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Peanut butter and jelly, law and order, Instagram and influencers…there are some things that naturally go together. So, it makes sense that partnering your brand with others that complement its message, purpose, and tone is another perfect match!
Not only can a partnership increase revenue and expand your target audience, but it can also play a role in bolstering your credibility as a business and making powerful new industry connections.
Brand collaboration pushes you further into your chosen industry and gives you a stronger foundation to move forward in the future. It can also be a lot of fun!
There are so many different ways to go about collaborating with other brands—from social media promotions to real-life events and everything in between. But picking the right brands for the job is key.
Need to know more about the perks of brand collabs and how to go about them for the best possible results? Here are all the tips you need to get started.
Brand collaborations, also known as partnership marketing, are what happens when you publically align your brand with another to increase audience reach and gain new customers.
Some popular examples of brand partnerships include Red Bull and GoPro, Kanye West and Adidas, Uber and Spotify, and Burger King and MacDonald’s. As you might be able to tell, all of these brands have chosen partners whose interests, audiences, and overall brand messaging clearly align.
So what’s in it for them? The right partnership can lead to a variety of powerful benefits, such as:
The biggest benefit of all, though, is one we’ve already glossed over. Gaining access to a much wider audience than you’d be capable of on your own. Brand collaborations expose you to a whole new market of consumers who already have overlapping characteristics with your existing target audience.
Just like with anything in life, there are right and wrong ways to go about executing a brand collaboration strategy. So, to help you find the perfect match, take a look at these six tips.
Before you can even begin the collaboration part of partnering up with another brand, it’s important to remember who you are and what you represent. If you’re a smaller business, reaching out to a bigger brand might feel intimidating, and lead you to compromise on things you shouldn’t have to.
Knowing your value will protect you from aligning with brands who don’t take you seriously and end up walking all over important campaign decisions.
This brand-reflection part of the process is also worth noting because it helps you determine which brands will complement your style and identity best. Your brand is valuable and worth aligning with, so show them you know exactly what you offer with clear brand self-knowledge and confidence.
Communication is key in any partnership, and a brand partnership is no different. Throughout the planning, negotiating, and tracking phases of your collaboration, remember to communicate each step of the way and make sure both sides are feeling recognized and involved in the campaign.
When discussing a potential partnership with a brand, it’s important to set a goal or purpose for the collaboration. What is your partnership meant to achieve?
The typical answer to this question is “audience growth”.
But while that’s fantastic and totally sensible, there are other goals you could throw into the equation. For instance, you could set an Instagram follower growth rate goal. Or if you’ve taken new product photographs, set new sales targets for each of the updated items to see if they’re getting the right attention.
Setting clear, measurable objectives for your collaboration campaign will make the deal more attractive to potential partners. Plus, it will make it easier to execute the campaign as a whole.
Most of the time, when two brands align with one another, they offer a special deal to their consumers. This helps introduce the collaboration to both audiences in a more formal way and incentivizes them to want to try something new. A new product or offer is also much easier to work on as a team.
Take Uber and Spotify, for example. They debuted a still-ongoing collaboration in 2014 that allowed Uber passengers to automatically synchronize their Spotify playlists upon being picked up by their driver. You get in, your Spotify connects, and your favorite music starts to play. Zero effort—very attractive to both audiences.
This kind of partnership exposed Uber to a whole new wave of music lovers, and Spotify to a demographic of taxi riders who use the travel app on a regular basis.
It’s important to maintain a flexible mindset when negotiating a collaboration with a brand. Naturally, both of you deserve a seat at the table, and both brands should feel equally represented in the partnership when it does become available to the public.
While still knowing your brand’s worth, don’t get so stuck on a certain outcome that it prevents you from working together and implementing the campaign successfully.
After all, there are benefits on both sides, so keep an open mind.
As always, measuring the results of any campaign is key to understanding the extent of its success. This is another reason why setting those initial goals and KPIs is so crucial.
Use a data analysis tool to track the engagement response from consumers to discover how effective your campaign has been.
When it comes down to it, successful brand collaboration is really about teamwork. Taking the best parts of both of your brands and putting them together to create something truly different and special.
Just remember, the key to working with complementary brands is the complementary aspect. It won’t be very easy or even realistically feasible to collaborate with a brand that takes a completely different approach to brand messaging and audience connection than you. So, don’t rush the picking process.
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