The past five years have seen a shift in the marketing mindset from sponsorship to partnership. Until now, relationships between brands and partners were very transactional. Brands controlled the messaging and the activation. Partners had little or no control over the content; their role was limited to attaching their name or endorsement to a brand for a fee. Those days are gone. Both audiences and partners have started to push back and insist on an authentic fit. And brands are listening.
Millennials and Generation Z differ significantly when it comes to questioning brand purpose. Millennials will take a brand’s mission statement at face value, whereas Gen Z wants to see proof. Any brand worth its salt knows that marketing can’t engender trust and loyalty – it has to be earned. Sales are easily made through promotions and rewards, but earning a lifetime customer who will get behind your brand requires a deeper, more genuine, and authentic connection.
Consumers crave trust with brands. Building and fostering authentic relationships with partners can go a long way in achieving that trust. Vanity metrics like engagement rates and follower counts are no longer enough when it comes to collaboration. More than ever, authenticity should be regarded as an essential part of the vetting process.
When choosing a partner for your brand, make sure they have a strong voice that resonates with your ethos and target audience. Good partnerships are mutually beneficial and make sense on more than one level. Think about what matters most to you. Sustainability? Transparency? Approachability? Choose a partner that reflects your brand values, goals, mission, and voice.
Some examples of authentic brand partnerships:
Learning how to leverage authentic partnerships will be critical to your brand’s success in 2021 and beyond. Need help getting started? Give us a call at 781-247-0730 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.