Brand Partnerships are increasingly becoming part of every brand’s marketing plans. The reason for this increase is down to the key benefit and advantages that can bolster a partnership between two brands.

The first benefit of a brand partnership is the strengthening of your brand value proposition. A brand may partner with another brand that provides a value that complements their own offering, making what they offer even more expressive and relevant to the brand’s target audience. Brand partnerships can also help promote your core brand attributes. You can focus your own brand values by partnering with another brand that complements your own values.

Brand partnerships can be seen as a great way for new and developing brands that are keen to connect with shoppers/consumers. We know that brands need to earn their credibility when entering a new market or segment and this can be achieved by forming a partnership with an already creditable brand. One of the most popular partnerships that brands opt for is through a link up with a sporting organisation or sporting event. The world of sport is a great platform for increasing brand awareness and engaging with your core target audience on a global stage.

In 2014 we’ll become subject to many brand partnerships within the sporting world with the Winter Olympics in Sochi and the prestigious Rio World Cup which many brands have signed up as official partners like McDonalds, Coca Cola and Hyundai to name just a few.

Another example where brands are looking to partner up is through a synergy between popular television shows such as the X Factor and TalkTalk which allows the brand to increase their exposure through media, communicate to their target audience and drive brand awareness within millions of households across the UK. The first rule of exploring partnership is to understand your objectives.

Partnerships can fulfil one or many objectives but it is important that you’re clear on your own objectives as this will help when weighing up potential partners. The second rule is selecting the right brand partner. The brands that you choose to associate with must in turn be strong brands. They should be able to offer exposure and provide a connection between your brand and theirs i.e. audience/consumers. For example you wouldn’t see a premium brand partner with a budget brand or vice versa. However, if your brand objective was to reposition your brand, then this could be an option. Last but not least partnerships should bring a measurable value to both brands involved. It could be through direct sales, lead generation or the increase of brand awareness to name but a few.

Each partner should also be prepared to contribute financially or offer something in return for the prevised value such as media coverage through advertising. So, to summarize, for a brand partnership to work: - There should be equal value for both brands in the partnership - Both brand values must align with each other - The strategy should be clear and easily understood by the consumer So do brand partnerships sound like something you’d like to explore? Well I’m very passionate and relish the challenge of aligning two brands whose DNA match perfectly to create a successful partnership. I also see that they are an effective solution to combat budgetary issues and they allow brands to make their marketing budget go further.