The right partnership can provide valuable intellectual property or expertise in an area where your business is lacking. Utilize the Within, Adjacent, and Beyond technique in this video to identify the most optimal partners for your business.
- adidas and IKEA, Dove soap and Dunkin' Donuts, Blue Apron and Airbnb. These are all smart brand partnerships with mutual benefits. By partnering with a complementary company, each brand was able to expand their reach and deepen their customer insights. In the same way, the right partnership can offer your organization valuable intellectual property, new customers, and even expertise in an area where your business is lacking. To identify your optimal strategic partners, let's test drive a technique known as Within, Adjacent, and Beyond. Start by specifying the goal of your partnership with your team. For example, a specific goal could be something like find partners to expand our loyalty program. Then start listing the companies and people within your company and industry that can help you achieve that goal, including your competition. Partnering with a competitor sounds crazy, but Clorox and P&G have proven otherwise. While P&G was improving its diapers, it discovered a new type of plastic film. The company wasn't in the plastic wrap market, so it formed a joint venture with its competitor Clorox which makes Glad plastic wrap. The result was Glad Press 'N' Seal wrap. And in the first four years of their partnership, Glad's sales doubled, making it a billion dollar brand. P&G of course earned its fair share from the deal too. Now, next let's think about adjacent partners. Who are the people and organizations adjacent to your industry that could as your partner provide you with crucial resources to reach your goal, like technology providers or vendors? An adjacent example is Uber's partnership with Spotify which enables Uber's passengers to stream their Spotify Premium music on their driver's speakers. For Uber, the partnership enhances the rider experience and increases brand loyalty. For Spotify, it motivates free subscribers to upgrade to a Premium plan. Finally, let's go beyond. Which companies or people operate in spaces completely different than yours, but could provide a critical solution or resource related to your goal? A beyond example is Nike teaming up with Bausch + Lomb to launch MAXSIGHT, tinted contact lenses that replace sunglasses and improve visibility for athletes. It was a win-win for both brands. Bausch + Lomb expanded sales to athletes, and Nike expanded its Swoosh to customers who wore contacts. As you and your team review and discuss prospective partners, remember that like the brands I just mentioned, the most promising ones are mutually beneficial. As a group, decide on your top three partners. Then ask teams to come up with concepts for co-ventured products or services with one of those partners. Expanding your partnership options can help you come up with surprising and often breakthrough ideas. To find partners that can share in your risk-reward equation and help you reach your goals faster, lead your team through Within, Adjacent, and Beyond at least once a year.