Many small businesses are sceptical about selling their product through a well-known and larger business. But striking a partnership with an established brand can be the moment that propels your business to the next level. Here are four reasons why pairing up with a respected brand is great for business.
It's in the interest of the bigger brand to sell your product or services too, so you're likely to be included in their marketing campaigns and your brand could get a share of its marketing budget. They might give your product a stand at an event or use the press contacts they have to get your brand extra coverage. Ttake the start-up Wingman as an example; founder Stuart Jolley teamed up with NUTS magazine and sent out packs of his deodorising wipes for men to support the troops in Afghanistan. This got his brand huge coverage with his target audience and respect at the same time.
As a small business, you might have your own website or shop selling your product, but get your brand into other shops or websites and there'll be more people selling your product; it's that simple. It's a tactic that Nails Inc founder Thea Green has used to great success. She has teamed up with cosmetics chain Sephora as a way of growing her brand, so now Nails Inc products are sold in Sephora shops as well as through the website. With thousands more visitors, Sephora attracts people who may not even have been aware of Nails Inc. before.
Using a new business can be a risk for some people, whereas an established brand that they've used before isn't. If you form a partnership with a respected brand it will give your product kudos. Just take www.asuitthatfits.com for example. They've recently struck up a partnership with John Lewis that'll see them selling their suits in John Lewis shops. It's a great move as it will attract buyers who probably wouldn't dream of ordering a suit online where A Suit That Fits usually make their sales, and gives them huge exposure in a well-respected retailer.
Who better to learn from than an established brand with years of experience? Sometimes the benefit in terms of profit for your business may be low, but if you look at it as a learning experience it could be extremely valuable. It's also a great way to make contacts with people who may move onto other brands that could benefit your business in the future too. Alastair Lukies, founder of Monitise, has used partnerships as a way of learning through the process of growing his busness. "We're smart enough to know what we don't know, and whenever we go into a new market we do a joint venture more often than not," he said.