This is a guest contribution by Liquidity Marketing and Communications
Whether you’re an established member of the community or a newbie looking for a leg up, aligning yourself with another business or organisation is a great branding move. It’s a fantastic way to show your target audience that you share in their interests, contributes to an image of corporate responsibility, can increase patronage and smother you in goodwill… and the media loves a happy story.
A good partnership should be mutually beneficial to all involved – whether that means money, brand-awareness or man-power. The lines between types of alignments can blur quickly, but read on for the three key partnerships to consider.
Aligning yourself with a worthwhile cause is often one of the easiest ways to develop a partnership. The overwhelming majority of charities will welcome any assistance, and can require less negotiation as you won’t require anything tangible from them in return. National organisations such as the Cancer Council come with built-in recognition and PR, but there’s also merit in supporting the little guys: warm-and-fuzzies from potential customers can be ten-fold when you back a local cause. Choose one that means something to you – charity isn’t something to be apathetic about – and try to think outside the box: manning or supplying a food stall at a fundraiser is often more helpful (and a better branding opportunity) than a cash donation.
2. Suppliers and Stockists
This may seem like an obvious one, but it can often fall back to being primarily a financial decision with little thought to branding. The humble coffee bean is a prime example – avid caffeine fiends will go out of their way for a café that stocks their favourite brand, so it’s often worth the extra bucks to carry a well-known favourite or boutique blend. Instead of delving into the usual Coca Cola vs Pepsi debate, consider a more obscure soft drink company from interstate.
If you are the supplier, your opportunities are even more varied. Search for a café or corner store who is happy to resell the cakes and confectionary that you usually only sell at markets on the weekend, or approach gyms and spas about selling your cold press juices in reception.
3. Community Partnerships
Partnering with non-competitive local organisations is one of the best ways to build a support network and cement your place in the community. The line with charity or suppliers can blur here, but partnerships can be as small or elaborate as you like. Sponsoring a local sports team is always a favourite – American-style diner? Find a baseball team. Pub? You can’t go wrong with footy. Organising a reciprocal deal with a neighbouring store or cinema is also very beneficial – patrons show their tickets/receipts to receive a discount in your venue and you become the go-to shopping break or the dinner to their dinner-and-a-movie date. You could also consider doing a deal with a local florist – they keep your venue looking gorgeous for a reasonable price, and you have their wares and business cards where customers can see them.
Everyone’s gotta eat (and probably still would if we didn’t have to), so food businesses are in prime position to form partnerships with other organisations. Be generous, creative and passionate, and your alignment can work wonders for your brand.
Liquidity Marketing and Communications is a contemporary marketing and communications agency renowned for producing innovative campaigns for the hospitality industry.