If marketing was easy, then every business would be a success (theoretically speaking). Of course it isn’t easy and businesses spend hours upon hours developing marketing strategies to clearly communicate what they actually want to say. Content creation, budgets and social media updates can be time consuming and if you’re unlucky (or get it wrong), sadly unsuccessful. But what if you could be offered a well deserved break? What if someone else could help you lift that heavy load of online marketing? Enter a strategic partnership in the form of a fashion retailer combined with a digital dating app (which go together like a horse and carriage don’t you think?)
General Pants hooked up with the flirting app Tinder around Valentine’s Day this year, offering users the opportunity to send a push mobile notification inviting other users to “get in my pants”. Tinder users could show their profile in a General Pants store to get 20% off their next purchase. Everybody wins – users get a Tinder experience plus 20% off pants, all at a lower cost than the usual marketing campaign.
Tinder has been busy getting it on with other brands in the form of strategic partnerships. The app helped promote the TV-show ‘Suits’ as well as ‘The Mindy Project’. Characters in the shows would discuss Tinder while Tinder would display the same characters within the app. This is perhaps as subtle as eating a giant Mars bar on live television, but at least in the case of ‘The Mindy Project’, the Tinder appearances kind of make sense as the show has a romantic focus.
It would be impossible to write a post about strategic partnership without mentioning the almost legendary alliances involving Ron Burgundy, the scotch loving main character in the Anchorman movies, played by Will Ferrell. The most famous was Burgundy’s promotion of the Dodge Durango via 70 YouTube videos, or perhaps we should say “promotion”, as Ron (or Will Ferrel as himself for that matter) wouldn’t always speak well of the car at all. It was a huge success (apparently sales went up 59%) that cost Dodge close to nothing, as the movie makers payed for the videos in order to promote Anchorman 2. A less well known partnership hosted by the man with the mustache included a limited edition Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. The flavour? Well… scotchy scotch scotch of course!
Strategic partnerships are a smart form of marketing – as long as they provide customers with sufficient value and grow the businesses at a low cost for all parties involved. A bit of logic does help, don’t put a giraffe on a skateboard unless it makes sense in some way. Consumers are becoming more skeptical when they see brands working together and collaboration without some kind of common ground will only create uneasiness (which a clever enough marketing team could no doubt use to its advantage). Don’t overdo it – people eventually get tired of Ron Burgundy and those Tinder related dialogues becoming a little too obvious at some point. We’re talking collaboration, not necessarily a merger, so don’t rely too heavily on others to pull your brand.
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