A picture of Simba from the live action remake of the Lion King and a Pandora necklace of a lion. This picture shows the partnership between the two brands.

15 Brand Partnership Myths

June 28, 2022

Brand partnerships are a great way for your business to grow, but it takes dedication and transparency to truly make them a success. Sometimes brands can fall victim to myths about brand partnerships, which can lead them down a road of failure. To help you manage your expectations about brand partnerships, we’ve compiled a list of 11 common myths that you should be aware of.  

Partnering is a new way to market your business

Partnership marketing has been around for decades. The rise of the digital age has just made it much easier for businesses to reach out to one another and partner together. 

The eight best F1 cars of the 1990s (List) | GRR
Formula 1 and Shell's partnership began in 1950 | Image: Motorsport Images

Having a similar skill set is key

This is a common brand partnership myth. The truth is, even though having a few shared skill sets may prove beneficial, it’s important that you and your brand partner have a variety of skills so that both parties benefit from the partnership. For example, if your partner is skilled in marketing and you’re skilled in strategy, you’d both be able to complement each other’s weaknesses. 

Brand partnerships are all about money 

Brand partnerships don’t necessarily need a lot of money to be successful. They’re about two brands leveraging their resources to attract more people to their brands and increase sales.

Great ways to collaborate with like-minded brands without breaking the bank include hosting a co-branded giveaway using existing stock, co-marketing on your social media platforms, sponsoring a local charity to support a cause, and more. You can also benefit from using each other’s skill sets and resources.

Visuals are the most important parts of brand partnerships 

Even though visuals are an important way of communicating with customers, they’re not the only part you should focus on in your brand collaboration. The mechanics of your collaboration, including writing a contract or a brand licensing agreement is important before working on any marketing materials. 

Nickolodean Jr and Mattel lciensed their charecters to Johnson & Johnson for kiddie Band-aids | Image: BAND-AID®

Brand partnerships are the same thing as co-branding 

These terms may sound similar, but they actually do have different definitions. Brand partnerships refer to a broad range of collaborations whereas co-branding is a specific type of brand partnership that involves two businesses creating a new product which includes both of their branding.

Related: Co-marketing vs co-branding: What’s the difference?

There are no hierarchies in brand partnerships

There’s a general understanding that brand partnerships consist of two equal businesses working together to achieve a common desire, but sometimes brand partnerships can include two businesses that aren’t exactly on equal ground. An example is if a huge corporation collaborates with a start-up or a smaller business, or if a huge corporation collaborates with an NGO on a cause marketing campaign. 

The hierarchies aren’t necessarily those of superiority, but they allow people to follow processes and people are still given a platform to voice their opinions.

Collaborating with another brand is easy

Collaboration doesn't just happen because two brands have decided to partner up. It’s an intentional process which involves investing time, energy and resources. It can only be successful if there’s trust between the two parties. 

Red Nose day display at Walgreens

Brand partners must always have shared goals

Having similar values is key for a successful brand partnership, however, your partner doesn’t always have to desire the same outcome from the partnership as you do. Sometimes you might start off with the same goals and priorities may shift as life evolves. The key is to be open and honest about your commitment level and adapt your duties and responsibilities accordingly. 

There is no competition in brand partnerships 

Competition can still exist in a partnership, especially if both businesses have the same or similar audiences. The partnership doesn’t erase the goals of the individual businesses, it’s just meant to amplify them. Also, the competition should be to increase standards and encourage both partners to put their best foot forward to succeed. 

microsoft intel collaboration competition
Microsoft collaborated with Intel on Wintel Alliance computers

You have to agree about everything all the time

Partnerships are about compromise and finding common ground, not agreeing about everything all the time. Communicating clearly about your expectations and what you can offer the other party will prevent any confusion and future conflicts. 

Using the right model will help your partnership be successful

There is no right way to run a partnership. Every partnership is different because the context and people are different. Success is about finding what works for you and making adjustments if and when needed. 

Partnering is always a good choice

The truth is, a partnership might not always be the best choice for a brand. It depends on the brand’s current goals and if they have capacity to commit to a partnership. An example is if a business is going through restructuring or a rough patch that requires them to solely focus on themselves. 

A good partnership is results focused. Before joining a partnership, you should have an understanding of what each party hopes to get out of the partnership, the outcomes, and the metrics that will be used to calculate success.

Reminder: The Target + Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection Finally Goes on  Sale Saturday - Washingtonian
Target and Neiman Marcus

Brand partnerships automatically mean better sales 

When two strong brands come together, it’s only natural to think the end result equals more sales. However, this doesn’t just happen without both brands having enough brand awareness and a positive brand sentiment. 

Sometimes brand partnerships don’t meet sales targets because brands don’t share the same values and vision. They may also clash in terms of licensing, finance and marketing agreements, brand equity and value. Brands should also have good internal processes before partnering, because a partnership won’t be able to solve structural issues in a business. 

Once you join a partnership, you’re in it forever 

Partnerships don't have to be long term. You can agree on a period that benefits you and the other party. Make sure this is included in your partnership agreement. 

Brand partnerships are only for huge businesses 

Start-ups and small businesses can benefit from partnering with like-minded brands too, it isn’t just reserved for huge businesses. To make it easier for small businesses to connect with each other, we’ve created a partnership marketing platform called Intribe to inspire amazing collaborations. 

Related: Brand partnership mistakes to avoid in 2022

How Savvy Beverages built a successful nootropics brand using partnerships
Savvy, a small buiness, partnered with Neuratech to create their brain boosting coffee powder

Related: How Savvy Beverages built a successful nootropics brand using partnerships

Brand partnerships can be successful if both parties involved are transparent and committed. By also keeping the above points in mind, you can avoid misconceptions and have realistic expectations before entering into a brand partnership. 





What is Intribe? 

Intribe helps brands partner up to enjoy collaborative partnership marketing opportunities. Our clients tell us this delivers 10x the conversions of traditional advertising channels. 

We are currently running an early bird discount of 75% off our normal prices.

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