Third party promotions can be risky - even when your only investment is your name and your customer list. Last week, my wife and I each received a postcard from Delta Airlines. (I say the postcard came from Delta, because the Delta name and the Delta logo were the only names an logos on either side of the cards.)
The following message appeared on the back of the card:
"In celebration of our new year packages we've selected you to received 2 round trip airfares to anywhere in the contiguos United States - good for the next 12 months!
Call within 48 hours and receive a 3 day 2 night stay at major brands."
(Hey Delta, I trusted you!)
I've flown more on Delta over the past few years, and have noticed a steady improvement in the service and experience that I receive. As a result, I trust Delta more. That's why this promotion seems so out of character, and causes me to wonder if I'm starting to trust them too much.
If you partner with a third party, and especially when you loan them your brand, there are at least three important points to consider:
Know your partner.
Is it a company that shares and practices your cultural values? Is transparency one of those?
Know how your name will be used.
Understand the full message and process that will surround the use of your name. And be sure to view it with customer empathy.
Their experience will be your experience.
Understand that your customer may see the experience delivered by the third party as another experience delivered by you.
In business, your reputation is your soul. Be careful who you loan it to.