Partnership principles

As you build partnerships in business, the returns can be incredibly valuable.

By Claire Sim
  • 4 September 2018
  • Reading time: 4 minutes

In business there’s probably a few different values that are common to strive for. It could probably be said that cultivating a mutually beneficial partnership, or even multiple partnerships if you’re particularly lucky, is up there as a pretty recurrent goal in the corporate world. And understandably so, as when a partnership really works the ‘win win’ returns can be incredible.

It’s a principle that we try to keep in mind with each of our clients – we like to think of it as the ‘Fifth P of Marketing’; Product, place, promotion, price... and partner. We’re experts in a specialist field and can act as a ‘partner in brand’, giving guidance through what can often be a tricky landscape to navigate. It’s something we truly love, after all we wouldn’t have stuck at it for over four decades if we didn’t. For us, a key trait of a successful partnership is that it offers mutual benefits. In our relationships with our clients we provide them with a service that they wouldn’t get elsewhere, while their business allows us to continue doing the work that we love. Making sure it’s a two-way street, whether it’s client/supplier or two companies working together, goes a long way to fostering a healthy and happy relationship that’ll be both prosperous and enduring. It’s a fundamental that’s definitely easier said than done, but it’s one that certainly works for us.

The old saying about honesty being the best policy is another helpful way to approach any partnership. It might not always make for the easiest conversations, but finding a partner you can be frank with without the fear of any door-slamming can be especially satisfying. If there’s a mutual respect between each party and both are able to be up-front about matters, your partnership can be as productive as it is refreshing.

That said, you don’t need to be on the same page in every respect. A difference in skills can sometimes make communication and goal-setting hard. Everyone’s got their own measurement of success, after all. However, the sweet spot lies in getting over that initial hump, agreeing a way forward and letting those differing skills complement each other. Know your marketing inside-out but not too hot on logistics, for example? If your partner can take the reins in areas that you’re not as confident with, it can work well to play to your strengths rather than splitting each and every responsibility 50/50.

So, is a good partnership something so beneficial it’s worth going to the ends of the earth for? Well, yes! We’ll be keeping these principles in mind when we send a couple of our very own team to scout for promising new partners from across the world at a variety of buyers fairs this year. Watch this space to find out how it goes!

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