When brands go hand in hand: the power of partnerships

Written by Eva Mitchell  

In today’s competitive landscape, brands are having to work harder than ever to connect with audiences.  

When executed well, a strategic collaboration can be a game-changer in elevating your brand, reaching new audiences, and providing long-term value to your business.  

However, beware the ‘logo slap’! Simply joining forces with a company in name may not have the intended outcome.  

With partnerships a costly investment, we’ve put together a guide on how to unlock the benefits of the perfect joint venture.

1. Genuine brand alignment  

Authenticity is the key to any strong relationship and without a clear connection on values, there will be a clash. When two brands are clearly a good fit, it can enhance reputation and create organic connection to key audiences.  

The reverse is also true. If your favourite sustainable clothing brand collaborated with a company notorious for ‘fast fashion’ practices, you may be less likely to believe their sustainability messaging or activities in the future.  

Ultimately, the partnership needs to be a mutually beneficial relationship for both brands.  

Your agency will be best placed to assess if a collaboration or sponsorship complements the brand’s reputation, strategic narrative, and media strategy and how the intended messaging may ‘land’ with target audiences.  

 2. Long-term vs short-term 

When determining the length of the partnership, keep in mind what you want to achieve. Are you trying to tap into a pop culture moment to create a quick buzz? Or are you looking to foster a deeper brand connection and build advocacy?  

Short-term sponsorships are perfect for targeted goals, offering wider reach and drawing attention quickly. The fast and focused collaborations seen during the Barbie movie mania, including the pink Barbie Xbox, OPI ‘Barbie shade’ nail polish and, of course, Airbnb’s Barbie’s Malibu Dream House turn heads and offer brands a concentrated influx of awareness.  

For more meaningful brand integration, a long-term partnership offers impactful opportunities to build brand awareness and generate loyalty. For more than 15 years, Coles and MasterChef has been one of Australia’s most recognisable sponsorships. It’s a recipe for success demonstrating how an authentic connection paired with established messaging can result in consistently strong customer engagement.  

Naming rights packages can often offer a middle ground, providing highly impactful opportunities for brand familiarity running for a specific length of time.  

We help to manage several client sponsorships where brands can access the value of having their company name associated with key events and sporting teams, positioning the company directly in front of their target audiences.  

For example, one of our clients sponsors a major women’s sporting code, providing a platform from which to foster a meaningful connection with its target audience – women. IMPACT reinforced the brands decision to pursue the partnership with our consumer research showing women hold the primary purchase power for their products.  

As well as levelling-up sports sponsorships, IMPACT can also provide ideas around what a potential partnership could look like, negotiate deliverables, help manage the relationship, and ensure that the partnering organisation continues to support and align with your communication objectives. 

Bringing us into partnership conversations early can help add value at every touchpoint of the negotiation and enhance the benefits to your business, including how to leverage access to talent for media and marketing opportunities.  

 3. Beyond the launch 

Leveraging and creating shared value from your partnership requires a holistic approach. Consider ways to integrate across the communications and marketing mix to help extend its value and build that organic audience connection.  

When working with an ambassador, think about how they can become involved with events or your next product launch marketing campaign. If you’re sponsoring a major sports team, assess how to provide value to your customers with money-can’t-buy fan experiences. 

Regardless of the scope and resources, having a close working relationship with your partner is crucial for a successful collaboration, while also remaining agile and open to new ways to extend the partnership should opportunities arise.  

Do you need support leveraging an existing sponsorship or new collaboration? Get in touch by contacting Nicole Webb at nicole@impactagency.com.au.

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