The days of fast talking, quick hustling and high-pressure marketing tactics are long gone. Today's consumers are savvy, more informed and digitally connected. As a brand, you're not just selling a product or service anymore. Simply buying media and advertising doesn't do the trick. What you're offering is an experience. And the best way to sell an experience and make it compelling is by telling a story. Customers need to connect and be engaged by your process overall. It's no longer about ads that make people buy. It's about narrative content that inspires people to believe in your brand.
Today, I’m going to highlight how you can leverage your partnership marketing to help drive your brand story, and ultimately your ROI.
1. Every Story Needs a Character
You know your core brand better than anyone else. But what if you could partner your marketing efforts with someone who also speaks your brand language? Every story needs a great supporting character. Even better, find a brand partner that personifies your mission. For example, when Nike chose Michael Jordan, it may have been in part due to his athletic champion status. But M.J. also represents a tough as nails competitor who withstood a lifetime of rejection as a young athlete and persevered to greatness. Jordan never gave up. He just "did it." What a fantastic co-branding partnership for the Nike brand. Now consider your own brand category and product or service model. Who is your Michael Jordan?
2. Engage Authentically Through Narratives
You know that pushing your product or being overly sales driven with your marketing efforts can actually push customers away. You want to be engaging, in an authentic way. Interrupting potential customers with push marketing based on what you think they want to hear will eventually get lost in the digital noise. Brand storytelling should feature your authentic voice and finding the right co-branding partner to boost that voice can be just the marketing narrative you need. Partner with those who can align with your brand’s voice and story. If your story is one of innovation, maybe you are the leader in your industry with a new-to-everyone product, then find a marketing partner that helps elevate your innovation. If your story is of humble beginnings, align your content and partnership messaging with similar struggles to successes. Find the marketing collaboration that can complement your positioning and reinforce your relevancy.
3. Come For The Coffee, Stay For The Company
Use your marketing partnerships to enhance your customer experience. A customer comes to your site to buy shoes but stays on your site because you have relevant fashion news, exciting new lines and offerings, hilarious and realistic how-to videos and a host of interesting marketing partnerships and offerings from supporting brands of interest to your customer. Use your partnership marketing strategy to create an engaging environment all around. Create a brand experience using narrative content that doesn't necessarily focus on your product or service specifically. Instead, focus on inspiring with a group of “friend brands” that speak to authentic engagement.
Finding the best marketing partners doesn't have to be difficult. Start with your brand story and find partners who resonate with it. Tap into the narrative content that buyers really care about, yours! For more ideas to enhance your marketing partnership efforts, brand storytelling or boost your marketing ROI, contact us! We can help you leverage your existing marketing and media assets to reduce costs, create original content and extend your audience reach.
Regatta is The Original BrandAgent, singularly focused on Partnership Marketing. Sam Kaufman is the founder and Chief BrandAgent.