Who Should I Work With? 8 Ways to Identify Your Next Partner

By Sally Rogers
March 20, 2019

You’re thinking about joining Parsnip. Or maybe you already have. You know that working with other companies can be fun and rewarding, and sometimes results in more Instagram followers, more newsletter subscribers, and even more sales. But sometimes it’s a drag, you don’t get any followers, and no sales. How do you prevent the latter from being the norm? Who should you work with? We’ve got 8 ways to identify your next partner:

  1. Pick an occasion: Is there an upcoming holiday or theme that works really well with your products? That holiday or theme likely resonates with another brand. For example, National Eat Breakfast for Dinner Day could work for your maple syrup, but partnering with a waffle brand would really help illuminate the holiday and your products!
  2. Identify the channel(s) you want to focus on: In today’s digital landscape, it’s really hard to be swimming well in all the social channels. Pick one or two to focus on, and find your next partner based on how active they are there – you want to be sure they have an engaged audience in the channel(s) you’ve picked in order for your work together to be mutually beneficial.
  3. Consider what you value: Does your brand have a social mission? Do you support charitable causes in your community? Do you have a female or veteran founder and want to support other females and veterans? For example, Stasher combined forces with other B Corporations to not only do an Earth Day giveaway with B Corp products, but also to highlight how each brand lives their values. Find your next partner by identifying other companies that share your values, and join forces or highlight that effort to your communities!
  4. Find an expert: Do you have a plant-based skincare company? A vegan puff company? A protein bar? A clothing company that uses organic cotton? Whatever the basis of your products, find an expert that has researched or written about your origin, and pitch them on a blog post. Maya Bach, a Chicago-based nutritionist, lent her credibility to Moonlit Skincare to espouse the value of sleep and how best to curb cravings.
  5. Find a common audience: You think your target audience includes women that love to be outside being active. Chances are, there are dozens of brands that feel the same way. Find them by seeing who else your audience engages with on Instagram, or do a survey in your most engaged channel to unearth your audience’s fave brands (besides you of course!). Or make like Regrained and double-down on both value AND audience (they just did a giveaway with B Corps that have an outdoor-loving audience, woot!):
  6. Know your limits as a brand: If you have limited capacity to create content or few samples to giveaway at events, then don’t sign up for every giveaway or event that comes your way. It’s important to know what you and your team is capable of, to stretch for the absolute best opportunities, but otherwise a gentle “no thanks, not at this time” can be effective and ensure you’re set up for success when it is the right time! This probably means if you have 7K Instagram followers you shouldn’t be trying to work with a brand that has 70K… unless there is a ton of alignment in other ways.
  7. Think like your customer: When your most loyal customer uses your product, what else are they doing? What else are they using with it? If you make yogurt, is your customer reaching for it PLUS some granola or berries? If you make clothing, is your customer putting on a tee AND a necklace? If you make paintbrushes, doesn’t your customer need a canvas? You get the idea. Any product, app, tool, or song could be your next partner if your customer is already using it before, during, or after using your product.
  8. Align on ingredients: It shouldn’t be a surprise that the ingredients in your products are also the ingredients in other products. Use that to your advantage: find brands to partner with that share a common ingredient or two! We love that COOLA featured a recipe from HUM Nutrition on their blog, and then noted which of their products include the ingredients in the recipe -- so cool that their customers could make raw chocolate with peppermint extract and then also purchase a lip balm with peppermint oil in it, and learn about the benefits of peppermint!

Reach out to us for help if you want to identify your next partner and still can’t figure it out. And if you’re stuck on what to do besides a giveaway, we’ve got you covered there too!