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For an established brand, working with a small tech startup means access to creative ideas and energy. For the startup, getting that first big brand to say “yes” can make the company. Last week, at Boston’s FutureM, I shared some Promoboxx + real big brand results, as well as tips for current brands and startups looking to work together.

As a brand-to-retailer (B2R) marketing platform, Promoboxx fit right in with the other presenting startups. You see, at Promoboxx, we’re all about pairing the big guys with the little guys because we allow big brands like Chevrolet, Reebok, Volkswagen, and Trek Bikes to launch online campaigns with their retailers to strengthen relationships and localize their national content.

Our “big brand” story started with Chevy. As two-ish year old startup, we weren’t the only ones surprised (and ecstatic) by our partnership with Chevy. And when they announced that Promoboxx would be powering each dealer version of Chevy’s 2012 Super Bowl campaign, the interest generated was truly amazing. We felt like we were a part of something big.

The “from startup to Super Bowl” story was picked up by lots of media outlets. All interested in what happens with a huge brand like Chevrolet partners with a small startup like Promoboxx. And all that’s great, but what we’re learning from our partnership is far greater.

It gets at the heart of why huge brands are becoming more and more interested in working with startups, and why startups are jumping at the opportunity to work with brands. And in my experience, I’ve found it comes down to three key benefits for each.

The Startup-Big Brand Benefit Trifecta

Before I expand on the startup + big brand benefit trifecta, let’s put aside the mentality of brands working with startups because they’re bright ‘n shiny new toys and startups seeing big brands as a big pay day. Now, these may be the reasons startups and brands enter into talks, but they’re not the things that make a startup-brand partnership successful in the long term.

Ok, with that said – we startups are 1) innovative, 2) responsive, and 3) passionate. Innovative because we’re trying to find new, and better ways to solve a problem, responsive because we’re are small and nimble, and passionate because our company is our life. Startups – if one of these characteristics does not describe you, you should ask yourself why because huge brands are drawn to these three key benefits. They are the underlining reasons why big brands will be driven to work with you.

And brands are 1) inspiring 2) challenging, and 3) extremely results-oriented. Inspiring because they’ve been around for so long, challenging because working with large organizations always is, and results-oriented which means they’re always pushing their partners forward.

The two together can do some pretty amazing things. Just check out slide 11 below for some of the magic we’ve created with Chevrolet, Trek Bikes, and Reebok. Sorry, Volkswagen is still under wraps so I won’t share those numbers with you just yet, but rest assured, we’re never satisfied. Pboxx is always looking to take B2R to the next level – and in doing so, we’re certainly lucky to be partners with such amazing brands.

Small Startups Can Work With Big Brands from Sonciary Honnoll