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Is 2021 the Year for Brand-to-Brand Partnerships? It Should Be and Here’s Why

Apr 06, 2021

Partnership Director APAC

By definition, partnership marketing is a collaboration with another business to create a marketing campaign that benefits both parties. The concept sounds simple, but only recently have marketers started to understand and embrace the channel’s many benefits.

Traditionally, when it came to partnerships, most marketers embraced an affiliate-only approach. While affiliate partners will always be the backbone of a successful program, the most successful marketers are now incorporating a variety of partnership types into their ecosystem – including brand partnerships.

The recent Global Marketing Trends Report from Deloitte highlighted partnership marketing as one of the fastest-growing segments. Deloitte used the term “Fusion” as a corporate philosophy by stating – “organizations can better help the people they serve by creating innovative experiences through cross-industry partnerships.”

There are many reasons why brand partnerships can be so appealing. For example, they can:

  • Open your brand or product to new and aligned audiences
  • Cut through the advertising noise with more creative concepts and messaging
  • Strengthen your awareness and engagement with consumers

The growing adoption of brand partnerships is something we’ve certainly seen in Australia. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw many brands get creative and embrace brand partnerships to better aid their customers and cut through the noise. This approach has continued as we’ve entered 2021 and has put a spotlight on brand partnerships across the wider marketing industry.

Alongside this, with the 2021 Olympics only a few months away in Tokyo, brands have a unique opportunity to embrace brand partnerships and realise the benefits that can come from them. When you position brand partnerships within the realm of digital engagement, the opportunities are vast.

“Affiliate and partnership marketing is a growing and maturing channel that is being embraced by marketers in Australia. Of the companies that invest in this channel there is a healthy mix of companies that keep investing year after year as well as new companies trying the channel for the first time.” said Gai Le Roy, CEO of the IAB Australia. 


Partnerships are Not One-Size-Fits-All,or Even Fits Most

There is no cookie cutter approach to effective and successful brand partnerships. It all depends on what each partner wants or expects to get out of it. As a result, they come in many different shapes and sizes. 

One of the most popular ways marketing brand partnerships are born are through affiliate programs. Strong affiliate marketing providers can serve almost as a matchmaker and help brands find an ideal brand partner. Affiliate providers have a roster full of customers, all of whom can serve as a potential brand partner. The right affiliate provider will understand your business and objectives and help nurture the partnership and grow it through their technology platforms. 



You should approach your brand partnership as you would any affiliate partner and ensure you’re set up for success right from the start. There are a variety of questions you should ask yourself before identifying and forming a brand partnership, including:

  1. What am I trying to achieve with a brand partnership/what is my ultimate goal?
  2. How will I measure the success of my brand partnership/what measurements will I employ that will accurately represent my work?
  3. Do I have the internal capabilities to set up a brand partnership? Are my brand team aligned and on board with my approach?
  4. Which verticals am I willing to work with? Which am I not?
  5. What are the parameters of my partnership offering?
  6. What timeline am I working towards or against?

Once you have considered all of the variables, you will be better set up to identify a brand partner that meets your specific needs, and can provide the strongest outcomes. The right affiliate provider can help you work out many of those considerations, particularly when it comes to a technical or tracking standpoint.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of the IAB Australia also added “With unusual market conditions over the last twelve months, as well as a significant increase in e-commerce transactions, we found in our latest IAB Australia Affiliate Marketing Industry Review over two-thirds of advertisers that invest in this channel have had revenue driven from affiliate marketing increase compared to pre COVID lockdown.”

Partner marketing is incredibly important to any brand’s success and bringing brand partnerships into your ecosystem is a sure way to accelerate that success. It doesn’t matter if you are a small emerging brand or have a global presence such as Nike or Samsung, brand partnerships can drive revenue, increase awareness or simply create an exciting buzz within the industry. If you’d like to learn more about brand partnerships and how they can diversify your affiliate program, contact the Partnerize team today.

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