Relationships. We all have them, and we all need them – and for good reason. Relationships often result in expanded perspectives, interdependence, and consequently more opportunities at one’s disposal.
When it comes to marketing, food and beverage brands can select from a vast array of different kinds of relationships. For instance, on the less involved side, there are affiliate marketing partnerships which essentially are one company selling to another company’s followers. On the more intertwined side, there are distribution marketing partnerships in which companies may co-market, leverage each other’s brand assets, and collaborate on market research.
Regardless of the type of marketing partner, there are great benefits to developing and maintaining a marketing partnership.
1. Receiving Feedback
With 20 years of experience in food and beverage product development, Stacie Sopinka of US Foods urges food and beverage brands to pursue feedback in the product-development process. US Foods, for instance, recently partnered with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson to produce six items motivated by the chef’s ethnic and culinary background.
“Just partnering with different people who have different perspectives can influence your development process,” Sopinka said. “We have a saying at US Foods: Feedback is a gift. And it truly is.”
2. Making Your Brand Look Good
Erin Geiger Smith, contributor to Inc. magazine, argues, “A partnership with the right company on the right project goes a long way in helping you reach new customers and burnishes your brand identity through association . . .”
When partnering with marketing companies that are established and respected in their field, food and beverage brands benefit not only from receiving their feedback but also from associating with reputable organizations.
3. Leveraging Strengths
Powerlinx, a company that uses big data to match businesses with each other in partnerships, says, “Marketing partnerships evolved from a need to accomplish business goals outside of a single entity’s capacity. They allow businesses to leverage complementary strengths and customer bases.”
Food and beverage brands have a finite amount of time and resources to devote to marketing. Brands’ incorporating marketing partners into their marketing efforts allows them to lean on the others’ strengths and specialties when needed.
4. Opening up New Possibilities
In the Harvard Business Review, business researcher Rosabeth Moss Kanter wisely explained, “In every case, a business relationship is more than just the deal. It is a connection between otherwise independent organizations that can take many forms and contains the potential for additional collaboration. It is a mutual agreement to continue to get together; thus its value includes the potential for a stream of opportunities.”
Indeed, marketing partnerships, like any other business relationship, open up the doors to possibilities that brands could not necessarily have anticipated.
So, back to relationships. We — people and businesses — all benefit from them, and marketing presents yet another sphere in which partnerships can cause the expansion of both perspectives and opportunities.