From maintaining clear communication to measuring success, Foot Anstey’s Alexandra Hammond looks at the best ways to partner with other businesses

Collaborations and partnerships are an increasingly popular way to gain a foothold across new markets – accessing previously unreachable consumers. But like any new relationship, these can be complex.

Law firm Foot Anstey recently surveyed 80 leading brands, from Harrods and Marks & Spencer to eBay and Deliveroo, to shine a light on the benefits and risks of this rising star in our ever-changing marketing landscape.

From this research comes the ultimate five-step guide to successful brand collaboration.

Step 1: Pick your partner well

Don’t skip the due diligence. Understanding your partnering brands reputation, values and core audience is vital. Your partnership should enhance one another’s identity rather than dilute it.

Having insight into their reputation and audience can support synergy and you can avoid the risk of future reputational damage.

Step 2: Communicate openly, clearly and regularly

Keeping in regular contact with your partner is crucial. Poor communication poses a significant risk to the success of a collaboration but maintaining solid channels of communication actively reduces the likelihood of material issues arising.

As does defining your check-in points from the offset – and making sure you honour them.

Communication is key to a successful collaboration whether or not any agreed documentation provides for formal reviews. Companies should create a forum for ongoing review, raising any concerns and discussing changes as their partnership evolves.

Step 3: Plan together

Planning provides the foundation for successful collaboration – it’s the vital building block for communication and goal setting.

By planning together and regularly reviewing your progress, you’ll both have a shared sense of ownership and responsibility for hitting targets.

Step 4: Measure success

Key performance indictors need to be agreed upon from the beginning of your collaboration and reviewed regularly – these will help you stay aligned with your values and goals and minimise the risk of plans unintentionally drifting.

The brands interviewed highlighted high levels of media coverage (58%), higher revenue turnover (54%) and increased market share (49%) as key markers of successful collaborations.

Sixty-nine per cent of those surveyed said they encountered legal barriers in partnerships so don’t engage legal too late in the process for them to provide meaningful insight. Legal teams are there to support your collaborations – from drafting brand licensing arrangements to strategic management of disputes

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Check out Foot Anstey’s five-point checklist when it comes to successfully planning and implementing a marketing partnership and download the full report: Harnessing the power of brand collaborations


Alexandra Hammond is a partner at Foot Anstey.


Alexandra Hammond is a partner in Foot Anstey’s Retail and Consumer Team, with particular expertise in commercial contracts, data protection and technology projects.