How partnership marketing differs from business partnerships in which one company owns a stake in the other.
Partnership Marketing is different from a business partnership because it's not about a company merging with or acquiring another.
It's about each company remaining independent and nothing about it constitutes a relationship of partners, joint ventures, fiduciaries or other similar relationships between the parties.
Partnership Marketing furthermore does not allow for one party to bind the other contractually.
Partnership Marketing strategies are about connecting for the purposes of supporting each others marketing objectives and not for the purpose of fusing entire businesses together to make them one.
What is essential to make Partnership Marketing a success is not to hand over the keys to your company, but to work with another partner-brand to leverage marketing core competencies and assets in an effort to offer new products, acquire new customers or keep existing customers loyal longer.
Think of it this way; if there is another brand out there that already has your target audience as their customers and has quite a few of them, then doesnt it make sense to access those customers through that other brand? The other brand makes your offer available to their customers as opposed to you trying to connect with those customers on your own.
The Example: HP & Microsoft
Think of it the context of Hewlett Packard and their line of notebook computers.
When you buy one and start it up for the first time, you will notice an offer from Microsoft Office encouraging you to try MS Office 2007 for free for 60 days and you can register for the 'free trial offer' via a link right off the Desktop.
Why does Microsoft do that?
How about another question – Why wouldn't they? Not only does Microsoft want their customers to upgrade from MS Office 2003, but this is a perfect and cost-effective opportunity to access those very people that they are targeting to meet that objective. Someone that buys a new computer is someone that is likely to use their software whether they are an existing Microsoft customer or a new one and it's a great way for Microsoft to reach them; for Hewlett Packard its a great value-added free offer to their customers.
In the aforementioned Partnership Marketing example, Microsoft and Hewlett Packard and not merging or bringing their businesses together; they are simply leveraging a Partnership Marketing program that helps both brands do more with less. Thats the power of Partnership Marketing and that is what makes Partnership Marketing different than Business Partnerships.
Ron Kunitzky, an expert in strategic business affiliations and partnerships and founder of Geyser Marketing Group " the Partnership Marketing Firm, and has successfully brokered partnership marketing programs for companies as varied as Coastal Contacts, Dell Computer, NASDAQ, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?.