Lasting partnerships: top tips to make brand love last

Dreaded by some, eagerly awaited by others, inescapable for all, Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. Tamara Gillan, CEO and founder at partnership marketing agency Cherry London, considers why some brand matches that stand the test of time while others fade away.

It’s been a long, dreary, wet winter and, although some brands are winning after a challenging Christmas trading period, others are in need of – you guessed it – the L-word. And, more specifically, the support of some carefully matched brand partners who can help them achieve their hopes, goals and aspirations.

Some brands have forgotten who they are and their real worth, and, like consumers, are being driven by the "fear of missing out", and engaging in pointless brand flings that won’t last the test of time, nor give them the brand satisfaction and business benefits they deserve.

Two heads are better than one right? Everyone loves a good double act, especially when it comes to partnerships.

But all is not lost. Time and time again we’re seeing that those brands which take the time to consider who they are, what they’re really looking for, and how to make the most of a meaningful partnership are winning the fight for true brand love – and in turn, the affections of their own customers.

Take our client Malibu, which teamed up with ASOS, Toni & Guy and Nails inc last summer for Malibu-tique, now in its fourth year. It has the formula sussed. It’s all about listening to and understanding each brand’s individual goals, and creating a campaign where all parties achieve their ambitions.

O2 Priority’s partnership with ASOS (also developed by Cherry London) is another great example of two powerhouses joining forces, and creating something magical. It knew that fashion, like music, film and sport, is a passion area that really excites its customers.

But it isn’t all about finding "The One" (*gasp*). In reality there are many matches for each and every brand, and that’s the beauty of it. Why settle for one, when two or more can be a formidable force.  It’s all about timing, the right time, the right place, the right "one".  But if there happens to be more than one at any one time, then I say, if you’ve got the formula right, go for it.  A group of powerful partners can be so much more than the sum of their parts. 

Our top tips in finding true brand love:

1. There’s no ‘I’ in team

Two heads are better than one right? Everyone loves a good double act, especially when it comes to partnerships. Two or more can be a formidable asset, and a group of powerful partners can be so much more than the sum of their parts. 

2. Don’t settle for second best

Knowing your own self-worth is the only way you’ll truly meet your equal. This is all about each brand understanding and valuing their assets, and knowing what you can both bring to the table  

3. The perfect match

You’ve must complement each other. Partnerships can build credibility through positive association. Often another brand can help you deliver your message more credibly – and boost your brand equity at the same time 

4. What’s mine is yours

You have to want to share your life with someone. Partnerships allow you to engage and have conversations with target audiences you couldn’t normally reach, and generate new streams of revenue by accessing new communication channels. 

5. You’ll be better off

Pool your resources; co-habiting is like co-branding. Partnerships are cost effective and definitely give you more bang for your marketing buck. 

6. Stand out from the crowd

Invest in developing strong, deep brand relationships built on trust and honesty and the partnership will stand the test of time.

It’s about getting yourself noticed by the one you want, and keeping them interested. Partnerships can foster innovation and change the game for good.  Why follow when you can lead.

7. Don’t wait for love to come to you

Be proactive, get out there and snap up a good thing up before anyone else does. Block or befriend the competition by creating game changing partnerships. This way you’ll secure the best and most exclusive deal around. 

8. You can’t hurry love, just have to wait

As the song says, relationships are really a "game of give and take". By leveraging a brand’s equity and engagement with their customers, and delivering the right reward at the right time, you can add value, build brand credibility and increase customer retention.  

9. It’s a meaningful relationship not a pointless fling

This is about playing the long-game when it comes to brand love. Invest in developing strong, deep brand relationships built on trust and honesty and the partnership will stand the test of time. 

10.  Finding the one

It’s tough out there. Finding the one can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. But if you follow our 10 commandments you too will find true brand love. 

Chart of lust/Brand passion-ometer

Beyonce and Jay Z – Drunk in Love
The most sizzling celebrity partnership ever. A formidable force, who consistently surprise and turn the world into a frenzy.

Dominos and Twitter
This partnership would melt the coldest of hearts – well an ice sculpture to be exact.  #DominosMeltdown triggered halogen lights over the sculpture of a man holding a pizza box. The closest tweet received to the time the box dropped, won pizza for a year.

The Brits and YouTube
The Brit Awards went global with this YouTube partnership. Fans outside of the UK can enjoy the awards and live performances from the likes of Katy Perry, Ellie Goulding and Pharrell Williams

Amazon Kindle and Galaxy
If reading be the food of love – read on. Amazon Kindle partners with Galaxy chocolate bars to offer free ebooks. Tasty.

Google and Hyundai, Honda and Audi
This partnership really is in the hot seat.  No more balancing of your mobile on the dashboard as Google integrates its Android operating system into their dashboards. 

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