The Importance of Building Strategic Partnerships

When Tati Oliva started Cross Networking 10 years ago, she was the first entrepreneur in Brazil to set up an organization specializing in establishing strategic partnerships. Since then, her business has flourished. Here, she talks about its importance to the corporate gift industry.

Brazilian law graduate Tatianna (“Tati”) Oliva found her calling in sales—in particular, creating new businesses and opening doors to brands and companies. Her philosophy is simple: “Brands rarely thrive on their own, so why not work as partners?”  So she launched Cross Networking, and turned her attention to forging strategic partnerships and generating deals between brands—or, as she puts it, “joining forces in order to do more, bigger and better.”

Networking = Relationships
To mark Cross Networking’s 10th anniversary, she has launched a book called 1 Plus 1 Is Greater Than 2. It’s the story of how her business evolved to become the first company in Brazil dedicated to working toward strategic partnerships, and she wrote it to inspire others to follow this approach. It boils down, she says, to a simple equation: “Networking = relationships = knowledge. Brands that do good work, keep up to date, and stay close to their public will always be ahead.”

Networking = relationships = knowledge. Brands that do good work, keep up to date, and stay close to their public will always be ahead.
Tatianna Oliva

Asked for tips on collaborating within a strategic partnership, she offers three:

– Know what you need and what your partner needs. Sometimes what is obvious to one is more complicated for the other.

– A successful trade is one that is good for both sides—the exchange needs to be sincere.

– You have to be playing on the same side.

Creating Sparkling Partnerships
Tati Oliva believes that strategic brand partnerships particularly apply to the corporate gift industry, and cites Swarovski as a case in point: “Swarovski Corporate Gifts is a brand that adds a lot of value to other brands—it’s unique, exclusive, and relevant, and it achieves this status by providing business gifts that are aspirational, innovative, and bold.” What she finds especially interesting is the potential for companies to co-create bespoke gift solutions with Swarovski using crystals—something she sums up as: “…the chance to customize by adding crystals to everything!”