Whether your business is growing or in the midst of being fixed, partnerships can be a low cost way to improve your bottom line. Partnerships can be tricky but the key to making them work is to ensure that both sides are benefiting. In competitive markets, partnerships can be the leverage your business needs to be a market leader and capture a disproportionate share of customers.
Many partnerships fail because basic details can be overlooked. Partnerships are usually entered into under good circumstances and when circumstances change, partnerships can be brutal and unproductive. To make a partnership work both sides need to be benefiting from the arrangement equally and need to understand how to exit the partnership if the benefits no longer exist for any party involved. Successful partnerships that last are structured based on assuming difficult circumstances that partners will face and address the concerns that such difficulties would present upfront before the partnership is entered into.
Rent the Runway has partnered with Marriott International and the W Hotel brand to offering guests a less painful way to travel. Rent the Runway is a subscription clothing service that allows customers to rent clothes and will be giving their subscribers the option to have a series of outfits waiting for them in their hotel room. By doing this, customers will not require the same amount of luggage or hassle of managing their luggage when they make short trips. By partnering with Marriott International, Rent the Runway is able to offers its customers a feature that improves their experience while traveling and Marriott International is able to offer a feature to those same customers that helps encourage them to stay with Marriott instead of going across the street to another hotel. As this partnership helps both parties improve their customer experience, the success or failure of this opportunity will not negatively impact either business. The downside is quite limited while the upside gives both companies the opportunity to keep their customer inside their walled garden.
Their are many benefits to seeking out partnerships that your business can use to improve its customer experience and revenue. The place to start is to understand what other activities your customers are engaged in that could be made easier by leveraging your products and services in a different way. What partnerships could you pursue that could be a win-win?