Choosing the Right Brand Partner

Mike Monteiro posted an article on Medium last month called “These 8 Tricks to Selecting a Design Partner Will Amaze You” that inspired us into a slow clap. Monteiro stresses the importance of understanding the relationship between the client and the designer, encouraging a partnership based on mutual respect, knowledge sharing and realistic expectations.

If we take his points further we can apply these principles to any working relationship. In order for a partnership to work, there must be mutual success between the two parties. Success is not automatic by providing a service well — that service has to add value toward a business goal.

Your partner must be immersed in who you are as an organization, understand your business goals and know how to apply their craft to help you be successful.

A good partner helps you find long-term, sustainable solutions to your business problems. They ask hard questions. They go above and beyond. They are invested in your success. A true partner isn’t afraid to rock the boat if it leads to better, more strategic solutions.

Before signing on with a strategic partner, consider these questions:

  1. Do they know my goals enough to relay them back to me clearly?
  2. Do they understand my business problem?
  3. Can they identify barriers to achieving my goals?
  4. Are they asking thoughtful questions to for a deeper understanding?
  5. Can they map out an initial plan of how to help me?
  6. Are they giving me a clear picture of next steps and what to expect?
  7. Are they asking challenging questions rather than taking orders?
  8. Are they thinking long-term about how different solutions will scale and adapt?
  9. Are they working within my limitations?
  10. Do they describe their past work as business problems that were solved?
  11. Do I like these people? Would I enjoy working with them?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, you’re on the right track. When choosing a partner, focus more on the working relationship, the trust, track record and mutual respect less than a flashy portfolio or fancy use of buzzwords.

Looking for a partner like this? Let’s chat! Coffee’s on us.


Originally published at backroom.io on October 30, 2014.