The ide­al of a solo war­rior going into bat­tle to beat the com­pe­ti­tion is past. Now is the time for part­ner­ing and col­lab­o­ra­tion. Part­ner pro­mo­tions have exist­ed for­ev­er. But social media has tur­bo changed them.

What can col­lab­o­ra­tions do for you?
• Widen your cus­tomer base
• Increase the reach of each brand
• Cre­ate inno­va­tion via knowl­edge sharing
• Build high­er mar­gin and profits

One of the most well know col­lab­o­ra­tions is Nike and Apple. They have col­lab­o­rat­ed on mul­ti­ple ser­vices that track the activ­i­ty of fit­ness enthu­si­ast, includ­ing fit­ness track­ers, mobile apps, sneak­ers and more. Each ser­vice one stay­ing brand true with a focus on inno­va­tion and nov­el­ty to their customers.

A col­lab­o­ra­tion can be two busi­ness­es with com­pli­men­ta­ry mar­kets, a busi­ness and a not for prof­it with sim­i­lar audi­ences and mis­sion, or of two great minds com­ing togeth­er and becom­ing more than either would have cre­at­ed solo.

The key is to find a part­ner or col­lab­o­ra­tor where the sum of the parts is more than the individuals.

At MACKEY™ a local $7Million spe­cial­ty man­u­fac­tur­er in our CFO coach­ing pro­gram was find­ing it chal­leng­ing to grow sales. They had tried mul­ti­ple times to grow by expand­ing their geo­graph­ic reach, with no success.
They had great brand iden­ti­ty local­ly. All they need­ed was a new approach to their cur­rent geog­ra­phy. Their sales and mar­ket­ing team began brain­storm­ing their options. Their local com­mu­ni­ty was a hub spot of fes­ti­vals. Why not devel­op a brand focused fes­ti­val in col­lab­o­ra­tion with their local community?

They cre­at­ed a small fes­ti­val con­cept and launched. Year one was a suc­cess, to be fol­lowed by growth in atten­dees ever year there­after. The fes­ti­val increased their already pos­i­tive brand recog­ni­tion. Gave them a way to test new prod­uct ideas and reach new cus­tomers. The result? Sales more than dou­bled. Even bet­ter, the fes­ti­val was a mon­ey mak­er, essen­tial­ly cre­at­ing a prof­it cen­ter with their marketing.

Begin by think­ing strate­gi­cal­ly about your core dif­fer­en­tia­tors and mar­ket­place iden­ti­ty. Think through your objec­tives and iden­ti­fy a short list of pos­si­ble col­lab­o­ra­tors. Con­nect with them with both a game plan and an open mind.

Write your ini­tial thoughts down now.

Be well and prosper,