Brand collaborations and partnerships are a big part of marketing. Collaborative advertising efforts between two brands present opportunities for both sides to benefit in more ways than one, but to execute them effectively, strategic and creative thinking must be aligned.
Benefits of Brand Collaborations:
- Strong Creative Work – Capitalize on creativity when both brands bring ideas to the table. Two heads can be better than one.
- Expand Brand Awareness & Increase Reach – Cross-promotional exposure strikes new audiences on both ends of the brand-to-brand relationship that may not have been reached otherwise. Because brand collaborations are not carried out between industry competitors, neither brand sacrifices business for the other’s access to a new audience.
- Increase Engagement – Brand collaborations are carried out between brands that have a connection, so naturally, their audiences are affiliated in one way or another. Not only does cross-promotion bring each brand attention, it brings them attention from relevant audiences that care about or have an interest in their product or service. This naturally increases each brand’s engagement on its advertising channels from audiences that want to engage with the story, message or service that they have to offer.
- Can Reduce Cost & Expenses – When both brands bring something to the table, production costs and expenses can be reduced.
Building a brand collaboration is far more complicated than simply bringing two brands together, though. Collaborations must be strategically built, and here’s how.
How to Build a Brand Collaboration:
- Start Early – Collaborations usually take ample time to coordinate. Leave enough time between the beginning stages of your research and the expected execution of your collaboration.
- Do Your Research – Brainstorm before anything. If you’re a brand looking for another one to collaborate with, search for potential partnerships based on your aligning values, expectations and target audiences. It is also important to verify that the brand you’re seeking a partnership with is not a direct competitor of yours, otherwise you’ll limit the cross-promotional value of the campaign.
- Make Sure the Brand Makes Sense – Once you narrow down some potential brands to pitch your partnership to, make sure that it makes sense. Partnerships are much more complex than simply pairing your brand with another one – the pairing must be strategic. Otherwise, your audiences may not have the reaction that you were expecting out of them.
- Prepare Your Plan in Advance – When you’ve pinpointed a potential partner, be sure to have a solid plan in place before you pitch to collaborate.
- Pitch – Present your ideas to your prospective partner.
- Establish Goals and Expectations – After you secure your partnership, establish the goals and expectations that each brand has for the collaboration before it’s put into play.
When all is said and done, collaborative campaigns should tell one cohesive story while complementing both brands. According to digital publishing platform Medium, in “a successful partnership: both parties had something to contribute and gain.” In the end, both brands should build each other up in ways that allow them to tell their own unique story and reach new audiences and opportunities for engagement.