Partnerships in Retail: Great Alone, Better Together

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By Published On: November 6, 20190 Comments

Headless commerce, parcel lockers, collaborations and everything in between - retail is going through a series of changes and growing pains as it enters the next decade. As brands continue to change and develop, it may be time to learn from others to bolster further growth. 

From one trend to another, companies are in search of the most effective ways to cross-pollinate and expand their brand names. The iMedia Online Retail Summit provides thought-provoking insights from senior and sharp-minded retailers and professionals to connect and ‘discuss shared challenges’, as well as network, build relationships and meet potential partners. 

Partnership: Friend or Foe?

Partnerships come in many forms – for retailers, they can be the new way to pool knowledge and cross-pollinate brand stories to reach a new audience. However, finding the right brand to partner with can be a struggle, so how do you partner correctly to maximise your brand growth?

A perfect example of these partnerships includes GoPro and Louis Vuitton, or H&M and Moschino. These are like-minded brands that make sense when it comes to their unification. “Other times they can come from unexpected places. For instance your competition. And when you think about enemies turning into frenemies; sharing knowledge, helping each other overcome the difficulties that they’ve both experienced, then it makes sense. Indeed, relationships are being redefined. What was competition is now support. What was attack is now alliance. The partnership between eBay and Myer launching the world’s first VR shop together is a prime example,” explained Wayne Krowitz, Marketing & Content Director, ANZ for Comexposium. 

What to Consider Before Partnering with Another Retail Brand

Before signing a contract with another brand, it’s important to understand who you are partnering with, the brand’s image and what it stands for and its audience. When considering a partnership, make sure you examine the following aspects:

  1. Complimentary Offerings:
    Does your brand offer the same product type or the audience as the company you hope to partner with? While some brands can partner with another that’s completely out of left-field, it may be a wise move to collaborate with a brand that your audience can identify with. 
  2. Matching missions and values:
    On a similar note to the above consideration, it’s important to collaborate with a company that holds similar values to that of your own brand. For example, if Fenty x Savage decided to collaborate with Victoria’s Secret, the audience may find it an unusual pairing (due to the love for diversity in the former’s brand vision and the lack of variety in its models). 
  3. Find a Similar Fan Base:
    As previously stated, it’s important to collaborate with a brand that has a similar audience or target market as your own. This is an easy way to cross-pollinate and promote each other’s products without too much overlap or a cause for confusion. 


Types of Partnerships to Consider Using

There isn’t a single type of partnership for retailers to consider, but there are many that will work better for one business than it would for another. When considering a collaboration, examine the possible outcomes, future goals and the benefit that the partnership can have on both companies. 

A popular option for many retailers is opening a contest with another brand. Using platforms like Instagram and Facebook is an easy way to mutually foster the brands and open up an invitation to gain more followers and further engagement. For this option, make sure you tell entrants to ‘like, comment, tag and follow’ other users to gain further attention. 

There are plenty of other options to consider, including brand deals, events, sales and distribution agreements and social media cross-promotion. 

Find Out More

The iMedia Online Retail Summit includes international and local keynotes who specialise in retail partnerships and collaborations. Featuring keynotes from Drew Green, (CEO, Indochino) and Nicola Clement (Head of Digital Experience, Myer), this is an event that will inspire brands to examine collaborations further. 

“It’s always been the perfect environment to seek out partners. The ultimate networking opportunity. Understanding pain points, finding solutions, working out where budgets are being spent, or indeed need to be spent,” explained Mr Krowitz. “And whether we choose to collaborate, partner in a more formal (and financial sense), or acquire, it’s the pooled resources that are unlocking new territories.”

The 2020 iMedia Online Retailer Summit takes place on April 27 – 29, 2020 and is an exclusive, invitation-only event, comprised of a closed forum for the ‘sharpest minds in the industry to connect and discuss shared challenges, as well as network, build relationships and meet potential partners’. You can request an invite or find out more about the event here

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About the Author: Power Retail

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