5 Step Guide: How A Strategic Partnership Works


Table Of Contents


So.. What Is A Strategic Partnership?

Most brands are always on the search for innovative and creative ways to gain publicity and find ways to get themselves endorsed. If you’re looking to grow within your industry, partnerships are an effective way to do so.

Working with other brands that share your vision can take your business to the next level. The constant search for opportunities to be featured in all things pop culture is achieved in more ways than one. In this blog, Hollywood Branded explains the basic gist of how strategic partnerships work, and the How-To of creating one.

5 Step Guide How A Strategic Partnership Works

The Nitty-Gritty:

Creating partnerships helps in the promotion process. Whether these brands are featured in movies/TV, music, social media or even fashion, we see it in our everyday lives.

Now the real question is, what makes these partnerships strategic? And how are these brands integrating their products/services into other industries?

Well.. it’s easier to wrap your head around the idea of a strategic partnership if you understand what it is. What better way to explain than to show you how one works.

We live in an era that is so technologically advanced that you start to wonder how book stores are still a thing. Let’s take Starbucks and Barnes and Noble for example.

We know Starbucks is legendary for getting a kick start to your day, but that’s not all their known for.

Starbucks locations are also known for their chill environment. People can get their work done AND grab a booster to keep them going. Sure, libraries are great for that too, but can they offer you a coffee, tea or refresher while you’re working? Maybe not.. but Barnes and Noble can!

With this partnership, Barnes and Noble stays up-to-date by having a Starbucks in their store, and Starbucks gains the ability to increase sales- it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.

Barnes and Noble and Starbucks both cater to a very similar demographic, and strategic partnerships are there to assist a brand in expanding their customer base and exposure to their name.example of strategic partnership

Step 1: Understanding Your Brands Goals

Before a strategic partnership can begin to form, your brand should lay their cards out on the table. Areas like your company’s strengths, values, and even weaknesses should be elaborated upon. Aspects that aren’t a brand’s strong suite may be a difficult subject to touch on, but let’s talk about why it’s important to discuss.

The areas that could use improvement in your brand could be an aspect that a potential partner may help resolve. Be honest and realistic with your objectives, there is always room for improvement- which is where the strategic element of a partnership can shine. Knowing what could make your brand better is one factor that will make a partnership strategic.

Narrowing down on what your brand is expecting out of a partnership will allow the right collaboration to happen. Is there a desire to expand your brand or gain recognition? Maybe a little bit of both? Once your brand establishes their reasoning behind wanting a partnership, and understands the potential of their own brand, we can move onto the next steps.

Step 2: Setting Clear Goals On Why This Partnership Should Exist

When a brand starts venturing into the world of co-promotions, it’s important for both sides to have a mutually beneficial agreement. Both ends of the bargain should know what they have to offer to one another.

Why should a sector of the entertainment industry work with your brand? How will this brand bring something to the table? And what will this sector of entertainment bring to your brand?

Answering these questions, as D.J. Khalid would say, is a major key to success. There should be no expectation of one brand pulling all the weight in this agreement. Upgrades for both party’s are expected.

Finding a partner that works well with your brand is what will make it strategic, so let’s discuss how to find the best fit for you.

Step Three: Both Sides Of The Partnership Should Want The Same End Result

Once both ends of the deal understand how they will be benefiting one another, the next step is to understand what will eventually come out of this partnership. Not only are upgrades expected, but the opportunity to grow and expand is crucial as well.

strategic partnership unicef target


Is your brand driven by the same vision and passion as your potential partner? Maybe your brand would like to expand into the philanthropic sphere of the industry? You could even ask yourself if there a mutual dream to become internationally recognized? Or would your brand want a sequel to the original product/service?

Think about the kind of mutual understanding that was accomplished through the partnership Target created with U.S fund for UNICEF. Essentially, Target is now retailing a brand that provides relief for communities through their campaign with UNICEF. This was a way for Target to venture into the philanthropic sphere of the retail industry.

Target, a nationwide retail corporation, is aiming to improve the lives of others, which is a common goal that they share with UNICEF. Both sides of this partnership have the end goal of helping children- this is one of the main contributing factors in making this partnership strategic.

New call-to-action

Step 4: Now Onto Making Agreements Official

The legalities of a partnership can be a difficult and tricky subject to touch on, but it’s something that’s inevitable. We’ll leave out the complex contracts for your legal team, and instead, focus on agreements.

Formally writing out an agreement for what is expected from both parties will help the members of this partnership stay on track. Putting everything together in words keeps a clear vision for your band and the partner you’re working with.

This can range from: release date expectations, values, unique ideas of how to benefit each other, the responsibilities held on both ends and more. Verbal and written communication is vital for a partnership to flow smoothly.

Watch the Video

Step 5: Bringing It All Together

Once your brand makes the decision to create a partnership, we have to make sure it lives up to both party’s expectations. Strategic partnerships provide a great opportunity for growth and development. Who doesn’t want an extra boost in promotions from a credible partner in the same sphere of business as your brand?

We love to see your brand taking initiative to work with other companies, it’s so exciting to see how everyone can thrive when the right collaborations happen. Let’s be cautious about jumping the gun though, and remember to carefully plan these agreements for the best results.

Be clear on the ins and outs of your brand so you can find partners with mutual values, goals and objectives- this builds the most successful partnerships!

It Doesn't End There!

Make sure you check out these blogs for more specific examples and run down’s on any of your future ventures!

Want to learn about the dos and don'ts of product placement? Download our e-Book!

Product Placement & Co-Promotions 101 Guide