At Social Driver, we are all about establishing strong business partnerships. We believe that all progress is social, and to achieve the things we never thought were possible, we need to work together. Whether that’s through a business partnership for a client or a brand initiative, we know success is built on collaboration.
So why are we such big fans of bringing forces together? Check out 4 reasons why we believe companies should consider business partnerships as part of their strategic initiatives.
1. Two heads are better than one: Build out new capabilities
When it comes to launching new offerings, partners can help fill gaps in your expertise and experience. Companies with complimentary services can join together to provide unique solutions or products that couldn’t have been possible to develop on their own.
In 2014, Apple and IBM did exactly this. They announced their business partnership which, to quote IBM, brought together “the analytics and enterprise-scale computing of IBM with the elegant user experience of iPhone and iPad to deliver a new level of value for businesses.” The partnership resulted in new class of apps that connected users to big data and analytics on their iOS devices. It was a win-win for both players: Apple penetrated the global enterprise market, while IBM showed the world that they could still hang with cool kids.
It’s not just macro-level partnerships that help you expand your capabilities. In fact, we even won an award for a website we launched as part of a business partnership.
2. The company you keep: Enhance your brand image
The company you keep is important. A good business partner can often provide a boost to your brand image. This can help you stay relevant, provide credibility, and increase awareness and affinity.
Snapchat and Square made a smart move when they partnered to create Square’s Snapcash. As a well-known money-transfer tool, Square helped Snapchat by providing credibility and a sense of security to this new service, while gaining significant revenue and enhancing its own brand image through association with the trending social app.
3. Off to the races: Grow your business quicker
Beyond making your current audience members think you’re awesome, partnerships can help you grow into new markets and different geographies quickly.
Starbucks used multiple business partnerships to place their products in front of new audiences and in locations outside of their regular stores. In 1993, the company collaborated with Barnes and Nobles and built in-house coffee shops, which benefited both retailers. Partnership with United Airlines allowed Starbucks to provide passengers with coffee served in cups with its famous logo. An alliance with PepsiCo resulted in production and mass-distribution of bottled Frappuccino drinks, while partnership with Kraft has put Starbucks products on multiple grocery store shelves. This helped them expand rapidly.
4. Fancy seeing you here: Reach new audiences
Partnering with other companies and organizations can help you get your message to a new set of people.
Change.org is built on this model of partnership. They help advocacy groups access people who are most likely to care about their cause but not necessarily know about it yet. This provides value to the organizations trying to rally support and working with more clients means Change.org can make greater impact.
On a less serious but adorable note, BuzzFeed and Fur Baby Rescue collaborated on “Fur Baby Rescue” campaign, in which rescue animal shelter workers wanted to take advantage of BuzzFeed’s audience of over 200 million people. The idea of this campaign was simple, but brilliant: BuzzFeed published an article called “We Gave Drunk Girls a Bunch of Puppies and There Were Lots of Tears,” which is pretty self-explanatory. This article featured several ladies who had been drinking and then were surprised by adorable puppies that were up for adoption. This article also included links to Fur Baby Rescue website, lines like “UGH AND THEY ARE ALL ADOPTABLE TOO,” and GIFs of crying ladies hugging puppies. It can’t get any cuter than this!
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