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Partnerships are a Three-Ring Circus
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Literally. If that partnership is with Cirque du Soleil, of course. And don’t think that this is an unlikely case, because brands are lining up to hold hands with this brand. Why? So many reasons. The show. The audience. The experience. It’s luxury at its best, it’s one-of-a-kind, and it makes for a great partner brand. With an engaged audience and the opportunity to provide unique experiences, Cirque du Soleil is a sought-after brand for other businesses. Imagine the opportunity to let customers behind the scenes of this three-ring luxury circus. Is the competition able to offer that? Probably not — and that is why Cirque is on the top of the list for branding partnerships.

When brands decide to partner with another company the decision is not taken lightly. They don’t accept the first offer, they don’t say “yes” just because it’s nice — there’s a process to determine what is beneficial for both brands and if the partnership will equate to additional success. Many times partnerships are based on something that is already naturally occurring. Think Starbucks and iTunes — customers were already listening to music while sipping a cappuccino, so a partnership made sense. This definitely creates successful partnerships. But then there are associations that just happen, just because. There’s little need for them, there’s no benefit, and the program falls flat.

Now think about Cirque. A partnership with this brand provides luxury, exclusivity, and ultimately a benefit that most any customer would want. There are few brands that have this power. Cirque is one of the few. The question becomes, what does the circus get out of the deal? Is it access to more fans? Is it the ability to get into the minds of more consumers? Cirque has always done partnerships, but many of these have been more technical in nature — Intel and Fast Company magazine. But with the right partnership, Cirque is able to deliver a truly unique experience while the circus gains new followers. The right followers. That means more tickets in the future, more engagement with the brand, and of course more exposure for both companies.

The thing about partnerships is that they have to be unique. Because if the bonus is something little, something that doesn’t matter, something that any other brand can do, then what’s the point? Partnerships are supposed to differentiate and make a statement. Cirque is a statement in itself and partnering with this brand allows other businesses to be serious about partnerships and create a unique experience that customers will never forget. 


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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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