I stumbled upon a blog post in the Harvard Business Review that explained how Nike launched Nike+ as a joint campaign with Apple to drive in business for both companies. Take a quick look:

Nike+ launched as a promotional tie-in between Nike and Apple to enhance consumers’ running experience by synchronizing music and tracking data during their runs. For five years, it has built business by adding value to the purchase of both companies’ products, driving consumers of one to purchase the other and increasing loyalty via furthering integration into consumers’ daily lives. Simultaneously, it enhanced Nike’s brand as the cutting-edge choice for serious runners and Apple’s as the leading lifestyle technology brand.” (Source)

Law Firm Marketing Through Strategic Partnerships

A strategic partnership that compliments your service is a great way to expand the value of your law firm or business.

So what kind of tie-in can you make that combines your market with another industry’s market to expand your reach and visibility, all while continuing to build value in your services? Well, let’s take a quick look at the value proposition for an estate planning law firm and then find something that complements and expands that value.

Essentially, the deliverable in estate planning is the perceived insurance that your wealth is protected, expanded, and successfully passed to the next generation. Thus, when it comes to estate planning, power of attorney, irrevocable trust, succession planning for a small business – whatever it is – partnering opportunities should focus on expanding that perceived security. Here’s a tie-in idea for estate planning: why not partner with a financial services company and buy some joint advertising space in the Sunday paper to announce a tie-in product that serves the needs of your local community?

“ABC-Law and 123-Financial are holding a town-hall this Sunday to discuss business succession planning with our community’s small business owners. Food and drinks provided!”

Here, the tie-in product can be the combination of a business succession plan and a valuation of business assets, either bundled together as a single product or sold separately via referral to your business partner. Both products are needed, so why not consolidate them to create a more complete offering? This builds value in your service and doubles your pool of opportunities to sell to. Let’s try another angle:

“ABC-Law and 123-Insurance are holding an open house every Saturday this month from 9am-Noon to discuss with our neighbors how to best plan the transfer of their wealth to loved ones.”

In this model the tie-in product can be the sale of estate planning services by you, the neighborhood law firm, and the sale of life insurance policies by your partner, the neighborhood insurance agent. Here, each product accents the other, resulting in complementary purchases, brand loyalty, future residual business, and access to new verticals for your firm. Packaged separately, you miss the opportunity to sell estate planning services to people who buy stand-alone life insurance policies, and vice versa.

At the end of the day, no matter what service you sell as a lawyer, chances are there’s another service or product sold in a completely different industry that correlates with what you do. Regardless of whether or not you partner with that other industry, that product will be sold – so why not create the chance to sell your add-on? Find a strategic partner, match your products and offerings, and create a tie-in that makes sense. This is a great way to add revenue to your books.

What do you think? Share your thoughts below…

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