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Newsletter #1014: The “Partners” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

When you make a business partnership with another brand, it’s a lot like making a new friend. You get to meet new people through them, learn from their expertise, and help each other out. Here are three ways businesses are doing it:

1. Making fans
2. Making friends
3. Making extra cash
4. Check it out: Google Image Quiz

1. Making fans

House paint and nail polish are essentially selling the same things: colors. How do you make colors more interesting? Benjamin Moore and OPI do it by creating stuff for fans of other brands. For example, Benjamin Moore made a Fenway Park series of paints for Red Sox fans featuring the park’s famous Green Monster scoreboard hue. OPI does it with nail polish collections based on other brands like Coca-Cola, Ford’s Mustang, and even Peanuts.

The lesson: Both companies win with this partnership. OPI and Benjamin Moore earn fans by associating themselves with their favorite stuff, and the other brands win by giving their fans something to show their pride.

2. Making friends

When you’re learning a new language, it always helps to talk to a native speaker. So to help Brazilian students learning English, FCB Brazil and CNA’s language learning network partnered with a retirement home in the U.S. to do a “Speaking Exchange” via webcam. They ask about each other’s daily lives, give tips on correct pronunciation, and get to know one another. It’s a great opportunity for both sides to learn from a different culture and a different generation.

The lesson: By empowering groups of people to connect and make friends, they not only made learning a language more personal, but also worth telling someone else about.

Learn more: YouTube

3. Making extra cash

New York’s Purchase College had about 1,000 unused parking spaces on campus. To get the most out of them, they partnered with the nearby airport to rent out parking spaces and a shuttle service for less than half the cost of other lots. It’s raised them over $80,000 a year — money that goes to scholarships and school improvements.

The lesson: Every business has something they’re not using. Look around, what leftover space or unused asset could you make the most out of?

Learn more: 22 Words

4. Check it out: Google Image Quiz

This reverse Google image search shows you a photo and asks you to guess what search query brought it up. (And it’s not as easy as you might think.) You can ask for hints, skip to the next photo, or reveal the answer by clicking “I’m feeling unlucky.”

Learn more: Google Image Quiz

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