A Partnership Case Study, Healthy Juice, Fitness, Athletic Apparel, And More: Part 2

Partnership success!

Partnership success!

The Making Of a Partnership

I was so impressed with the partnership between Basic Training and Juice Shop, (read part 1 here), that I spoke with Jennifer Pattee, the owner of Basic Training to learn more about the back-story, and to get some more details on the end result. I wanted to learn what motivated Basic Training to host such a great event, and why they wanted to work with the businesses they worked with.

Multiple Brands Partnering Together

I learned that the partnership wasn’t only between Basic Training and Juice Shop–this partnership was an effort between several small businesses in Hayes Valley, a neighborhood in San Francisco. The businesses involved included:
  • Proxy SF–A temporary two-block project located in Hayes Valley, bringing together mobile businesses
  • Aether–Amazing workout clothing and gear
  • Basic Training–outdoor group fitness
  • Juice Shop–organic, hand-pressed juices

 “The phrase Francesca at Aether used to describe this event was “dipping into each other’s tribes” and that really hit me,” said Jenn Pattee.

The Story Behind The Partnership

One of the reasons behind the partnership was to promote a new outdoor, public space in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. The particular block, Hayes and Octavia, happens to deserted after a certain time. Basic Training intended to hold classes at night in this location. Juice Shop wanted to promote their new mobile juice truck–based at this location. And all the other businesses in the neighborhood wanted to welcome neighbors and new people alike to the location. Here’s a bit behind the location and the idea, in Jenn’s words:
From Jenn Pattee at Basic Training:
1. Proxy is a ghost town after 6pm on our side of the block. Nobody is there.
2. Aether’s store manager wanted people to see that they are fun, come hang out, don’t be scared.
3. We wanted to have a keg and some beers, but we can’t serve alcohol at Proxy.
4. We didn’t want to spend any money. This event cost us about $100.
5. We couldn’t play amplified music or do stuff like that to make it feel like a party.
6. We wanted Hayes Valley to get excited about Proxy.
7. We did it in 2 weeks, we didn’t have a ton of time.
8. We started the social campaign 8 days before launch.”

Results of the Partnership

  1. From Jenn Pattee: “The event was a HUGE success for all of us, even though it was small, cheap, and hard to organize we accomplished everything we set out to do.”
  2.  From Francesca at Aether, “I had a blast. People came into the store and not just to take photos. They stayed and hung out.”
  3. From JuiceShop: “It was great. It helped force us to get Narney [The guy behind the counter at the truck] ready to roll. We had a great time and people were pumped.”
  4. From Basic Training: “Everyone loved it. I got to hang out with the business owners, shopkeepers, and all their friends during the event. Finally had a chance to meet my neighboring businesses and the people who they are friends with. And, i was delighted to see our partners at this event sell what we do BETTER than we do.”

The partnership was clearly a success, since this week they’ll be yet another one in the same location, with yet another business getting involved–the Bold Italic.

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Increasing Awareness Through Partnerships

“The phrase Francesca at Aether used to describe this event was “dipping into each other’s tribes” and that really hit me,” said Jenn Pattee.
That’s a perfect statement, for it summarizes the key benefit of partnerships–to increase the awareness of your business by association with similar businesses who have similar clientele. Basic Training’s clients are people who like to work out outdoors, and are generally healthy. Partnering with a healthy juice business, an athletic apparel company, and a “pop-up” outdoor gathering place is brings together like-minded clients and increases the awareness of all the businesses.

Building Client Loyalty Through Partnerships

A truly good partnership delivers value not only to all of the businesses, but to their clients as well. The clients of each business were excited to learn about other companies similar to companies they already patronize. By giving away the free class, Basic Training found new clients from Aether Apparel, Juice Shop, and residents of Hayes Valley. The class was free to current Basic Training clients as well, which encouraged everyone to share and promote the partnership, and increased the feeling of loyalty. When you give some love to your current clients, it’s a way of thanking them for supporting your business.

