How to Convince a Big Brand to Partner with You


If you have a business product that you think is poised for success, you’ve done your market research, and you’re ready to roll out your idea, what could possibly stop you? In most cases, there are two things that stop start-ups from hitting it big:

  1. The lack of capital
  2. The lack of brand recognition

You can find investors to help you deal with the first issue, but how do you deal with the second? In many cases, the best way to overcome lack of brand recognition is to get a big name brand to partner with you.

Easier said than done, right? The good news: it can be done! But how?

Build a Relationship

The best way to convince a big brand to partner with you is to build a relationship with them.

You could always cold-call and hope to speak to the right person at the right time, but that’s not the smart way to go. Instead, why not build relationships with people inside the company? You can reach out on LinkedIn and other social media sites, engaging with the people who you’ll need to help you get your idea into the right hands. When the time is right, you’ll have built that relationship and thus will have a much better chance of success. When you finally make the pitch, you’ll have allies within the company to help you out!

Target the Right People

Middle-management may be the easiest to reach, but they’re often the wrong people to target. The best people to befriend are the top executives with all the power to make decisions, but you can also target the people very low on the company totem pole. If they want to advance their careers, they’ll be interested in helping present your idea to the company. Any idea that profits the company will put them in the spotlight as well, as they brought the idea to the table.

Bonus: Look for former/current partners of the brand. If the brand you want to target is working or has worked with a fellow small business, contact him/her and ask how they did it. They may be able to help you connect with the right people!

Hold Off on Pitching

If you’re just making friends with someone, the LAST thing you want to do is pitch them your product or service. Wait until you’ve established a solid working relationship with the person, and give it time to blossom into a professional friendship. You’ll know when the time is right to pitch them the idea!

Show How Your Product/Service Benefits the Company

When you finally do get down to pitching the idea, make sure to highlight just how your product or service is going to benefit them--both personally and as a company. What you’re offering should help the big brand to meet their goals. If you can point that out, you stand a greater chance of success.

Work for Free

In the beginning stages of your working relationship with the big brand, be willing to do a bit of extra work for free. It will show that you’re a hard-working professional, one that is worth the company’s time and partnership. It also proves that you have integrity, and that your goal is to help everyone win.

Give it Time

Big brands move exceedingly slow, so don’t get frustrated if your partnership isn’t yielding results right away. It may take months to get approval from the higher-ups, much less into production or onto shelves. Things may be rough for a while as you get started, but be patient! When it finally comes through, your chances of success will be MUCH higher!

It’s not an easy task convincing a big brand to partner with you, but it can be done. Good Luck!

Do you have any experience trying to get a big brand to partner with you? How did you find the experience? Your thoughts and comments below please…