Pop-quiz: what does a music streaming app and a driving-service app have in common? (Okay, if you’re up with the times, this could be easy, but for some, it’s not so obvious.)

Sometimes your complementary business aren’t blatantly obvious. It requires creative thought and a deep love for curiosity to always question the “what-if’s”.

  • “What if we could give Spotify users more access to their music in places where they currently can’t?”
  • “What if we could let them be in control while getting from point A to point B?”
  • “What’s the new, hip way of getting from point A to point B?”

And that’s where Spotify and Uber began to pick up on the chemistry brewing between them.

Complementary businesses do not offer the same products or services so they aren’t likely ever competitors and, in fact, they typically aren’t even in the same field or industry. What they do have in common is they’re targeting the same group of people, working harmoniously in a direction that enhances the services and/or products of both parties involved.

Keeping up with the latest partnerships between complementary businesses can be fascinating. They make you think outside-the-box, sometimes even proving that business models that you deemed impossible are now attainable.

Here are six companies that are doing complementary marketing right:

Airbnb + Tesla: Airbnb did not hesitate to adjust their business model towards the societal change of electric cars. Airbnb now filters out homes that offer Tesla chargers to make your travels convenient, affordable, and stress-free. Rest easy knowing that you can take your Tesla on the road without having to worry about where or how you are going to re-charge.  The site also features on option where current Airbnb hosts can see if they are eligible for the charging equipment at their home. Genius.

Google + LUXOTTICA: It’s no lie that Google Glasses didn’t have the most promising start. But the best thing they could do is learn from their mistakes, which is what instigated their new partnership last spring. Between Google’s technological expertise and LUXOTTICA’s keen sense of fashion, they are in the process of creating Google Glass 2.0. We can only hope they turn out more stylish this second time around – LUXOTTICA, we believe in you. (Sidenote: Still not sure why they aren’t called Googles.)

Spotify + Uber: If you’re a music lover like me, this partnership will make your ears perk up. While in an Uber, you can now be your own DJ from the back seat. It’s as simple as connecting your Spotify account through the Uber app to stream music during your ride (and it doesn’t use up your data!). For some, Uber rides can be the most awkward 15 minutes of their life, but now there’s no excuse. These people now have the option to skip the small talk and zone out to their favorite tunes while getting from point A to point B.

Who would have thought, right? This just goes to show that opportunities are always evolving. Because of where technology was at at the time, Google and LUXOTTICA would have never aspired to partner ten years ago.

So what does that look like for your business?

For example, a wedding photographer might team up with caterers, wedding venues, and advertise on Pinterest while they’re at it.

For us, we team up with IT companies, printing companies, and graphic designers.

Need advice or just a set of ears to listen to your mind-blowing ideas? Voilà.

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