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Turning Vendors into Partners
By: Janet Kalandranis
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There’s been an overarching shift in the branding world. Vendors who were once considered ancillary businesses are now being called partners by the brands they work with. It’s a relationship that makes sense to the brand and to the partner and ultimately benefits the customer. What used to be described as a mere transaction — payment for service — has now evolved into something much more. Brands are looking to vendors to be an extension of their own team and want them to play in the game day in and day out. This evolution almost mirrors the same one brands have gone through. What used to be a simple product purchase has now turned into an emotional connection with the customer. And this shift in thinking has also changed the way customers think about brands. They no longer make purchases to simply fill a need, but are focused on who the brand is and how it complements their lifestyle. It’s relationships all around and the first step is with those vendors.

Vendors are turning into brand partners and it’s proving to be a successful strategy for many businesses. Why make the shift? Just a couple of reasons below that hopefully make brands see the benefit of working with partners instead of simply employing vendors.

Partners think like a brand: Vendors are there to provide a service, consistently and to the highest respect, and keep a brand happy with its work. Partners, though, are those complements to a brand that really understand the business and spend time figuring out what works and what doesn’t for a specific brand. It’s like these outside employees live inside the walls of the brand, always looking out for the best of the brand.

Partners last longer: Vendors come and go, sometimes too quickly. And with every engagement there is always that learning and ramping-up period that takes some time. Partners that learn and grow with the brand are able to shift from one project to the next, one year to the next, and simply understand what the brand is looking to achieve. That’s time well spent.

What they know: Partners are those people that stick around and have the benefit of not just knowing but living the history of the brand. This can be invaluable when looking towards the future and making recommendations for a path to success. Someone who understands where the brand has been and where they want to go can prove to be the best option for any brand.

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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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