There are many factors to consider when partnering with a new client or brand. Is the partnership aligned with your organization's best interests? How can you evaluate the best partnership? In what ways can you demonstrate your expertise using tangible data?

Can You Structure a New Partnership?

Like all things, a partnership between a client and a brand can wax and wane. Partnerships can have a time limit, but this is not necessarily a failure for a brand. Relationships change, the client needs change, or sometimes the client just wants a fresh look — but what spurs the desire for a client to establish a new partnership?

Brian Browning, the Vice President of Technology at Kin + Carta, notes that clients just want to be more hands-on.

He’s seen a trend forming with clients who want to take more control: they want to understand the technology and components that go into their product, rather than sign a contract and disappear.

According to Brian, “[Clients are saying], ‘teach me service design thinking. Show me how to do a development build of products in a way that leverages experimentation to better understand the customer.’” Ultimately, people are wanting to learn a better way to provide a better customer experience for the long haul.

What Can a Case Study do for You?

How can you showcase your organization’s knowledge to potential partners? In a study on what resonates most with new partners, results found that a case study is preferred by 90% of brands. Telling stories is an excellent way to translate your brand’s experience and knowledge in a way that powerfully connects with others. Plus, it’s a useful tool that organizations can leverage to showcase their knowledge with facts, not hearsay.

Justin Emond of Third and Grove prefers to see a case study when choosing a partner and presenting his organization to potential clients. Why?

“[It] shows me that you've done or you've solved a similar problem — and I have a greater level of confidence because I feel like this is now a lower risk situation,” says Justin.

How To Circumvent Partnership Roadblocks

When onboarding a new client, how can you avoid the common hazards of broken trust and communication? There are strategies brands can follow to avoid unnecessary conflicts, beginning by validating the partnership.

One way to do this when you’re starting a partnership is to create a team during the onboarding experience that will, as Piyush Poddar of Axelerant says, “add to the value” of your client experience. A new relationship can give your brand the opportunity to demonstrate what works, how the market responds, and show a tangible value of your products or services.

Establishing a partnership requires a considerable amount of time and attention, but being transparent and authentic can strengthen the relationship. Lynne Boudreau of Acquia works closely with clients and builds a solid base for their partnership doing exactly this.

“Communication, or the breakdown of communication, is always one of the biggest roadblocks that partnerships have,” Lynne clarifies. Maintaining transparency can help quickly resolve any issues that arise and maintain a strong relationship with your client.

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