1 Connect To New Audiences
Have you been angling to get in younger (or older) customers? How about more men, or women? If you’ve found your brand pigeonholed, reach out to a business who is succeeding with your targeted demographic to tap into their customer base. You can share each other’s social media posts, mention one another in your newsletters, hand out each other’s coupons or flyers, or maybe even host an event together to get your two customer bases together.
2 Reach Wider Audiences
If your goods can be served in others stores, reach out to those businesses. You’ll be able to spread your brand name further and reach new customers. You can either host your partner’s goods in your store, offer them referrals, or allow discounts just for their customers. Ideally you’ll be able to partner with a brand that has many storefronts, to get significantly more bang for your buck. Even if you just have a display sign or sample product in the new storefronts, you’ll be growing your business. Never forget the power of storefront windows either!
3. Serve The Person, Not The Need.
SMBs will do better when they become a permanent part of a person’s regular routine or business cycle. You can most effectively convert new customers to loyal ones by serving the whole person, not just their business need. If you business is just one part of a series, help them find the perfect vendor or store for the phase. Some examples include someone who just got new tires will likely be in need of an oil change or if you sold someone a nice tea kettle, tell them the best place to get quality tea.
Include these suggestions in your marketing, website, and of course, in store in the form of flyers or coupons (have your partner do the same). For event-based businesses (anyone in the wedding, birthday, or other life-event industries), make suggestions or “one-stop-shop” packages to make life easier for your customers, they really appreciate it! Link to each other on your websites and host events together. This type of partnership can also take the form of helpful guest blog posts or other content marketing initiatives.
4. Come Together To Support Your Town
If both of your businesses have long standing ties to the community, work together to improve things for your community. By combining your talents and budgets, you’ll both be able to have a significant impact on your town. The reward is three-fold, overflowing customer appreciation (aka loyalty), the benefits of local marketing, and an improved town with better tourism and commerce opportunities. If you need some ideas for projects to come together on, check out our posts on street fairs, community service projects, or infrastructure improvements that help SMBs achieve more sales.
Have you built a successful brand partnership? Share your story in the comments!