Most retail and FMCG brands are well aware of the power of partnership marketing and its ability to increase brand awareness – but building strong brand partnerships should be an ongoing activity, rather than just an event or occasion driven strategy.

The beauty of brand partnerships is that both parties stand to benefit in lots of different ways, such as:

  • Reduced promotional costs
  • Increased visibility
  • Broader audience reach
  • Double the creative input
  • Simultaneous promotion means both businesses benefit from the same activity

Most established consumer brands will already have explored and executed some partnership marketing, but are you utilising enough potential avenues to maximise the many opportunities available?

In order to provide a little inspiration, we’ve put together some of our favourite brand partnership ideas – it might help you develop your next brand awareness strategy!

Our top 7 partnership marketing tips

FMCG businesses are in a great position for building brand partnerships – there will be plenty of other products and services that you can connect with for marketing purposes without posing any kind of competition. It’s a win-win situation all round!

Here are our top partnership marketing ideas to consider:

  1. POS – creative point of sale positioning can be a real boon, especially for food and drink brands, while also offering tangible benefits to the retailer. By persuading outlets to promote partner items together, you piggy-back off each other’s reputations and increase sales.
  2. Partnership offers – it’s not just about positioning either; partner up on a tasty in-store promotion by providing consumers with an easy solution to their consumer requirements and you’re good to go! There are loads of examples of this, such as the time that Coca-Cola teamed up with Old El Paso. Think from your customers’ point of view, and consider other popular brands your products would work well with.
  3. Product placement – partnerships aren’t just about consumer goods or services – think creatively to find other ways to increase brand awareness, such as creating a promotional partnership with a TV series or even a film production company. Get your goods seen, on screen – it’s subtle but effective.
  4. Mix up your sectors – partnerships can work outside of your industry or sector too. You see voucher offers and the like for leisure activities on FMCG products all the time, so why shouldn’t you try it? Cross-sector partnerships can be really effective – think of the success Orange experienced with their ‘Orange Wednesdays’ campaign alongside cinema complexes.
  5. Charity partnerships – showing that you’re a caring brand with good ethical values can never be a bad thing, so consider teaming up with a charity organisation in some way. M&S has done it with Oxfam, and TOMS has built an entire brand on it.
  6. Celebrity endorsements – whether you bag an A-list celebrity or the latest reality TV star currently enjoying their time in the spotlight, these guys and gals are brands in their own right too – and you can bolster your own brand’s awareness by partnering with a famous face. From Jean Claude Van Damme and Coors, to Lewis Hamilton and Monster Energy, there’s a long list of celebrity marketing endorsements – if you have a budget, a well known brand and a compelling reason to bring them on board, it’s got to be worth a try!
  7. Digital advertising – of course there’s plenty of scope across digital to co-promote goods or services too, so you can either choose select websites to advertise on via a service such as Google’s Display Network, or create a partnership strategy directly with the brand you’re interested in working with.

How to build brand partnerships

If you have an idea for partnership marketing, there are a few ways you can approach the brand you’ve your sights set on.

You can try to engage in a direct dialogue with the marketing team of the business in question (find the name of a real and relevant contact, don’t just dive in blind!), utilise industry contacts, ask your marketing agency to help or even initiate discussions directly with retailers.

The main thing when embarking on this kind of brand awareness exercise is to already have a marketing idea in place along with some solid reasoning to back it up before you approach your target – you need to deliver a persuasive pitch to get your brand partnerships off the ground, but it can be well worth the effort!