Krispy Kreme UK is working alongside Kin to find and establish new partnership opportunities with some of the UK’s most-loved brands.

We’re here to give you an insight into how Kin have worked to help Simon Browning, the FODD.Network’s very own on-demand delivery guru and MD of Occasions & Strategic Partnerships at Krispy Kreme UK, in the process of setting up brand partnerships to support Krispy Kreme UK’s 2022 growth initiatives.

As the person leading the Krispy Kreme B2B brand partnership campaign and an expert in the on-demand delivery field, with years of experience connecting brands together through harmonious, successful partnerships, Simon is here to share some helpful hints and tips on how to build great partnerships that work to drive two-way success.

The objective

The need for brand partnerships

Krispy Kreme wants to build greater awareness of their recently established Nationwide doughnut delivery service. This is a service that enables customers, from across the country, to pre-order Krispy Kreme doughnuts to arrive on a specific day. These doughnuts arrive as fresh as the made-fresh daily products found in all retail shops and partner cabinets.

Krispy Kreme knows that one of the best ways to drive growth in a new channel is through partnership.

Well-chosen partnerships can drive mutual benefit by sharing like-minded consumer datasets.

By sharing communication channels with customers that have opted in to receiving news and offers from partner brands, each business has a very cost-effective way to reach new potential consumers.

Why brand partnerships?

food delivery

Partnerships are a fantastic way to broaden reach and increase exposure amongst new, but relevant and valuable audiences.

When done well, there are so many powerful benefits that can develop from strategic brand partnerships. The important thing to note here, is that it has to be strategic.

Finding and connecting with the right brands is the crucial first step in fostering successful brand partnerships.

To put it simply, there’s no point in partnering with a brand for the sake of it.

Brands need to mutually support one another’s objectives.

Rushing into a partnership that doesn’t fit well together can lead to hindered results, miscommunication, audience confusion and more concerningly, damage to one another’s brands.

It’s a selective process that requires a great deal of thought, research and time.

Introducing Kin

For this fundamental stage in seeking out partnership opportunities, Krispy Kreme UK enlisted the help of We Are Kin.

Kin are brand partnership specialists. They play a pivotal role in helping brands to find and match with other suitable brands looking for partnership opportunities.

The Kin approach

jigsaw pieces

You could think of Kin as the Tinder of the brand partnership world.

Brands open and actively seeking partnerships opportunities list a brand profile on the platform, where other brands, such as Krispy Kreme, can search and connect with potential partners that are right for them.

It’s an incredibly useful platform that can be used to not only network and connect with brands, but to pick up some fresh ideas and inspiration, too.

Kin has a really impressive, and diverse portfolio of brands, ensuring that those searching for partnership opportunities are sure to find relevant and compatible brand matches.

For the Krispy Kreme UK partnership programme, the platform itself has proven really easy to use and successful for Krispy Kreme UK’s partnership initiatives.

Because they do a lot of the initial leg work, including gathering, presenting and organising key pieces of information about the brands listed on the platform, the first step to finding those all-important valuable partnerships is made as easy as possible.

Searching for brand partnership opportunities with Kin

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For Krispy Kreme, the path to partnership started with a search.

By using Kin’s search functionality, Simon was able to discover an extensive list of brands, filtering results by sector, type of partnership, communication channels and what can be provided by the brand.

The search results pumped out a list of relevant brands that match the search criteria.

From here, Simon was able to click through to the brands’ profiles and read through relevant information.

Each brands’ profile goes into a fair bit of detail, covering some key pieces of information such as audience reach and statistics, types of partnerships they’re looking for and more.

During the brand research process, this proved to be a great way to get a feel for whether a brand was to fit the partnership criteria, with aligned values and goals complimentary to Krispy Kreme’s goal to boost awareness of their Nationwide delivery service.

Selecting partnership brands

Next, the brand selection.

Simon selected a number of brands that had portfolios giving all the positive feelers about partnership opportunities.

Keeping in mind that Krispy Kreme’s core goal is to raise awareness of their Nationwide doughnut delivery service, it was key to find brands that could support this, whilst offering something back to ensure that partnerships are mutually beneficial.

