Since Ca$h for Couches didn’t have the right cache Rooms To Go (a value furniture retailer) and BrandsMart (a value electronics retailer) recently launched a co-promotion where your purchase at Rooms To Go gets you a gift card to BrandsMart and vice-versa.
Both companies saw an opportunity to tap into each other’s brand equity and similar target audience to create an incentive for customers to buy – which is difficult as people continue to keep their wallets shut.
Instead of giving people money to purchase new furniture ala Cash for Clunkers, Rooms To Go and BrandsMart provided people the opportunity to finish a room via a new computer to go with that new office desk or a new kitchen set to complemented by a new refrigerator.
Like these two retailers, most businesses can benefit from an alliance, the key is selecting the right one.
When choosing a company to align with ask these questions:
- Do you have complementary products/services?
- Do you share a similar audience?
- Are your brands in sync? (i.e. are you both value brands or luxury brands)
- Do you service the same geographic area?
- Does the complementary brand benefit your brand?
- Is the revenue potential equitable?
Once you have decided to align and share customers remember these steps I published in my December 1, 2008 entry regarding Sharing Customers.
1. Reputation – Make sure the company you partner with has a reputation you want to be associated with.
2. Courtesy – Let the company you are partnering with make the introduction to their customers and vice-versa. It’s just good customer etiquette.
3. Incentive – Provide an exclusive offer to these new customers to encourage them to try your services.
4. Recognition – If you are going to market directly to their customers, make sure you merge your customer information so you don’t market to their customers who may also be your customers.
5. Tracking – Make sure you are able to track which new customers come from their customer base so you know if the partnership is equitable.
Now is the time to be creative, take risks and try new things in the name of business, however, when you do, make sure you stay true to your brand.
Following the steps outlined here will help you do that.