The Client Perspective

As someone who attended the event, I had a blast. It’s rare for me to work out anywhere but my neighborhood (the Embarcadero in San Francisco)–so hanging out in a new neighborhood and meeting new people was energizing and fun. Every person who attended the class had a fabulous time, and it was absolutely an ideal place to meet and work out.
I knew about Juice Shop, but I did not know about Aether Apparel (and now I’m excited to show up early to the next Basic Training class in this location, so I can purchase some cool exercise clothes!).
I also had never really ventured into Hayes Valley for anything other than dinner late at night. It was never on my radar for exercising outdoors. After this event, I am looking forward to the next event in this location. And of course I’ll be paying full price for my Basic Training class, buying some juice, and buying some workout clothes. I’m now a loyal client of all three businesses. And it’s not just me–several of the attendees of the class on August 9 have said the same thing.
Now that is a fabulous end result of a fabulous partnership.

A Partnership Case Study, Healthy Juice And Fitness Part 1

Basic Training Juice Shop Class Partnership

Partnerships + Your Brand–A Recipe For Success

One of my favorite brands is Basic Training–it’s personal training as well as group outdoor fitness classes here in San Francisco. I love them, I love going to the classes, and they do a fabulous job at online marketing. One of the ways they get traction, loyalty, and referrals online is through their partnerships.

Reaching More People Through Partnerships

One of the key factors in any overall marketing plan is to find ways to reach more people in the real world and online through one single effort.

Creating partnerships with brands or companies similar to yours–but not direct competitors of yours–is a smart way to attract new clients, and build loyalty among your current clients with one marketing effort. Since I like to give examples to explain things, let’s examine a case study of one of the best partnerships I’ve seen.

Partnership Case Study

Nice Overall Branding

Basic Training + Juice Shop = Healthy, Happy Clients

Jennifer Pattee, the founder of Basic Training, had a brilliant and tasty idea. Her brand is already strong, and one of their key differentiators is their “happy hour” philosophy. Working out for an hour with a group of social people (and pairing people together in teams), plus social time afterwards is a brand differentiator–this is Basic Training’s Special Sauce.

Jennifer Pattee’s idea for a partnership was to work with an organic, natural juice company in San Francisco–Juice Shop–and promote free classes, where clients would:

  • 1. Use a code on Basic Training’s Website, JUICY, to get a free class
  • 2. Meet at the new mobile juice truck for the classes
  • 3. Work out for an hour, and then get some juices back at the juice truck.

This is a brilliant idea all around. I’m going to tell you why.

Giving Your Clients More Of What They Like

The first thing that was brilliant about this partnership was the natural partnering between working out and healthy juices. Who wouldn’t want some healthy juice before and after a tough workout? Most, if not all, of Basic Training’s clients live healthy lifestyles, and that includes the outdoor fitness classes, as well as healthy food and nutrition. The likelihood that her clients would absolutely love Juice Shop was high.

Building Loyalty Among Your Current Clients

This was another brilliant move, and one that sadly, many small businesses forget.

Pay attention, and give some love, to your current clients. That means the occasional deal, special event, or something. I’ve already blogged about how frustrating it can be for current clients to see a business give discounts and deals to new clients only. It’s not really that fair, and it certainly is not a way to build loyalty.

Giving a free class to Basic Training current clients was a way to build loyalty amongst them. When clients are loyal to your business, they are more likely to talk positively about the business, and that includes sharing information about your events, classes, and deals. When people feel rewarded for their loyalty to you, they are also more likely to come back to you more often. All of this strengthens your business, because a truly loyal client is one you can count on. Most small businesses rely on repeat customers who come to you often. Anything you can do to increase the number of people who are loyal will ultimately lead to more revenue.

A Win-Win For Awareness

I already knew about Juice Shop–there is a location in my neighborhood, and I’m there a few times a week. But many of Basic Training’s clients did not know about the company. By:

  • Meeting at the Juice Shop location for a class
  • Using the code JUICY
  • Promoting the free classes online and tagging Juice Shop

Basic Training built brand awareness for Juice Shop. I guarantee Juice Shop will get more customers as a result of this partnership.  And what’s in it for Basic Training? Well, the same thing–they will get more clients as a result of the promotion. This is a win-win for both companies.

What Happened on Social Media

Sharing and Likes--Basic Training I always like to look at metrics for any campaign and partnership, and one of the ways to track success is to look at how much buzz the partnership generated. We want to look at what happens on social media–even if you don’t have a full-blown social media strategy, you should always use social media to post about any partnership, and any deal or special offer you have.

