Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recently a complimentary business approached me for referrals, stating that it would be an awesome way for me to build my business brand, list and get my message out to a larger audience. According the unamed individual becoming an affiliate would do me wonders. At first I was curious until I dug a little deeper. It turned out that the person who was suggesting we refer to one another was someone I would not like to know let alone become an affiliate with. This got me thinking about how easy it can be to destroy your brand simply by the people you associate with. Now dont get me wrong I do believe that affiliating with other businesses can be a great way to build your business brand, however there are three things that need to be considered

Consideration #1: do they share or support your business values, vision and message. Unless the person you are joining forces with has the same vision, code of conduct and values you and your business hold, this could be destructive to the great image you have created around your brand. Ask yourself the questions, what does this person / business stand for, what is their code of conduct, do they share the same values i do and if the answer is no then I would strongly suggest you avoid the partnership

Consideration #2: Are they playing in the same space your target audience is? there is no point in affiliating with another business if your target audience doesnt know or even worse care about them. An easy way to look at this is trying to introduce a fish to a bird, neither one are going to live in harmony and possible worse one could become the other ones dinner.

Consideration #3: Is the relationship even. When setting up an affiliate, make sure you are getting an adequate return on investment. Is the effort going to help you achieve you business goals. Think about the cost of becoming an affiliate -  this doesnt just include money, but time, other opportunity cost and reputation.

Although its great to be keen and to get your brand out there, make sure you are doing it with a long term perspective and in a means that supports your overall business and branding strategy.

I would love to know your thoughts, please comment below

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