The Value of Partnerships

Connection. Collaboration. Community.

These have been buzz words as of late, but they are very important ideas for entrepreneurs in the food industry who want to do a lot with a little. Connecting with like-minded organizations with common goals, collaborating on events and getting involved in the community are three ways to grow your small food business. Think: grass roots marketing + social media marketing!

This past weekend, I participated in a wonderful event with WeddingWire, on behalf of my client, Gundalow Juice. Gundalow Juice is a Baltimore-based, cold-pressed juice company, committed to fueling your ambition. I was approached by WeddingWire months ago regarding a "Bride Ride" that would be held in DC at SoulCycle. The idea of the ride was that brides, grooms, bridesmaids, etc. could have fun "sweating for the wedding" on the bike and then cool down with Gundalow Juice. I loved the theme-- and happily agreed to bring juice and represent Gundalow.

WeddingWire invited thousands of their DC e-mail subscribers list to the event, and included that Gundalow Juice would be providing juice. In addition, the popular DC blog "The DC Darlings" picked up the event and shared it with their followers, too. Before the event even happened, there were tens of thousands of women (and men!) in Gundalow Juice's target market who had an introduction to the brand. That is a huge opportunity-- and especially great to have been introduced through a reputable brand like WeddingWire.

An awesome part of this event was that I actually got to join the riders (including a few friends from high school!) and have a blast on the bike. Just another day at the office for a food marketing professional! It's nice jumping in and being part of the workout, especially for something like a SoulCycle ride, because we rode together as a team. That made it more natural to connect with the riders afterwards when I offered Gundalow Juice, because we had all worked out together!

The event was over 75% filled, which means it was a success for WeddingWire. I feel it was a success for Gundalow Juice, because the attendees were able to try the juices and ask where they can buy them. We also had a few extra juices that we left with the SoulCycle instructors-- because fueling their ambition requires the best cold-pressed juice available!

So, when determining with which organization you should partner, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What kind of reach does the organization have? (Quality and quantity! Yes, there were many people, but what was great about this was that they were perfect for Gundalow Juice's target market: fitness focused and likely looking to incorporate healthy choices into their day as they got ready for their wedding)
  2. Is the event located in an area I want to grow? (In this case, it was within blocks of two accounts!)
  3. Has the event been successful in the past? (The event was well attended in NYC, Boston & Miami)
  4. What kind of credit will the organization give to your brand?
  5. Will the organization be inviting social media influencers?
  6. What other vendors will be present? (In this case, I was the only one there, representing Gundalow Juice. It's great when there are other like-minded vendors, but I generally avoid events where there are multiple competitors for my client.)

Special thanks to Allison Donnelly from WeddingWire who produced the event, SoulCycle 14th Street for kicking our butts, and all of the riders (especially brides to be!) who sipped and shared the juice! What kind of events have you found to be successful? Share your story below!