Partnerships Create Brand

What is a Branding Partnership?

One extraordinarily successful example of where partnerships help to promote a brand and encourage donors to participate is Toys for Tots, which is sponsored by the U.S. Marine Corps. Who does not want to make sure that underprivileged kids receive a gift during the season of giving? This is the feel-good message conveyed by the Marines through their Toys for Tots program.

How Does it Come to Be?

Toys for Tots began in 1947 as the brainchild of Marine Corps Reserve Major Bill Hendricks and his wife, Diane. She had a few handcrafted dolls and asked Bill to deliver them to an agency that supports children in need. Flash forward to today as the program distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million underprivileged kids annually. To date, the program has delivered 524 million toys to 265 million children (, 2020).

What Makes it Successful?

What makes this program unique is that it is time limited, not only because it occurs during the short holiday season, but because kids are only eligible for a short period of time, only until about 18 years old. We believe that the appeal is made even greater due to its time limited structure. It is easier for companies to support the program at a specific period and for a limited amount of time. As example, partners over the years have included Walt Disney World Company, Hess, Hasbro, The UPS Store, Hallmark, and many other large corporations. And still further, the timing of gift-giving at the end of the calendar year permits tax deductions that may be appealing to corporate sponsors and other donors.

What Else Matters?

There are many partnerships that result in successful promotions of brands. Perhaps it is because it is the holiday season, but, as outlined above, we find the partnership between the U.S. Marine Corps and the Toys for Tots program to be especially successful. It is a positive, intentional association that meets each other’s needs, which is another reason why it works (Smith, 2020).

And if we can help you cultivate your brand partnerships, please contact us today. 

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