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A Guide to Brand Partnerships for Interior Designers

interior design


Learn to identify and execute successful brand partnerships for your interior design business.

Words by 

Sophia Angel Lou Quiachon

Published on 

August 3, 2023

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As an interior designer, brand partnerships are an excellent way of publicising your interior design business and attracting new customers, especially when first starting out in the interior design industry. Not only that, brand partnerships are a great way to align yourself with reputable brands in the interior design industry and perhaps even earn some extra income. No matter the size of your interior design business, there are a wealth of brand partnership opportunities available to you, including real estate agents, furniture companies, and architects. A successful brand partnership helps both collaborators to grow their businesses, so it is important to partner with a brand that you admire and trust.

Navigating brand collaborations as an interior designer might seem overwhelming, but the time and effort involved will pay dividends to your business's success in the long run. In this article, we've covered everything you need to know about brand partnerships as an interior design, including:

  • Why a brand partnership is beneficial to your interior design business
  • What brand partnerships are available to interior designers
  • How to pitch an interior design brand partnership

Ready to collaborate on an exciting new project and meet a world of new customers for your interior design business? A new interior design brand partnership awaits...

Brand partnerships for interior designers - what are they?

A brand partnership is when two or more professionals collaborate to promote each other's products or services. A successful collaboration results in increased exposure and learning opportunities for both brands involved. Four different types of interior design brand partnerships:

  • Product partnership. When businesses co-create a product or service. A good example is when Nate Berkus collaborated with Target.
  • Event partnership. When businesses co-manage an event such as a trade show or conference. For example, you can manage a show house with a furniture vendor to promote both of your brands
  • Content partnership. When businesses create promotional content together. You can work with a paint company, for example, and create a TikTok series on how to choose the right paint colours for different rooms.
  • Sponsorship partnership. When a brand sponsors another brand's products or events. For example, SBID Events are sponsored by numerous brands like Vectorworks, Lalique, and Bloomsart.
Nate Berkus' interior design brand partnership with Target.

Benefits of brand partnerships for interior designers

A brand partnership is a great method of marketing your interior design business to new clients and increasing your credibility as a brand. Here are the top three reasons you should pursue a brand partnership for your interior design business...

Increase brand visibility

A brand partnership lets you tap into your interior design business partner's clientele. This introduces you to new potential clients, drives traffic to your website, and improves your brand visibility and reputation altogether.

Attract a larger pool of clients

An interior design collaboration creates buzz for your brand in many ways. One, it generates public interest and brand recognition. And two, it adds value to your brand through exclusive discounts, products, or services. For example, if you have a product partnership with a furniture retailer, you can offer an exclusive discount to clients who wish to purchase from your brand partner.

Improve your credibility

When your interior design partner is a well-known brand, they vouch for your expertise. That connection establishes your business as of an equal calibre, which will in turn boost your credibility in the industry. Prospective clients will be impressed by your connections and have high expectations for working with you.

How to choose the right brand partnership opportunity

Choosing the right brand to partner with is essential. Your compatibility as both brands and as individuals will determine your project's success. It's important to do your share of research before forwarding a business collaboration proposal. 4 steps in choosing the right partnership for your interior design firm...

Step 1. Define your vision and goals

Before choosing the right business partner, you have to know your goals. Ahead of searching for your ideal collaborator, ask yourself this question: What do I want to achieve with a brand partnership? For example, you might want to reposition your brand to a more high-end clientele, in which case you could consider partnering with a luxury furniture company that would expose you to that market. Determining what you want to gain from the brand partnership is crucial in keeping the collaboration on track and ensuring you are happy with the end result.

Step 2. Identify suitable partners

Once you have defined your personal aims for the brand partnership, you need to identify brands/individuals who can help you to fulfil these goals. Questions to think about...

  • What type of partnership are you looking for?
  • What skills should your ideal business partner have?
  • Does this brand share my target audience?
  • Does this brand have a positive industry reputation?

List down as many brands and professionals that come to mind while answering these questions and slowly scratch off brands that don't quite fit your criteria. You can also browse through online networking platforms like LinkedIn, or the Design and Construction Network to find potential interior design partners.

