SIX STEPS TO “HAPPILY-EVER-AFTER” PARTNERSHIPS
An inspiring vision built upon a robust strategy and delivered through brilliant creative and meaningful innovation, is a proven equation to achieve sustainable business growth and powerful partnerships.
But there is so much more to it!
It’s also about nurturing and fighting for all the soft aspects of relationships that create a positive, inspiring and fruitful ecosystem where strategy and creativity can prosper and deliver results.
Follow these 6 steps to achieve “Happily-Ever-After Partnerships”:
1 Fill Out Your Profile
Living an authentic truth is now a vital ingredient to successful businesses. Honesty, transparency and integrity are essential elements to building productive, meaningful and healthy long-term relationships, not only with consumers, but also between agencies and clients. So, be honest. Dig deep and answer these questions:
- What is your story? What makes you unique?
- How are you honoring your roots?
- What are your core strengths, your passion, your values and principles?
- What is the competitive edge that sets you apart?
- What is your vision? Where would you like to stretch?
And finally, what are your limits? Where are you in your journey?
2. Swipe Right
Choosing the right partner is a critical step for success. Work hard to find the partner that connects with your values, aligns with your strengths and stretches you in the right direction. The right partner is one that you will help grow, and in turn, they will help you grow too.
- Who is this potential new partner?
- Are they showing their authentic self? Are you compatible?
- Do you know their internal politics, their motivation, and their reward system?
- Where are they in their journey and how will that re-frame how you approach the relationship?
- Will your values and principles guide you? Will you sacrifice business if those are not aligned?
- How do you create a rich, powerful and inspirational vision that benefits both sides?
3. Become Exclusive
There is one vital secret to any strong partnership: having your partner’s back at all times. It is all about trust, honesty and integrity. It is about investing in your partner’s well-being, growth and success. Understanding their world and working every day at making it better. The journey should be one of really solid hard work sprinkled with laughter and fun.
- Trust is the secret power. Mighty, yet delicate.
- Be honest and behave with high integrity.
- Be authentic and do not pretend to be somebody you are not.
- Have empathy, be kind and be positive. (Negativity is not sexy.)
- Build each other up. Focus on talent, passion and opportunities.
Enjoy the journey! Have fun. Delight and surprise.
4. Bring The Goods
Let’s be real. This is still the moment where the rubber meets the road. The emotional and soft aspects of a relationship will suffer if the work is not strong, on time or at the right value. It is critical to deliver with excellence. Front-end innovation, strategy, creative, production or whatever your key competency is should always be robust, unique and brilliant. And please don’t stop there. There is always additional value you can bring. So, do it.
- Before you dive deep into the project, challenge the “What” to define the “Why.”
- Re-write the brief if necessary and align on goals with decision makers.
- Choose the internal team wisely to ensure efficiency, powerful solutions and all around magic.
- Ideate with all the right players. Open your doors to clients, agencies, retailers, etc. and figure it out together.
- Deliver with excellence every day and pay attention to the details.
Find ways to add additional, unexpected value. Go the extra mile.
5. Two Steps Ahead
Helping your partner think differently is one of the most valuable and rewarding things you can ever do. Looking at your business through a different lens or sharing a new methodology can generate meaningful new ideas that make a real impact in the marketplace. Another powerful way to add value and strengthen the relationship is to know what your partner needs before they do. Predict and master the latest in trends, consumer behavior, competitive activity, and new technology and innovation so you cannot only prevent threats but affect positive change.
- Do your homework and know your partner’s business.
- Understand the dynamics, the politics, the strengths and weaknesses.
- Bring new thinking and ideas to the table. Don’t just answer the question.
- Uncover new needs and have the courage to offer unexpected solutions.
- Predict threats and prevent failure.
- Discover new opportunities and believe in the impossible.
6. Put a Ring on it
It’s clear it’s working, so make it official! There is nothing more valuable and fulfilling than traveling the journey with a trusted partner. The specific roles and responsibilities might evolve and change with time but the bond will stay strong. No relationship is free of conflict so it’s important to be able to navigate through ups and downs in a constructive and respectful manner while growing stronger. A powerful sustainable partnership requires a common foundation, mutual empowerment and shared dreams.
- Conquer your fears and commit. It will be worth it.
- Enjoy the journey and know you are not alone.
- Find a way to continuously add value and contribute to business growth as you both change and evolve.
- Be brilliant, be productive and stay healthy.
- This is a sprint AND a marathon. Be ready for both.
Oh yes, and keep the spark alive. Good luck!