How Brands Can Partner Up To Gain More Customers This Holiday Season

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When two or more brands partner up in a special collaboration, the results can help them boost awareness of their products or services in new markets and potentially gain new customers. In the upcoming holiday season, brands that combine their marketing efforts can get their offerings in front of more consumers, capture the attention of those who are in the shopping spirit and drive business and increase fourth-quarter revenues.

To create the most effective co-branding strategy, brands must be able to lean on the strength of each other’s names and reputations, and ensuring this synergy requires careful planning and strategic thinking. Here, 12 members of Forbes Agency Council offer expert advice on how two brands can launch a symbiotic marketing partnership that will leave their companies in the black after the holiday shopping rush.

Forbes Agency Council

1. Start By Defining The Offering

What can two brands bring to the marketplace together? Does it make sense for the offering to be a cooperative initiative? Who would the ideal audience be? What retail or online channel would be ideal? And finally, will the offering be exciting enough to increase traffic in a retail store or online? Then, branding, planning and execution will dictate the success. – Peter Belbita, Noble House Media

2. Seek To Inspire Discovery And Joy

Find a partner that inspires discovery and unexpected joy for your customers. Coming out of the pandemic, people are vacillating between uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty stemming from a new sense of vulnerability and the idea of what is possible tomorrow, which could be different and better. As a result, they will be seeking to explore with familiar guardrails. – Cheryl Policastro, TPN

3. Pool Funds Into A Collective Budget

I once organized a holiday campaign for ten jewelers located in one mall. Each store contributed an equal percentage toward the total collective budget. The ads promoted the mall as the destination for holiday jewelry gifts, and each of the jewelers’ store names, showrooms and products were featured in the creative. Pooling their funds together created a more widespread campaign and significantly boosted sales. – Chelsey Pendock, Innovision Advertising

4. Bring Something Alluring To Consumers

When partnering up, one key question needs to be answered: What will the consumer get out of it? Partnerships between brands need to bring something alluring to consumers that will incentivize them to engage and shop with the partners. A unique product line or service is a great way to do this. – Lisa Montenegro, Digital Marketing Experts – DMX

5. Find The Right Collaboration

Find a company with the same audience as yours. If you’re a children’s clothing boutique, you could partner up with a toy store on an exclusive offer: “Buy a shirt, get a toy.” If you’re in a niche, find someone else in a niche. If you sell CBD products, partner with a pet shop to offer customers who buy CBD for their pets a discount on CBD for the owners, and vice versa. – Danny Star, Website Depot

6. Use Customer Insights To Inform The Strategy

Think about what your customers need and determine who to pair up with to create a “more complete” solution. Sometimes the best partners are not the obvious ones. Brainstorm around the customer experience journey and see what comes of it. You might be surprised by what you realize when you think about things from different angles. – Fran Biderman-Gross, Advantages

7. Avoid Loop Giveaways On Social Media

Some studies have found loop giveaways to be ineffective at growing an engaged audience. Instead, reach out to a couple (three max) of like-minded brands that have similar audience demographics to create a unique product or experience. Make the partnership small and limited, incentivizing your customers to take advantage of the limited opportunity. – Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR

8. Team Up To Give Back To A Cause

With the holiday season comes increased generosity, and this provides your brand with an opportunity to team up with another company to give back to a cause—think about your local food pantry, an “angel tree” project or a homeless shelter—and mobilize customers to join in spreading the goodwill. This has the potential to introduce your brand to new customers and earn their trust in the process. – Sara Steever, Paulsen

9. Increase Value With Bundled Products

Providing customers with increased value by bundling products and offering them at reasonable prices is something that can bring in more customers this holiday season. By strategically partnering with the right brands and products, companies have the ability to acquire new customers at a much lower cost. – Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

10. Make A Statement About Your Shared Core Beliefs

Making a statement about what your brand stands for and supporting that with cause marketing is proving to be quite effective with consumers. Identify a brand that shares that same core belief and join forces in bringing that message to consumers. – Lori Paikin, NaviStone®

11. Target Another Brand’s Complementary Service

Target a partner brand that features a complementary service your brand doesn’t currently offer but which would benefit the consumer. Approach the other brand with your idea and form a strategic partnership that’s ready to launch for the holiday season. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne LLC

12. Partner With Your Competitors

Partner with your competitors this holiday season to create one-of-a-kind collaborations. If you’re a vaping brand, pair your brand’s hardware with a competitor’s accessories. Fostering connections with competitors isn’t a bad thing, and customers will respect you for recognizing other brands’ strengths. – Evan Nison, NisonCo

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