Brett Ryan, a marketing and brand partnerships veteran, shared his expertise at the Snake River Digitial Marketing Conference (DMC) event on Jan. 18.

Ryan’s career began in marketing video games at En Masse Entertainment, working on a game called “Tera.” Later, he moved into marketing business-to-business (B2B) software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools for IT teams in educational technology at LabStats, increasing their revenue from $2.5 million to $8.5 million.

Ryan then became vice president of product marketing at Aurea, where they earned a revenue of $450 million across more than 150 products. He learned brand partnership strategies through trial and error at these companies.

Ryan, following the failure of his first brand partnership, sought further understanding by researching online about the dynamics of brand partnerships.

Brett Ryan presenting the six principles of his book "Brand Together".

Brett Ryan presenting the six principles of his book "Brand Together". Photo credit: Collin Prisbrey

“This brand partnership thing can’t be black magic, right?” said Ryan.

His internet search for details on brand partnerships resulted in minimal findings. Driven by this lack of information, Ryan immersed himself in extensive research that led to the creation of his new book on the principles of successful branding.

“I couldn’t find a thing … so I wrote the book I wish I had,” said Ryan.

Ryan started his journey in marketing at En Masse Entertainment after graduating from BYU-Idaho with a political science degree. He received his first brand partnership assignment with Ronda Rousey. After six weeks, the deal fell through.

This defeat sponsored the decision to write the book.

While not able to cover all six principles in his new book, Ryan focused on “Clarify your brand’s equity” and “Hedonic Symmetry.”

Brett Ryan posing in front of his slide show with a Snake River DMC hat gifted to him by the organizers.

Brett Ryan {{posing in front of his slide show}} with a Snake River DMC hat gifted to him by the organizers. Photo credit: Collin Prisbrey

Ryan outlined key steps for brand equity — understanding and conveying your brand’s value to partners, communicating your role in the partnership, and detailing the inter-brand discussions on each party’s contributions.

“Hedonic Symmetry” addresses the symbols beyond a brand’s visual identity and how they match the brand partner. Hedonic marketing refers to the emotional, imagined experience the customer has with the product before they buy it.

For more information on future events with Snake River DMC, visit their website.

Ryan’s book, “Brand Together: 6 Principles of Golden Brand Partnerships,” comes out in April. More information can be found here.