23 Jan

Brand Partnerships: five things to look out for in 2018


Brand Partnership models are developing at speed as more brands realise the true impact they can have on ambitious growth targets. In 2017, partnerships became a respected element of the marketing mix.


There were plenty of success stories. British Airways’ partnership with The White Company is just one stand-out example. The partnership made the most of The White Company’s boutique, luxury brand equity to provide an enhanced customer experience for all First-Class passengers via stylish, high-quality products that put comfort first.


So how do we think brand partnerships will develop in 2018? Here are five insights and tips to consider:


  • Innovate to accumulate new customers

This year, innovative partnerships will make headlines. As technology becomes more accessible to product teams, more brands will seek to enhance customer experience by finding new and exciting ways to link up with other brands.


Just look at the success of Toyota and Amazon Alexa’s collaboration – there will be many more relationships of this ilk, driving product awareness through similar high-ticket products.



  • A partnership that will go the distance

Transport for London is currently running a public tender to source commercial brand partners for its estate. This is definitely the contract to win in 2018!


Covering millions of miles of square footage, and a reach that would benefit any brand, it is the perfect platform for out-of-home advertising and experiential activation in stations, as well as wider content production opportunities.



  • Insight has the power to bring brands together

First impressions count. A partnership can be struck or scrapped during an initial approach from one brand to another. As the market grows, and more brands come calling, it’s going to be more vital than ever to consider how you demonstrate the strategic thinking behind a collaboration.


If you can generate interest using core insights and industry trends, showcasing the benefits and assets of your partnership concept, you can truly generate something special. Assessing how you approach potential partner brands from cold and what content you use to do so is key.



  • Pass the popcorn for blockbuster partnerships

Movie partnerships have been growing, and there’s no reason why this won’t continue during the next 12 months. Disney, the masters in this arena, developed a partnership with Unilever, P&G and Sony for the Beauty and the Beast launch in 2017. Expect to see more deals of this kind, boosted by the spin-off benefits promised through product licensing and merchandising.


The mass family audiences enjoyed by many movies make partnerships of this nature perfect for brands to promote new products, as they can utilise all sorts of content, from shareable social media campaigns to awareness-raising advertising.


  • Start from the beginning

With so many opportunities to collaborate springing up, it’d be easy to rush straight to the sell without first setting out your stall.


Firstly, you need a brand proposition in place. To make a potential partnership attractive, the target brand must see the benefits of working with you, so covering what assets you have to offer is key. Once this is clear, consider what your prospective partner can bring to the table. Are they the right brand to help you achieve your goals?


Then you can begin the task of generating interest and securing initial meetings.


There you have it. It’ll be interesting to see which of these five picks have taken off by the time we reach the end of 2018.


If you are a brand looking to instigate partnerships in 2018, whether it’s a new proposition or a requirement to support your short-term pipeline, Ingenuity London is well placed to support you in an efficient manner with a brand partnership model that works.


By Chris Wilson, Brand Partnerships Director



If you’re interested in learning how to make meaningful partnerships a valuable weapon in your marketing arsenal, feel free to drop Chris an email to discuss on Chris.Wilson@ingenuitylondon.com



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