4 Tips for Building Effective Strategic Partnerships

If you’ve followed Daymond for a while, you’ve heard him talk about the power of strategic partnerships time after time.  Whether you’re an entrepreneur building your own business, or an intrapreneur working within a larger organization, strategic partnerships can be extremely beneficial.

Why? Because they give you the opportunity to leverage your partner’s community, credibility, expertise and resources, all while allowing them to do the same. 

As Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships & Brand Activations for Daymond and The Shark Group for the past 5 years, I have worked with major partners such as Chase for Business, Shopify, ZipRecruiter and MillerCoors.  

A question I often get asked is “how do I identify a strategic partner for my business”.  My answer? Don’t just look to identify A strategic partner. It's all about finding the RIGHT strategic partner.

Here are my 4 tips for building effective strategic partnerships:

1. Make sure there is an equal exchange of value:  For a partnership to be truly effective, it must make sense and be valuable for both parties involved. Keyword: both! The relationship won’t last if it's one-sided. It’s no different than a friendship. Everyone has to benefit.

So, find a common goal and have an open line of communication. Ask yourselves, “Why should we work together?” and “What does each of us want out of the partnership?” If you’re clear with one another from the start, you’ll be able to track your progress and make the necessary adjustments along the way.

2. Start your search within your own community:  People often think that they need to find major brands and celebrities to work with. Remember that strategic partnerships aren’t “one size fits all”.  Be realistic about what makes sense for you and your business. Often, there are great potential partners in your own community. For example, if you own a local fashion boutique, it may make sense for you to partner with your neighborhood hair salon in order to leverage each other’s communities. 

3. Don’t forget about your audience:  Strategic partnerships are only effective if they benefit everyone involved, including the customer.  Don’t forget that the customer is always right. If they don’t see value, it's all over. So, before you even think about entering into a potential partnership, you need to make sure that you know who your customer is and what your customer wants. Can you solve a problem for them or fulfill a need? Can your potential partner do the same?

4. Cultivate long term partnerships:  The most effective partnerships are the ones that last. Don’t enter into a partnership for short term gain.  Work to cultivate relationships with solid, authentic partners that will be well received by your customer. As Daymond says, “Align yourself with the right people, forge the right relationships and you’ll set yourself up for the long run.” 

Here’s to you and your future strategic partner’s success!

Marisa Chiappini
Senior Manager, Strategic Partnerships & Brand Activations
Connect with me on Linkedin and Instagram

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