low cost, and are a way to make your brand stand out among the competition.