Be Careful Who You Partner With. 

Does your brand positioning match well with the partner’s brand?  Similar target markets?  Complementary emotional response from both brands?  Or does one brand cheapen positioning of the other?

Do you find yourself short of resources to implement one of the strategic Priority Objectives?  Partnering with another business is usually a strategy worth considering, to add resources or to underscore in customers’ minds the positioning you are trying to communicate.

Dish (satellite TV) and Southwest (Airline) partnered to offer in-flight television. Southwest gets a competitive advantage to crow about.  Dish gets awareness. Both are respected brands, serving America’s mass market.

The success factor in any alliance–and especially one with a mega-branded company–is coordinating brand exposure, joint marketing and customer experience. HP, like every other Disney partner ( Kodak , McDonalds , Coca-Cola , etc.) paid particular attention to understanding the time-to-market issues and how they fit Disney’s plans, as well as the management of both partner’s expectations as to what results could be expected when.

When we lead a strategic planning process, we typically take care to articulate goals of a potential partnership, and to look at a number of potential partners, to help guarantee success.

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