Feb 16, 2022

3 Shifts to Creating Brand-to-Brand Partnerships Based on Authenticity and Transparency

Bethany Cowan

Today's consumers have more information than ever before.

If they want to buy something, there's a glut of readily available information to help guide the decision-making process.

At the final event of 2021's Affiliate Summit West, CEO David A. Yovanno offered a glimpse inside the current state of the buyer's journey and the growing importance of brand-to-brand partnerships. He was then joined by Avocado Green Brands Director of Affiliates and Strategic Collaboration Kayla Castro for a fireside chat on the topic.

Here's a closer look at what they had to say ' including why authenticity and transparency are two of the most important considerations for brands today.


The Buyer's Journey in 2022

Buying decisions used to be largely unilateral with limited information available. According to Yovanno, consumers aren't 'going to the mall anymore and passively tripping over deals.' However, the rise of the internet, online shopping, and multiple channels have changed the buyer's journey.

Two things that now tip the scales when it comes to purchasing decisions? Transparency and authenticity.

Specifically, consumers are demanding that companies share their values. The following data points speak for themselves:

  • 90 percent of consumers now read reviews before buying
  • 55 percent of consumers read four reviews before making a decision
  • Consumers now spend 40 percent more time watching commerce videos and reading reviews

The takeaway? With so many sources, there's no single path to a decision. And this is a permanent shift.

Why B2B Partnerships are the Way Forward

All of which begs two questions:

  • How do businesses grab consumer attention in order to become relevant?
  • And how do they ensure they do it in an authentic and meaningful way?

The answer is NOT through interrupting their behavior with pop-ups and overt sales pitches.

So what IS the answer? Partnerships with the publishers of information. Consumers already have relationships with publishers; businesses should seek out relationships with publishers in order to capitalize on them.

Finding authentic ways into publisher content is the key to becoming more relevant.

Yovanno shared the example of cookware brand Caraway, which invited'Food & Wine'magazine to their offices to sample their products. Then,'Food & Wine'was able to write authentically about those products. The best part? B2B partnerships are a win-win-win for brands, publishers, and consumers.


Finding the Best Publisher Partners

Wondering where to begin when it comes to identifying beneficial publishers for your brand and products? According to Yovanno, most mature companies adopt six criteria when looking to partner. If you can answer 'yes' to the following questions, a publisher may be the right fit for you.

  • Does this partnership make sense?
  • Will your customers love it, too?
  • Do you have a shared customer profile?
  • Can your products or promotions be incorporated?
  • Would this partnership make your customers' lives easier?
  • Will they be a good partner for you?

Kayla Castro then joined Yovanno to talk about Avocado Green Brands experience with affiliates.

Her parting words of advice?

Ultimately, these partnerships aren't about numbers. Rather, they're about people and building long-term relationships that are mutually beneficial.