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4 critical steps to make brand partnerships exceed stakeholders’ expectations

Corey Loehr
September 16, 2022
brand partnership

A company can’t reach its goals without stakeholders and brand partnership. These interested parties provide the projects with financial support, help minimize the risks that may occur during implementation, and optimize how time and money are used. 

Stakeholders' participation in any project stage plays a key role in its success, and as such, they have different responsibilities but are united in the project’s goal. 

So given the value of stakeholders, the key is to fuel and maintain their enthusiasm at every stage of the project. The process of organizing, supervising, and improving stakeholder relationships is what stakeholder management is all about. Hence, businesses that recognize the need for stakeholder management can control risks, receive meaningful stakeholder contributions, and achieve success. 

Understanding stakeholder interest allows the project manager to optimize ideas to satisfy expectations better, reduce costs, and maximize generated value.

Stakeholder satisfaction is intimately tied to project success, so keeping stakeholders satisfied is critical for any project manager. Here are 4 critical steps to make brand partnerships exceed stakeholders’ expectations.

1. Stakeholder identification in brand partnership

Your company begins by identifying people and organizations that will influence or be affected by a project decision and the final output. 

A project and brand partnership includes various people, for example, sponsors, customers, sellers, business partners, organizational groups, and managers. Hence, a project manager must analyze information regarding the project’s benefits, interdependencies, and potential impact.Identifying project stakeholders from the start is critical to the project's success because the number of stakeholders depends on the project's size, type, and complexity.

While some stakeholders may have minimal control over the project and its desired objectives, others substantially influence the project and its outcome. Therefore, the capacity of the project manager to correctly identify and manage stakeholder expectations is reasonable, as it can either lead to the success or failure of the project.

Here are some examples of stakeholders:

  • Business partners in a brand partnership have a special business relationship and role with a project, such as performing installation, training, or support.
  • Organizational groups are internal stakeholders affected by the project team's activities. They include legal, financial, operations, sales, and customer service departments.

2. Brand partnership and stakeholder classification

The interests and expectations of stakeholders will be influenced positively or negatively by performance and output. Therefore, interested parties can influence the project and its deliverables. Stakeholders have varying levels of authority within the organization. While the project manager's time is limited and must be used as efficiently as possible, it is critical to categorize stakeholders based on their interests, influence, and involvement in a project.  It’s also important to consider the fact that stakeholders' influence or effects may not occur or become apparent until the project is underway.

The Power/Interest Grid is a popular tool for classifying stakeholders; in this system, stakeholders are classified based on their level of power and interest in the project's outcome.

Here is how it breaks down:

  • High power - high interest: Close management. Stakeholders in this category are likely to be decision-makers and have the biggest impact on the project's success. Therefore, they are closely managed to get the best out of them.
  • High power - low interest: Keep Satisfied. Stakeholders in this category yield power and could negatively use their power if they become unsatisfied. So, it is better to carry them along in the project even though they have low interest.
  • Low power - high interest: Keep information flowing. Stakeholders in this category need to be kept informed because they can be helpful with project details.
  • Low power - low interest: Monitoring. Stakeholders in this category need to be in the communication loop. Although kept in the communication loop, it is advised not to spend time and energy on excessive communication.

3. Strategy development and communication

The next step is to develop an effective stakeholder management strategy after analyzing all the information about stakeholders' expectations, interests, and needs. A strong brand partnership depends on how efficiently you manage your stakeholders. Stakeholder strategy development is the process of creating the best management strategy to effectively engage stakeholders throughout the project based on an analysis of the project's needs, benefits, and impact on its success. The main advantage of this process is that it provides a clear plan for interacting with project stakeholders to serve the project's interests.  Moreover, stakeholder management focuses on continuous communication with parties to understand needs and desires, identify potential problems, manage conflicts of interest, and encourage stakeholders to give whatever possible. So, creating an appropriate management strategy ensures that project stakeholders are as effective as possible in decision-making and project implementation.

4. Implementation and improvement

The final step is to put the plan into action.

The implementation step is the process of communicating and collaborating with stakeholders to meet their needs, resolve issues, and increase their engagement. An advantage of this process is that it allows the project manager to increase support and reduce obstacles, which increases the chances of project success significantly. Keep in mind that the direction of a project can change as it progresses. As a result, it is necessary to regularly update and communicate to adjust strategies and plans to align with stakeholders. Gathering feedback and opinions from stakeholders regularly is crucial in maintaining and increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of project activities. When stakeholders are effectively engaged, a project is far more likely to succeed! One way to keep stakeholders engaged for gym businesses is by implementing a successful gym digital marketing strategy.