Simon’s top tips for selecting brand partners: finding the right fit


Size matters

When choosing a brand partner, the size and scale of each brand’s needs to be fairly similar.

We’re talking about the number of customers and business size as well as customer awareness and reach. This is important for establishing an equal relationship that works to leverage one another’s portfolio and mutually benefit customers.

If one brand is much larger than the other, the flow of brand equity is likely to go one way, with the larger brand gaining less than the smaller brand.

This is not the idea of brand partnership. You’re aiming for equal, mutual benefit.

Shared objectives and aligned brand values

The most successful brand partnerships are those that just go together.

Like jelly and ice cream, gin and tonic, peas and carrots – you get it. Brands that work to complement one another tend to lead to more successful results than those that just feel disjointed.

The corporate values and identity that underpin a brand plays a big part in how customers associate and position them within a market.

For brand partnerships to be worthwhile, these values also need to marry up. If they are set too far apart, there’s a lack of purpose in partnership, and ultimately, you’re just going to confuse your customers.

In addition to the underlying values, the obvious relevant connection is also important here.
This could be by industry, shopping behaviour or consumer segment. The brands have to complement each other in a way that you’d expect to see them together.

Connecting to the right people


Brand partnerships are very much driven by real conversations, with real people.

To make partnerships work to their fullest potential, the right people from both brands need to come together and work collaboratively.

It’s important to reach out and establish a positive working relationship with the most suitable person from the offset, whose own ambitions, job role, position, mission and corporate values are aligned with yours.

They need to be on the same page as you, with a like-for-like level of passion and enthusiasm as you and your team. Without this, the partnership just isn’t going to work.

Direct communication with the right contact

What’s really fantastic about Kin, is that they will ensure that conversations start with the right people, who are on your wavelength.

Kin works closely with the brands listed on the platform, and have built strong relationships with the relevant decision-making teams equipped and invested in managing partnership opportunities.

It’s a really quick route to finding partners as users can make an instant connection to the relevant person.

As part of their service, Kin introduced Simon to the key people that he needed to speak to, to kickstart brand partnership conversations from his selected list.

From this, it’s a seamless transition from platform enquiry, to direct communication between Simon at Krispy Kreme UK and the selected brands.

Starting conversations


Once Krispy Kreme had matched up with a list of relevant partners, the next step was starting the conversations. The team at Kin had already introduced Simon to the key decision-makers, giving him a springboard to reach out and make connections.

The Kin partnership platform also has messaging functionality, making it really quick and easy to directly get in touch with decision-makers at brands you’re interested in talking to.

Setting off on the right foot

The first conversation is always an important one. Whether it be over a Zoom call or a face-to-face meeting, you’ve got to go into the conversation prepared and willing to openly talk about your partnership interest.

Top tips for entering a brand partnership

Be honest

Right from the offset, you need to be honest. Put everything out on the table and tell your potential partner exactly what your goals and objectives are. This avoids confusion and time wasting at both ends later on down the line.

Whilst you need to be transparent in defining your needs, you also need to be completely realistic and clear about what you can offer in return. Don’t over egg it, or make false promises that can’t be followed through. Be accurate about what you’re able to deliver.

Speed alignment

Part of this honest conversation needs to include a realistic timeline. If you’re to deliver a campaign together, you need to be working at the same speed, towards the same dates.

There’s not a lot of point in promising to deliver something next month, when you know that your brand won’t be ready, and vice versa.

Be realistic and set goals that work around each other’s calendar and commitments.

Be open

You’ve got to be prepared to share ideas and involve one another, to fully support each other.

Be willing to share insights about previous experiences in partnerships, your internal processes and operations, stats and reports about your audiences and social reach.

Ensure that communication is kept open. That means informing your partners as to what’s going on and when.

Even if there is a problem at any stage, avoid trying to cover anything up. Rather, keep the brand partner in the loop.

All of this will help one another to create a partnership that’s mutually beneficial.

Help where you can

Building trust is a key aspect of successful partnerships. The last thing you want is for your prospect partner to feel like you’re taking advantage or more out of the partnership than they are.

As you would with a client or customer, always put their needs first, keeping the attitude and mindset that you’re going to do the best to help them to meet their needs and goals.


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