In the case of the Basic Training _ Juice Shop partnership, Basic Training was very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The posts were liked and shared by several people, and sharing is one of the most important things a customer can do for you online.

When we talk about metrics, and whether or not something was successful, we always want to look at the following:

  1. How many people shared what you did or talked about?
  2. How many people liked it, or “engaged with it” (comments, posting)
  3. How many people actually purchase something, or attend/go


Most of the post about the partnership were very popular. Customers liked, commented on, and shared the post. Any time a customer shares your content on their timeline it helps build awareness and buzz. Each person who shares something on their Facebook timeline, for example, has now exposed your brand to several hundred new people.

The photos on Facebook (and Instagram) showed people what to expect for the free classes–where they were, the environment, and the general vibe of the area. We would be working out at Hayes and Octavia, in a new space allocated to a coffee truck, the Juice Shop truck, and outdoor activity. An urban workout–and photos of the graffiti and the surrounding space helped give people an idea of what to expect.


Twitter AttentionBasic Training promoted the space where the mobile juice truck will be–it’s part of an effort in San Francisco by ProxySF. They used @ replies to the company, and by doing this, got retweeted by THAT company, which resulted in dozens of conversations within Twitter about the partnership.

Basic Training also actively wrote back to people interested in the class–and included the @ reply to people, again, increasing overall attention and awareness. And finally, in a brilliant Twitter move, they reached out to people they thought might be interested in the class, and promoted the partnerships and the get-togethers.

Basic Training was active about the partnership for about a week prior to the first class–giving people enough time to clear their schedules and attend, and also enough time to gain some momentum on social media. The few days before the first class, they tweeted and posted more, including pictures and links back to their Website for registration. In my Branding tutorial for B2, we go into more details about how exactly a brand can master their image, awareness, and conversations online–and Basic Training is one of my examples. They truly are stellar at engaging people online.


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Successful Twitter Photos–Partnerships

Do you see how many likes on this one photo? That would be 183 likes. 183 likes! That is a popular picture, and all those likes equate to more people being aware of your brand, because when they like something, it shows up in their friends feeds.

This is absolutely a best practice, and Basic Training has a fabulous Instagram channel overall. Most fitness professionals who use Instagram will find a lot of success through pictures–of the classes, your customers, of the places you work out in–because what you do is so visual. Seeing people do the actual workouts, and looking happy while doing it, is the best promotion your business can get. Plus, it gives people an idea of who else might attend the classes.

The Bottom Line–Results And Attendees

The first free class was held on a Friday night at 6pm. I attended the class and was curious to see how many people would actually show up.

Ten clients took the class, which is a good, solid number considering it was a cold and windy (typical August) Friday night. Out of the ten, 1 person was brand new, and attended after seeing all the buzz about the partnership.

What was more important, however, was the attention the class received from the neighborhood. People came up to us, and the class instructors to inquire about the class. People wanted to know what the business was, when the other classes were, and whether this was a regular class.

iPhones came out and people were actually videotaping us. Now, to be fair, seeing 10 people doing burpees and lunges in a parking lot is always going to gather some attention. And Basic Training hired a videographer to tape the class as well, and when one person is videotaping, other people will follow.

The Basic Training instructors were wearing shirts that had “Basic Training” written on them, which was another great way to build awareness for the business.

Overall, the partnership gathered attention, awareness, and attendees.

Summary–What Makes a Partnership A Good Partnership

The Basic Training + Juice Shop partnership was by all accounts, a success. The true success of any partnership needs to be measured over some time. Basic Training and Juice Shop will both see positive results from their partnership over the next few weeks, and months.

A good partnership is one that:

  1. Gives your clients some loveScreen shot 2013-08-09 at 4.23.37 PM
  2. Is a win-win for both companies, or all companies involved
  3. Gets attention and awareness on social media
  4. Gets the end results–people signing up, attending a class, buying something–anything that you’ve determined is your end goal

Consider a partnership as a way to grow your business, build loyalty among current clients, and offer something unique that helps truly differentiate your business.

Part 2

I spoke with Jennifer Pattee of Basic Training to get the behind-the-scenes details and statistics on the partnership–and it turns out it was quite a success.

Click here to view Part 2.


Has your business established successful partnerships? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.