Building A Great Customer Journey Through Partnerships
As a brand, the relationships you foster with other brands is just as important as the one you nurture with your customers. Building brand loyalty is key to establishing a steady customer base, and something that should be kept at the forefront of the thought process.
Creating connections that drive loyalty doesn’t start and stop at a customer-brand relationship. It also stretches to those you build with other brands across industries. Set yourself up for long-term relationships that don’t just benefit your bottom line, but smooth out your customer experience as well. A great partnership is one that benefits your brand, theirs, and your sales funnel.
Make things with meaning
A good place to start is to create relationships that go outside your niche industry, that establish trust and benefit both your business and customers. No matter where it is applied in the funnel, the goal is to create healthy and reoccurring leads that establish a foundation of trust in your brand.
Lasting relationships drive loyalty as they showcase a brand’s ability to communicate and deliver shared goals. It drives trust. Customers build relationships with brands they feel they can trust. In turn, your brand should foster relationships with brands that you know you can trust, brands that build your reputation instead of diminishing it.
When thinking about the customer experience, partnerships can play a pivotal role in expanding your customer base as well as the experience they bring with it. Take a page out of Apple and Nike’s book.
These pioneer brands have been in a partnership since 2006 and continue to thrive together. This partnership allows customers with an active lifestyle to synchronise their Apple Watches to the Nike app and track things like their heart rates, running distance, and more. This evolved into Nike+, which utilises tracking technology built into athletic clothing and gear to sync with Apple iPhone apps.
From its Nike+iPod partnership to the Apple Watch Nike+ launch, the Nike-Apple partnership isn’t about loud campaigns or grand deals, it’s about overlapping audiences and enhancing reputation. Customers are provided with an experience of evolution and adaptability between the brands that create a personalised customer experience in the way they use the Nike+ app while they exercise.
It’s about a relationship that benefits both brand and customers. Theirs is an example of businesses capitalising on opportunities that encourage brand alignment across the partnership.
Steer clear of the superficial
When your business builds on superficial partnerships and customer relationships, it gets superficial loyalty in return – if you get loyalty at all. The brand landscape has changed. Customers today are significantly more informed and incredibly diligent in their decision-making process. They are incredibly shrewd in picking the brands to place their trust in. Understanding what drives their decision-making processes and differentiating between collaborations and partnerships is vital for navigating the new terrain.
In today’s fast-paced world of social media and overnight trends, it’s easy to give in to the urge of keeping up with the times. Brands scramble to capitalise on fleeting trends and pop culture at the risk of alienating a portion of their target audience who look for sustainable and reputable brand partnerships.
Seek out opportunities that keep on-brand but are also relevant. Look for time-tested partnerships that feed into the needs of customers that sustain through each generation of audience. Lego and its partnerships with movie franchises and film productions are a great example of enhancing value and experience for customers while doubling exposure for both businesses.
Lego capitalises on the idea of timeless youth and the undying need for toys by combining them with the niche interests of avid movie fans. Their themed box sets create an exposure to the younger generation about the movies while creating more paths of engagement for existing fans of any age. A meaningful brand relationship is one that benefits your customer experience.
A business partnership is always about mutual benefits. Partners that provide opportunities for revenue-making and lead generation are ones that your business should set its sights on maintaining. However, these partnerships should never come at the expense of your customer experience. A seamless customer journey means creating an environment for your audience to gain positive knowledge and experiences that eventually builds into a strong foundation of loyalty. Lego is prime example of this as its partnerships enhance the experiences of its audiences while boosting revenue for both partners.
A win-win-win is the end goal here.