With partners, you are partnering with other companies to get customers where both partners get something out of the deal.
These are the different forms partnering can take:
Regular Partnerships – Two companies work together to give better benefits to the consumer by having the products work together.
Joint Ventures – Two companies work together to create a new product.
Licensing – One company wants to hook up with a bigger well known company to take advantage of the bigger company’s well known brand.
Distribution Deals – One party distributes a product through a company that has customers that could use the original company’s product.
Supply partnerships – This helps a company that needs a source for a key input (ingredient or component) to their product while the supplying company needs to move the product they are supplying.
For partnerships to work effectively, each party needs to have a clear understanding of each other’s objectives. You want a mutually beneficial relationship with each party having an incentive for it to work. You want metrics to see if it is working and set goals for the metrics with timeframes and volumes expected. You should have a way out if it does not go as planned.
To get going, you need to identify some potential partners and ask yourself these questions:
What does the partner need to be more successful?
Will my product or service meet that need?
How can a deal be structured to make both parties happy?
With the above questions answered, you are ready to make your pitch. Then you need to identify who in the potential partner’s organization would be the right person to make your pitch to. Then go for it!
One last point, work on several partnership deals at the same time as lead times can be long and you want a fallback position that does not take too long to come to fruition. This way if the first potential partner walks away or offers you a deal that does not make sense for you but by that time have become desperate and need any deal, you have a backup plan. So consider using partnerships as part of your marketing plan.