Pitch it or Ditch it?

A quick guide to evaluating whether to share your brand’s cred with others

When others sense that you’ve “made it”, there is no end to the products, services, and business pitches that will begin targeting you and wanting to partner with your brand. While networking and connecting is likely how you became so popular in the first place, your newly built brand capital has value, and thus should be protected as you would with anything valuable that you have worked to acquire. Additionally, there remains a clear distinction between connecting others and getting sucked into someone else’s business as it’s sole spokesperson in your network. Still, we see clients constantly abandoning their brand’s message to help others – pitching unrelated services on their websites, spending time and energy on fruitless partnerships, and worse. While it may be a difficult proposition to shut the doors completely, here are a few ways to evaluate if you are opening the floodgates to energy vampires.

Assessment #1: Will the brand deliver?
While it might be tempting to help your friend or neighbor with her startup, pitching her services alongside yours could potentially disappoint your key contacts. When you make a recommendation, your clients are expecting that the recommended business is going to be of similar stature to yours – they trust your brand to deliver a familiar level of service. If there is any doubt in your mind that the brand will deliver on your level – do not recommend them to your clients.

Assessment #2: Does the brand align with mine?
Murky or inconsistent messaging is one of the fastest ways to lose credibility for your brand. Pitching a bake shop on your website when you are known as a finance guru sends the customer instant red flags and dilutes your brand’s value. Additionally, folding in unrelated products or services to your brand in order to “diversify” your company only leads to brand confusion and a decrease in sales. If people don’t know immediately exactly what you do and what problem you solve, they won’t come to you when it needs solving – they will seek the professional who specializes in what they need.

Assessment #3: Do the ends justify the means?
While not every brand partnership has to be financially profitable, without question each alignment you make should show you a return on your investment. If you are spending money, time and effort on the relationship – do the outcomes justify the resources used? Consider factors such as visibility, new client acquisition, brand engagement in addition to profits when making this determination.

There are many others ways to assess what opportunities you align your business. What are some of the ways that you have done this?

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