Is This The Best Brand Partnership Ever?

Brand partnerships are seemingly everywhere and in this social
media age, it’s easier than ever for brands to interact.

Sometimes it’s less of a partnership than an unplanned Twitter
beef, like this takedown of Oreo by movie theatre chain AMC…

bring your own Oreo cookies to the movie theater?

— AMC Theatres (@AMCTheatres)
September 25, 2012

Other times it’s an intricately planned brand + brand embrace,
as with this combo between Covergirl cosmetics and the
LucasFilm/Disney movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens…

covergirl star wars brand partnership instagram post

But here’s the problem with these two forms of brand
partnerships: they don’t make consumers buy products.

Sprout Social’s research shows that trash talking other brands
is a purchase driver among just 10% of consumers. Brands being
funny? Just over one-third of customers would make a purchase based
on that behavior.

brand partnerships that drive consumer purchases

The top driver of purchases based on brand behavior in
social media is being responsive.
This is as it should be,
as the FIRST priority of your
social media strategy
must be to service your existing
customers. After all, customer service in social media is a
spectator sport and how you handle your business there can have a
big impact on revenue and retention. I wrote all about how to do it
well in my book,
Hug Your Haters

The top driver of purchases based on brand behavior in social
media is being responsive, according to @SproutSocial.

Click To Tweet

The second driver of purchases based on brand behavior
in social media is offering promotions.
Why do so many
brand partnerships overthink the obvious? Just give customers a
deal they find compelling.

The Best Brand Partnership Ever?

This is why the brand partnership between T-Mobile and Taco
Bell, announced during the 2019 Super Bowl is so outstanding.

The announced partnership is that T-Mobile customers who use the
T-Mobile app can get one free taco every Tuesday; no purchase
required or strings attached.

Free 👏
taco 👏
every 👏
week. Starting today, we’re giving customers a free @TacoBell
taco in the

— T-Mobile (@TMobile)
February 5, 2019

The customer bases are naturally aligned in that they skew male,
they skew younger, and they skew toward value seekers. This is a
superior partnership — more compelling than other programs
T-Mobile has run with brands like Panera Bread, and they are
supporting it with a huge awareness campaign, including Super Bowl

Is it Tuesday yet? 🌮

— Taco Bell (@tacobell)
February 4, 2019

The benefits for T-Mobile customers are pretty straightforward:
free tacos for doing nothing other than not canceling your mobile
phone contract.

The benefit for Taco Bell includes a ton of publicity and the
likelihood that when this brand partnership sends T-Mobile
customers into the restaurants every Tuesday, they will also buy a
drink and/or more food. Given that a basic taco retails for $1.19,
the largesse here is reasonable yet still compelling enough to
drive customer behavior.

Brand partnerships can be a 1+1=3 circumstance, especially when
they can be amplified in social media (and this one will be crowed
about every Tuesday until it expires). If you want to interact with
other brands — fantastic! But remember what customers REALLY
want: customer service and offers.

As a marketing professional, you might be smitten by your
creative brand-on-brand tweets and so forth, but that’s not what
customers actually want.

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Is This the Best Brand Partnership Ever?
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Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

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