Talking about Strategic Alliances…

I always tell our smaller budget clients that we can always make things happen even with low or no marketing budget. Part of the tactics is to create strategic partnerships/alliances. It is free, benefits you and your partner and typically generates buzz and PR.

Strategic partnerships are also a great way to manage your brand’s image. A recent example is the alliance between 686 and New Balance. In the action sports industry, 686 is a core snowboarding company that has been around for a long time and has built great credibility within the industry. On the other side, New Balance is fairly new to the action sports. They put a foot in the door by sponsoring the X-Games but haven’t really made major moves to show their support to the industry. Although nobody doubts New Balance have great products, for them to make it happen in the action sports, they needed to step up their game and find a way to give an image boost to their brand.

So here we are! 686 and New Balance partnered up to introduce their Times New Balance Snowboard Boot, which “features the BOA® FOCUS system (with the new colored coil program) as well as Recco® avalanche technology alongside New Balance proprietary patented technologies including Rollbar® stability and Abzorb® cushioning. The result is a fully functional, technically advanced snowboard boot with a sneaker-like fit.” (More…)

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My question is whether New Balance will benefit from the core image 686 has in the industry or if the result will be reverse and 686 will suffer from the mainstream image of New Balance. It’s a tough call so far, but if New Balance has a strong core campaign backing up this partnership, I am sure it will be a great success! As far as 686, it’s definitely a great marketing move to expand their market reach and get known by non-core snowboarders.

– CG

“If you can dream it, you can do it” (Jimmy MacElroy, Blades of Glory)

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