Business owners have a multitude of marketing strategies at their disposal. The Internet and social media have added even more ways to market than ever before. One marketing tactic that is often overlooked is the joint venture. This is especially helpful to businesses starting out. If a new business can align itself with a non-competing business that has an established customer base that is largely made up of the same target market it can be a great boost to the new business.
We often see this concept in play when it comes to non-profits and charities teaming up with for profit businesses. One variation of this is when a for profit businesses will market and sponsor events and campaigns of non profits or charities. Recently I played in a golf tournament organized to help fund our local Junior Achievement branch. Many local businesses sponsored the event to gain exposure for their business and show their support. I am sure you have also seen where donations are attached to products. For example for every shirt you buy from company x a percentage is given to charity x.
One of the best and most successful joint ventures I have seen locally by two for profit companies is the Bi-Lo Grocery chain and the Spinx Gas Station chain. When you buy groceries at Bi-Lo you earn discounts on gas at Spinx based on how much you spend. So it compels many shoppers to buy groceries at Bi-Lo instead of other grocery stores in order to get a reduction on the cost of gas. And since Spinx is the partner in this deal they gain the consumers who not only will get their gas at Spinx but also purchase snacks and other items from the convenience store. Bi-Lo has been able to take this one step further by offering additional reduction in how much you pay for gas by buying particular items. My guess is that these items may have the highest profit margin. This is a Win-Win for both companies for sure. It may be that Bi-Lo has the larger advantage out of the two as they are not giving a discount and only an incentive but it is a home run for Spinx as well.