- Give People Another Reason to Try Your Service or Product
That's how Applebee's and Weight Watchers attracted new customers without
advertising more. When Weight Watchers designed and branded low-cal menu
items for Applebee's, followers of their diet program could eat out without
guilt, at Applebee's. Applebee's fans got a first-hand introduction to Weight
- Become Their Top-of-Mind Choice. Offer a Tantalizing
Who knows how many people chose to stay at the Ritz Carlton rather than
at another luxury hotel because of an added thrill - complimentary use of
a brand new Mercedes during their stay? Mercedes & Ritz Carlton forged a
smart partnership and became the top-of-mind choice with their kind of (upscale)
customers and so can you - regardless of the kind or size of your business.
The bonus benefit? Priceless media coverage of your "first-ever" offer.
- I Got Shot and Thrived
What happens when pediatricians join forces with pizza store managers school
principals, city health clinic directors and others to better reach and
serve their common base of customers: families with young children?
Together, they did what they could not have accomplished on their own. They
offered a highly valued, emotionally-loaded and media-attracting service
AND increase foot traffic into their stores and offices: "I Got Shot" free
immunizations for kids on Saturdays just before school started.
Pediatricians gave immunization shots at convenient times in a roomy, cheerful
childrens' store, with a party atmosphere where the kids were the center
of attention. Parents heard about the offer through all the participating
outlets and received free snack coupons after the kids received their shots
so they could reward their children with a snack from a nearby store. Partners
could provide better, more news-catching service at less cost - and inspire
greater community and customer loyalty.
- Coddle a (Local) Lucrative Niche Customer
Last Valentine's Day, several neighborhood businesses -- including a Christian
women's business circle, women's medical clinic, florist, health food store,
clothing boutique, shopper newspaper, museum store, gym, bookstore and beauty
salon -- joined forces for a month-long promotion to attract and serve women.
The bookstore hosted a series of "Beauty Inside Out" - themed series of
in-store demonstrations and mini-seminars each led by a manager of one of
the participating businesses and highlighting a book collection and the
local partners' related products and services.
Each presenter provided a handout that included reference to at least one
of the other partnering organizations, plus a joint offer of services with
one of them. As well, each presenter wrote a guest column based on their
presentation, which was featured in the shopper newspaper, with the author's
follow-up offer and e-mail noted at the bottom of the article. Of course
each column author quoted others in this mutually beneficial alliance.
Give Your Niche Market Something They'll
Love to Talk About
A. To reach men in hotels, bars, sports arenas and restaurants, advertisers
used the Wizmark, otherwise called an "interactive urinal communicator."
As men step up to the urinal they activate, with the slightest movement,
a sensor that prompts red lights to flash, crunchy guitar chords to sound
and a 30 second commercial to appear. Yes women, the male response has
B. Guests at the Holiday Inn Express get the opportunity to enjoy Kohler's
new multi-function showerhead and spa bath.
How could the experience at your outlet be enhanced by a partner's product?
Start Partnering the Smart Ways and Grow Your Business Faster
All these success stories are examples of profitable partnerships. Want
to spend less time selling and promoting and more time doing the work you
love - and enjoy your success with others? You can. Just join forces with
other reputable organizations that serve the same kind of customers.
Focus on forging the profitable partnerships that generate differentiating
value and visibility. Then you can devote more time delighting your customers
and attracting fervent referrals by improving your products and your customer
service. Act now, before your competitor grabs the best partners and uses
the most profitable method.
Here are more quick snapshots of real life successful partnering methods
that you can adapt to get your business (or other organization) growing
Get Introduced to Prospective Buyers
Where Your Competition Isn't Even in Sight
That's why those who fly on Delta Air Lines airlines now see cabin interiors
and flight attendant uniforms created by clothing designer Kate Spade.
How can your on-site experience be heightened with the involvement of a
partner's products and services?
Become a Bigger Customer Magnet by
Offering More Helpful Tips Than Your Competitor
That's why, when pillow-maker, Leo Hollander decided to drop private labeling
work in favor of launching his own brand, he recruited complementary partners.
On his "Live Comfortably" web site, he provides articles by a feng shui
expert, a chiropractor, and a color specialist. Result? He boosted all
partners' visibility and credibility - in front of their mutual market
Foment a Fun and Fast Fundraiser
That's how firefighters in the town of Toluma got a badly-needed but expensive
piece of equipment, a deluge gun, without asking their cash-strapped city
council for a single dime.
Here's how. Business was slow all over their town. The firefighters were
getting nowhere when they asked for donations from business owners experiencing
a weak economy.
Yet when they approached the manager of a Pizza Hut he said he didn't have
the authority to donate money, but he had a better idea. "Here's what I
can do. We can pick a Wednesday, say four weeks from today for an "Our
Community Cares" day here. I make $500 or so on Wednesdays. On that day,
after we sell $500 worth, every dollar after that I'll split 50/50 with
you. So if you inspire enough people to buy a pizza on that day, you can
raise more money than you just asked me for."
The firefighters loved the challenge. They prepared banners and asked the
local supermarket and gas stations to put up on their outside walls. They
had signs and announcements printed for free by the local copy shop with
a bright red *donated by* credit line to the copy shop on them.
The headline on the signs and flyers read, Eat at Pizza Hut. Save a local
life. They visited offices complexes, even those with signs that read "No
soliciting." (Who's going to kick out the volunteer fire department, right?)
They went to apartment complexes, video rental outlets, grade and high
schools. They put flyers and signs everywhere. Once people heard about
their cause, handing out flyers was like giving away candy. The local radio
and newspaper gave them free coverage talking and writing about their inspirational
When the Wednesday came around, the place was packed. They made enough
money to get the Deluge Gun. Most importantly it was a fair partnership
because everyone contributed, so participants are likely to want to work
Bottom Line benefit:
SmartPartnerships generate a profitable payoff for all partners because,
at the very least, they get a credible introduction to each other's customers.
What could be better than reaching prospective customers through organizations
they already know and trust?