Brand Partnership
Partnership Marketing
October 17, 2022

Brand partnerships: the under-utilised tool in the modern marketer’s kit

In life, good friends and thriving relationships make us better people. In marketing, great partnerships make brands stronger.

When brands collaborate and co-create marketing activities, it can make the impossible possible.

That’s why we’re here to help brands of all shapes and sizes to take their business into new and exciting places - to create an impact that would be difficult or expensive to achieve on your own… and this is called “brand partnerships”.

So, what exactly is a brand partnership? And why do it?

A brand partnership is where two or more businesses work together on a campaign, create a new product or service, or deliver a programme of work. In other words, brand to brand partnership marketing.

In the same way friends help each other, these meaningful collaborations aid businesses to grow.

Partners can do things that you cannot. You can do things that they can’t. Together you can do great things.

Brand partnerships can take many forms; chances are, you’ve probably seen or experienced them before, maybe without even knowing. They don’t have to be scary or overly complicated. Get the fundamentals right, and you could be on to a winning short-term tactical manoeuvre or - even better - a long-term, strategic success.

They can range from innovative and exclusive to the simple and functional.

Here’s four very different examples to showcase just that.

1. Loyalty and community building

Positively impact your customer experience by building an engaged community that includes influential brand partners and enables community rewards.

Vodafone Rewards long-standing partnership with Live Nation is music to our ears, providing their customers with early access to concert, tour and festival ticket pre-sales, and chances to win tickets or experiences.

Live Nation and Vodafone Rewards - Monthly Mix Competition

2. Brand Collaboration

Work collaboratively and strategically with other companies to overcome individual and collective challenges and achieve goals.

UK-based insurer Direct Line partnered with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, for their ‘We’re On It’ ad - featuring the character King Valkyrie who concedes she can leave the people of the UK in the safe hands of the ‘Insurance Lords’ at Direct Line.

The partnership enabled Direct Line to demonstrate to their customers that they can make them feel secure, plus provide them with a moment of escapism and fun. Entertainment partners are something that insurance and other grudge purchase brands hugely benefit aligning with, as it brings fun to an otherwise boring task! And, of course, it provided the new release in the Thor franchise with further exposure in promoting the new movie via the Direct Line ads and marketing channels.

Here in NZ, we’ve seen similar insurance partnerships. For example, the AA Insurance and Dreamworks HOME campaign. Check out our case study here

20th Century Fox created Oh! Moments with AA Insurance

3. Channel and competitive co-operation

From suppliers to competitors, co-operation and mutually-beneficial partnerships with others in your industry can broaden your business offering and lift your whole industry.

In New Zealand, the MPDA (New Zealand Motion Picture Distributors' Association) continues to band together to promote the cinema industry as a whole. The “co-ompetition” (cooperative competition) allows them to share accurate Box Office data to provide meaningful insights into the changing cinema marketplace on a weekly basis.

4. Co-creation

Generate fresh ideas, products, services or killer content by collaborating with another business.

Beer for breakfast? Parrotdog teamed up with Boring Oat Milk to create Boring Beer, an Oat Milk Hazy IPA with flavours inspired by that morning bowl of Muesli. And, as a further stroke of oaty genius, they are promoting this through launch events with the band, ‘Soaked Oats’!

Parrot Dog x Boring Oat Milk = Boring Beer

Top ingredients for a healthy brand to brand relationship

Many great friendships form amongst those who have different interests, social groups and ways of thinking.

Because, let’s face it, friendships should help us grow and flourish as individuals too.

Similarly, brand partnerships require companies with different goals, resources, cultures and requirements to co-operate in a way that isn’t always easy. Like all strong friendships, partnerships require brands to think not just about what they need but what their partners need too.

Too often partnership arrangements fail due to a lack of understanding of their partners objectives, unclear division of responsibilities, no clear implementation plan, and a lack of responsibility and resource availability. (…and no, you haven’t just dropped into a therapy session on past relationships!)

Partners with benefits

Once you’ve embraced the partnership mindset and built a rapport with your perfect partner, it’s time to unlock value, growth and innovation through:

  • Pooling costs, expertise and resources to create ‘wow’ campaigns, products or services
  • Getting noticed in the marketplace by aligning your business with popular brands
  • Reaching new or existing audiences in innovative, cost-effective ways  
  • Boosting sales and customer retention by enhancing your business offering  
  • Utilising warm leads and channels  
  • Building deeper relationships with your channels, networks and competitors
  • Generating greater business opportunities

Looking to start your collab journey?

We’re ready when you are!

Let’s Connect.

Rapport Group is New Zealand's only specialist partnerships agency.
We connect like-minded businesses together to collaborate on campaigns and partnerships that are win-win for everyone involved and generate real results.

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