Written by Rick Aguilar, a freelance writer and an avid healthy life style activist. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Brand awareness is no easy feat, which is just one reason why companies spend so much money on professional packaging designs. For starters, branding alone doesn’t guarantee brand awareness. You can allocate millions of dollars to custom logos and tag lines and color schemes, only to find that your efforts slip completely under the radar, generating no real connection with the general public. Sure, we would all love to be the next Coca-Cola, whose design is synonymous with refreshment, but few businesses are so fortunate. If you want to increase your own brand awareness, you need to get creative. Here is one powerful tool you may not have considered: business partnerships.

Business Partnerships – The Key to Brand Awareness

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last two decades, you have undoubtedly heard of Pixar Animation Studios. Responsible for such legendary animated epics as Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and Wall-E, Pixar is a real force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. Pixar has been around since 1979, but you probably didn’t know anything about the company until 1995. Why? Because that’s when they began releasing feature films with Walt Disney Studios. That business partnership shot Pixar into the stratosphere, after the company had spent years struggling to stay afloat. Now Pixar is a household name.

Forging Your Own Business Partnerships

By partnering with other established businesses, you can raise your own public profile and show consumers what you’re truly made of. You need to find businesses that appeal to the same audience with which you want to connect, and you need to offer something that fulfills a specific need of that audience.

Let’s just use packaging as an example. If you run a design firm that specializes in product packaging, you have a world of potential partners at your fingertips. Quality packaging catches the eye of consumers, and you have the skills to help businesses achieve just that effect. I mean, would you be excited about an orange juice bottle that simply featured the words “Orange Juice” against a plain brown background? Not a chance.

At A Hundred Monkeys branding agency, we have long witnessed the power of business partnerships on a variety of fronts, and we commonly work with our clients to find the kinds of partnerships that mutually benefit all involved parties.

Finding Partners

So maybe you’re thinking, “This all sounds great in theory, but I can’t just barge into the Coca-Cola headquarters and ask for a partnership.” This is probably true, but the key to establishing partnerships is to emphasize what you have to offer. Don’t focus on how the partnership benefits you (even if that’s the end goal); instead, reach out to complementary—but not competing—businesses, and emphasize how a partnership would benefit their own interests.

To refer back to our previous example, let’s say you specialize in product packaging designs. You can emphasize how your own skills will benefit the branding interests of your potential partners. They in turn will promote your own business and provide you with a wealth of exposure. This is just one very simple example, but the point is to think about how your potential partners might feel persuaded to pursue a mutually beneficial agreement. By branching out with partners, you reach new consumers who would never otherwise find your product or service, and your brand awareness naturally blossoms over time. Just be patient. Brand awareness doesn’t happen overnight, and even Apple—one of the most readily recognized and successful brands of the past decade—was once the laughingstock of its industry. So never give up.

About the author
This article was written by Rick Aguilar, a freelance writer and an avid healthy life style activist. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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