Marketing

How to Effectively Generate Brand Partnerships for Your Online Store

You might have heard about famous brand partnerships like GoPro & Red Bull, Uber & Spotify, Apple & MasterCard or Airbnb & Flipboard. They all had something in common: none of them are direct competitors but they have a target market that is interested in the other’s products. These brands found ways to improve their user experience by incorporating a complementary service or product.  

Partnering up with other brands can increase your store’s exposure, generate sales and improve the customer experience. Your marketing efforts will go farther as you tap into another brand’s audience and add more value to your customers.

Brand partnership benefits include:

  • Cost-effective marketing through pooling resources.
  • Sharing audiences with a similar target market.
  • Creating a positive long-term relationship to help each other.
  • Unique co-branded products that enhance the user experience.

Where to Discover Partners for your Brand

You’ll first want to identify companies that share similar values and interests to your target market. Make sure that they don’t have competing products. You can start with some simple Google keyword searches and read through some industry related blogs.

Join Brand Matchmaking Platforms

If you’re an e-commerce store looking for marketing partners, there’s probably no better place to go than DojoMojo. DojoMojo is a platform that connects e-commerce brands looking for partners to collaborate on co-marketing actions like content swaps, email blasts or sweepstakes.

a graphic of the DojoMojo platform

The platform allows marketers to browse potential partners they can reach out to, or they can browse existing campaigns posted by other brands who are looking for partners to join them. Brands can also post their own campaign opportunities, and make them attractive to other brands by sharing their email list size and social media audience.

a graphic showing recommended partners

Look for Potential Partners on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is far from being the hottest social network nowadays, but being the first widely used social network built specifically for professional reasons gave them a status that we cannot ignore.

We might not spend as much time on LinkedIn as we do on say, Instagram or Twitter, but we all make sure that our profile not only looks good but it’s also up to date. That makes LinkedIn extremely valuable as a tool to find new clients but also, new partners.

Let’s say you are an upcoming perfume brand who is looking to partner with small and apparel brands so you can cross-sell your products to each other’s audiences. You can use LinkedIn search filters to find the right person to talk to:

An image of the LinkedIn interface with keywords entered

In this case, we would be looking for someone who is a marketing manager for a company in the apparel and fashion industry who is based in the US. Once you have identified a few companies you’d like to work with, you can use tools like Voila Norbert or Clearbit Connect to find email addresses and reach out to your potential partners.

How to Effectively Pitch a Partnership

Once you have identified some great partnerships, you need to email them. You’ll want to reach out and identify how you think that your brands can work together. Make sure that you give them some examples and ideas.

Take this email as an example:

Subject line: Partnership Request

Body:

Hi [Name],

I discovered your brand browsing for (what you were browsing for). I feel there may be some potential for partnership between our brands.

My name is [Your name] and I am the marketing director at [Name brand], a brand that offers [brand/product description].  I think there is some room for partnering in the following areas:

  • [Example 1]
  • [Example 2]
  • [Example 3]

I believe through partnering we will be able to add greater value to one another’s audiences. Are you open to an exploratory co-marketing call to see what opportunities might be available?

Thanks!

Read More: 16 Email Outreach Templates for Every Situation

Make sure that your examples are detailed and demonstrate the value that you can add to their audience for best results. Not everyone will have the ability to see the potential immediately.

Managers will want to know the potential increase in brand exposure through working with you, so sharing useful data like social media following, email list size or client base will be key for your potential partners to determine whether they’d want to explore co-marketing actions with you.

Case Studies: Great Co-Marketing Examples

There are lots of co-marketing examples among big companies — some of them might even seem unusual at first.

1. National Geographic and Tourism New Zealand

National Geographic has millions of readers that enjoy brilliant photos of exotic places around the world. Partnering with Tourism New Zealand was a natural fit. They teamed up to create a video called “The Ultimate New Zealand Experience.” The video features many of New Zealand’s stunning visuals and some thoughtful coverage of the natural world and current events.

The video helps to reach an audience that may never have considered New Zealand as a getaway. It also gives National Geographic a stunning video that their audience will enjoy.

An image of the National Geographic website showing a video representing their brand partnership with New Zealand

Why it works: The video appeals to the National Geographic customers who love natural photographs from around the world. It also appeals to travelers who may be considering New Zealand. It gets the viewers excited not only about the beautiful landscape in New Zealand, but also the exciting culture.

2. Nike and Apple

The fitness brand, Nike, has created many successful partnerships over the years. One that goes back to the early 2000s is its partnership with Apple. When Apple launched its first iPods, Nike saw a co-marketing opportunity.

Nike knew this was a great way to bring music to its customer’s workouts. Nike and iPod created fitness trackers, sneakers and clothing that tracked activity while people listened to their music.

Nike+ shoe, iPhone, and iPod showing the Nike/Apple brand partnership

Source: Apple


This partnership has evolved to become Nike+. The brand has technology tracking built into athletic clothing that will sync with Apple iPhone apps and track your workout.

Customers will discover they enjoy working out more with Nike tracking apps and music. It also gives the user more opportunities to listen to their tunes.

Why it works: The Nike brand doesn’t compete at all with the technology industry. However, music improves the experience of a workout. Customers want to work out more when music is involved and this gives Apple a unique niche to pitch their products.

3. GoPro & Red Bull

An image of an extreme sports dirt bike rider on a dirt bike to represent the Red Bull and GoPro brand partnership

Source: GoPro

GoPro and Red Bull partnered up with the co-branding campaign, Stratos. GoPro and Red Bull work well together because they are both lifestyle brands that target adventure seekers. These shared values have helped them develop a great partnership.

GoPro gives athletes and adventurers from around the world the tools to capture their races, stunts and action sports on video from the unique athlete’s perspective. Red Bull often sponsors these types of events.

The GoPro technology allows RedBull to complement their programs by delivering an athlete’s perspective. The collaboration allows GoPro content to enhance the company’s growth by providing unique views for the races and events that RedBull sponsors.

The Stratos collaboration has been their biggest. Felix Baumgartner jumped from a space pod over 24 miles above the Earth’s surface with a GoPro. This embodied the value of reimagining human potential.

Why it works: RedBull and GoPro are not competitors. They do both have audiences who share the same values of seeking adventure and pushing limits. The GoPro allows for user-generated content that can be shared by both companies and excite their fans.

Conclusion

Partner marketing is a cost-effective way of reaching new audiences that are qualified and potentially ready to buy your product. Look for products and brands that can complement your products and enhance a user’s experience.  In order for partner marketing to be successful, there should be a shared value system or a common target market.

As you email your potential partners, ensure that you clearly articulate the benefits of partnering for their audience. You must be clear about what you want to work together to produce and how it will benefit their market.

About the author

Melinda Curle is a writer for ReferralCandy and CandyBar.