Small business owners tend to operate solo when it comes to daily operations — and while this sense of independence can work just fine most of the time, there’s much to be said for forging partnerships. Strategic brand partnerships can be mutually beneficial, unlocking new opportunities for increased sales, reaching new clients and strengthening the business overall. In order to fully leverage these collaborative opportunities however, there are certain tactics you’ll want to keep in mind.
Considering a brand partnership for your lingerie store? Take these tips into account to reap the most rewards from your efforts.
1. Find like-minded businesses
Think about your target customer — their age range, their interests, their professional life. Do you have a lot of brides-to-be coming in looking for wedding and honeymoon lingerie? Then a partnership with a bridal boutique would definitely make sense. Alternatively, do you seem to attract a lot of business-women or young professionals? Then partnering with a brand that offers suiting might be a smart way to go. The key is seeking out not competitors but businesses that complement your store in terms of having a similar clientele. Nail salons, blow-dry bars, fitness studios — the sky’s the limit, it just comes down to what businesses your customers are most likely to visit.
2. Connect with influencers
A recent poll by Tomoson revealed that more and more businesses are turning to influencer marketing — and it’s paying off. Those businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on this strategy. You have two options with this tactic: you could partner directly with an influencer and cross-promote to each other’s audiences, or you and a second brand could include an influencer in your plan (which allows you to split the cost, if there is one). The reason why this method is highly effective is that it allows you to develop highly-targeted campaigns around an influencer’s following that overlap with your clientele due to geography or other lifestyle factors.
Influencer Marketing In Action
For example, a local style blogger might have a massive number of followers within a close proximity of your store. You might challenge that blogger to create five outfits (one for every day of the week) that show off a line of bralettes you carry and post about them daily. Better yet, have that blogger encourage followers to vote on their favorite ensemble, and then offer a promo code on that specific bralette for the rest of the month. It’s a powerful approach because not only does it reach and engage potential customers, but it gets them thinking about how to wear your products, and also gives them an incentive to come into the store.
3. Set goals
When entering a brand partnership, the first question you should ask is: “what do I want for my business out of this alliance?” After outlining your ideal outcomes are, be sure to make your partner aware of these when you hold a strategic planning meeting. Sales and marketing staff on both teams should be made aware of the purpose of this partnership, and also have a solid sense of what their responsibilities are in reaching these goals. Most importantly, your partner needs to be on the same page about what benefits you’ll both receive, what metrics you need to track to measure progress. It’s also a good idea to identify any potential obstacles that may come up, and brainstorm ways to overcome those ahead of time.
4. Measure results
While discussing the terms of the partnership, set a few dates to check in with your brand partner so that you have a chance to review the results so far and make any necessary adjustments to your strategies accordingly. It’s important that both parties are aware of how success will be measured from day one, as this will ensure smoother and more effective decision-making throughout the relationship.
5. Use social media for cross-promotion
It goes without saying that two accounts’ social media presences are better than one. So you’ll definitely want to agree on how you’re cross-promoting each other’s brands (and how often) to your followers to maximize your visibility. You might offer cross-promotional coupon codes or giveaways (such as a discount at your store when a purchase is made at theirs, and vice versa). Consider crafting a special hashtag that captures the partnership as well that both accounts (as well as followers) can use in all related posts.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to brand partnerships. And by approaching these alliances strategically with the aforementioned tips in mind, your lingerie store is poised to fully enjoy the advantages.