Step 3. Assess compatibility

Values are just as important as expertise. You'll find a lot of skilled experts in the interior design industry however, not everyone will share the same perspectives and ethos'. This is particularly important if you offer niche services such as sustainable interior design.

Run a background check on potential business partners to assess their brand identity and practices. You can also invite the owner or key contact to a meeting online or in person to get to know them better. Ideally, the right interior design partner should be a match on both a professional and personal level.

Leanne Ford partnered with Crate & Barrel to create this stylish outdoor furniture collection.

How to craft an interior design partnership proposal

A successful partnership takes careful planning and commitment from both parties, but it all starts with a well-crafted partnership proposal. There is no one size fits all approach to an interior design partnership proposal. More often than not, it depends on the nature of the brand you want to reach out to. Some brands prefer to conduct professional matters via email, whilst others might suit a more relaxed Instagram DM. Use the following steps as a brand partnership proposal template five steps to help you craft the perfect interior design brand partnership pitch...

Step 1. Write a compelling introduction

The first step: grab their attention. Write an impactful introduction that outlines your background, purpose, and why you believe the collaboration should happen. The first line should be enough to make the recipient want to read more. To write a good introduction, research your potential partner's company. Highlight any shared values and goals and generously incorporate them into your proposal.

Brand partnership pitch introduction template

Dear [Brand Partner's Name],

I am writing to explore the possibility of a strategic interior design partnership between our brands, [Your company name] and [Brand partner's name].

At [Your Company Name], our mission is to [your brand ethos here]. Our portfolio (linked) speaks to this mission, and I take particular pride in our recent work [share examples of a recent project(s)]. I believe that our mutual commitment to/understanding of [shared values here] make us ideal partners. I admire [Brand Partner's Company Name] for [share why you admire the brand/recent work you loved].

Step 2. Discuss partnership objectives and plan

Once you have made a stellar introduction and outlined why you make a perfect pair, it is time to break down your objectives and ideas for the next steps. In this section, you need to identify key areas of synergy and explain how your interior design collaboration efforts can create unique opportunities and value. Keep it realistic and achievable. Key details to include in your interior design partnership proposal:

  • Your proposed activities, initiatives, or projects
  • Benefits of these projects to your potential interior design partner
  • A timeline of events or projects

Step 3. Highlight your portfolio and credentials

The third step is perhaps the hardest part of writing a brand partnership pitch, selling yourself. Highlight what makes you a good potential partner. Showcase your relevant experiences, certifications, and track record that will drive your partnership to success. Attach your design portfolio and include client testimonials that highlight the positive impact of your work.

Step 4. Conclude with a call to action

Wrap up the proposal with a clear and concise call to action. A call to action can be anything from a simple email response to an in-person meeting. What's important is that you simplify the next steps by providing your contact information and availability.

Brand partnership pitch CTA template

I'm excited to discuss the potential of this partnership further. We can schedule a meeting at your convenience, reach me here: [insert contact information]

Thank you for your time. I look forward to the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

Step 5. Follow up on the proposal

Don't miss out on a partnership opportunity by neglecting to follow up on an email! Remember, your proposal doesn't end as soon as you hit send. It ends with an agreement or a rejection.

When do you follow up on a partnership proposal? It's best to send a follow-up no later than 10 days after sending your initial pitch. This gives the recipient ample time to review your proposal and express continued interest in the partnership. In your follow-up message, always be mindful of their time and in the event of receiving a "no", respect their decision and respond cordially and professionally.

TLDR: A successful interior design brand partnership looks like...

Brand partnerships are an effective marketing strategy for interior designers looking to increase brand visibility, attract new customers and improve their reputation in the interior design industry. Your interior design business will grow from collaborating with businesses and brands that align with your aesthetic, ethos and goals. It is important to pursue a brand partnership with companies that you align with on a personal and professional level.

When reaching out to potential brand partners, be sure to communicate your expertise, your ideas (and passion for them) and why this partnership will be mutually beneficial for you both.

Visualist is a software empowering creative professionals to work, earn and scale their businesses. Learn more here.

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