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Building a Purpose-Driven Brand: How to Partner With Like-Minded Retailers

Lindsay Duggan Martinez

Principal Partner Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

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It’s time to add one more “P” to the 5Ps of marketing (product, price, promotion, place, and people): purpose. Shoppers are more conscious than ever about what retailers are doing behind the scenes. Which organizations, charities, or political groups do they support? How do they treat their employees? Do they pay their fair share of taxes? Do they prioritize environmentally sustainable practices? 

The trend toward consumers only supporting brands with values that align with theirs is far-reaching, affecting all types and sizes of brands in pretty much every industry imaginable. On the company side, however, uniting around a central purpose or mission is an excellent way to build brand value, customer loyalty, and later on, profits. 

But why embark on this challenge solo? When it comes to becoming more socially and ethically responsible, two is better than one. Forming partnerships with like-minded retailers can help you influence a larger audience, plus create a bigger impact thanks to the power of combined budgets. 

Getting into business with people you don’t know can be messy, though. To form a successful partnership, keep these tips in mind:

  • To better identify which partners will best complement your brand, take the time to establish your brand mission and goals. You want to ensure your audiences are aligned via shared values. 

  • When creating a shortlist of potential partners, think outside the box — your partner doesn’t have to be in the same industry. In fact, some of the best brand partnerships are the most unexpected, like BTS and McDonald’s

  • Once you find a like-minded partner, delegate specific tasks and strategies to each group. Communication is vital when working with other busy marketers, and you must have a unified marketing, storytelling, and messaging strategy. 

  • Brainstorm ways to maximize your partnership and achieve mutual growth for both brands. A co-sponsored survey? Ebook? Or maybe a co-hosted event? You can even consider launching a limited-time product line.

  • Invest in creating and maintaining a good relationship with your partner brand.

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