I am pretty sure that the amount of cases of people meeting one day and getting married the next are slim, right? Right I mean who in the right, sane mind does that? So will you please help me understand why in business, entrepreneurs and business owners will meet a prospective JV partner one day and enter into an agreement with them to co-brand the next?
Surely, you can see the potential downfall here, right? The truth is, if you haven’t done your due diligence, you can get yourself in a world of trouble. I know I did. The year was 2008 and I was a newbie on the scene and as any amateur who is overzealous might do, I got myself into a partnership that was completely wrong for my burgeoning brand.
And boy did I pay for it.
That is why when Riley’s question came across my desk, I knew I had to answer her question in this week’s episode of Incredible Factor TV:
“Hi Darnyelle. I am so grateful for Incredible Factor TV. I’ve spent hours pouring over your insight in these episodes. Thank you so much! So I think I’ve gotten myself into a pickle. As a new entrepreneur, I was gung ho to get out there and make it big but it seems that I may have signed my soul over to the devil. What I mean is that I’ve gotten into a partnership with someone who is not the right fit for me and my brand. What do you do when you realize that, and is there anything I can do to avoid my brand being marred by this association?”
See my response to Riley’s question here:
As I share in the episode, brand building must be strategic in every way, which means that you have to vet every opportunity and potential partner thoroughly to ensure that an association with them is brand affirming and not brand damning. Your brand is all you have (how others see and know you in the market place).
In the episode, I promised to share 5 tips to help you create associations that enhance [not hinder] your brand.
1. Get clear about who the key players are for your ideal client. You may start with a Google search but it shouldn’t end there. You should go to their website and join their list. If they are on social media (I’m sure they are) you should go to their prospective profiles and pages and see what they talk about. Is what they share and say congruent with your message? Are they complimentary and not competitory to your message and business model?
2. Get the opinion of others on their brand, style, message and business practices. On every website, there are testimonials, endorsements and success stories. Check them out and actually reach out to some of the people featured to validate that they agree that this person is worthy to be known by you and your brand. And, don’t take the testimonial as law, pick up the phone or email the person to hear it straight from their mouth.
3. Interview them. Yup, you heard me right. I know what you’re thinking, but I want to partner with THEM, how can I interview them to make sure they are the right fit for me? Exactly like that. You have to ask them questions that will reveal what you need to know to ensure that it’s the right fit in every way.
4. Agree on the success metrics in advance so that you know how this will be a win/win. Do you think that when Doritos and Taco Bell teamed up, they weren’t clear on their success metrics and how to leverage the partnership? Exactly, so you want to be clear as well. Otherwise, how will you know if the partnership is a success? You also want to define the roles and responsibilities in advance and in writing so that no one person bears all the burden.
5. Leverage their strengths to offset your weaknesses. The whole reason you partner is because the other party adds value that you can’t to your ideal clients, so you want to explore and exploit that to the benefit of the partnership. The only way to get clear about their strengths is to take your time getting to know them and how they add value.
Now I want to hear from you, what’s your two cents?: Have you ever made a bad choice and partnered with a brand that was a bad move? How did you rebound? What advice would you share?
©2014 by Darnyelle A. Jervey. All Rights Reserved. Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, The Incredible Factor Business Optimization Coach and Mentor, is the founder of Incredible One Enterprises®, Incredible Factor University® and the Leverage Your Incredible Factor System®, a proven step-by-step program so you experience financial and spiritual abundance in your life because of your business. For more information and a FREE audio CD “7 Critical Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Must Avoid for Clients, Connection and Cash Flow!” just fill out the form below.