- Everyone is doing it in every industry: from economy to music and all the way to hospitality.
- Business partnership and collaboration are not simply a marketing buzzword. Collaborations are nowadays the best ways to ensure business growth.
- Take a look at some of the most important benefits of business collaborations, and maybe you'll find that your business needs .
Musicians are doing it, big brands are doing it, and increasingly businesses are realising its benefits. There is no doubt that collaborating is one of the hottest trends of 2017.
But collaboration is more than just a marketing buzzword. Partnerships not only save time and reduce costs, but they can significantly extend your reach and expose you to new audiences. So have you considered collaborating with other brands or even — whisper it quietly — your competitors?
The world is changing
The world is constantly evolving and traditional marketing is starting to become ‘paleo-marketing.’
In the Paleo times, a marketer would use traditional in-your-face, one-dimensional advertising and ad nauseam self-promotional messages to win business. This is about as effective as beating your customers over the head with your caveman club. Consumers nowadays are spoiled for choice and are too cynical to be sucked in by the advertising excesses of the 80s and 90s, or have grown up in an on-demand world where adverts need to adapt to the environment in which they’re served up, or face extinction.
Get too in-your-face with consumers these days and they’ll literally switch off. They’ve worked out that they don’t need to put up with unimaginative adverts and self-promotion. Good marketers caught up with this fact a while back and started to shift towards a more content based strategy. But what does that mean in practice?
When used effectively and appropriately, strategic brand collaborations or partnerships can be an extraordinarily impactful way to build your business. These partnerships allow brands to enter new markets more confidently and increase brand awareness in a more targeted way.
They are also a great way for brands to amplify their appeal by becoming a part of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
The benefits of collaborating
Brands like AirBnB, Coca-Cola, Google and Apple have shown us countless times that collaborating can provide some serious exposure and generate a lot of buzz. Successful collaborations include AirBnB and KLM airline, Waterstones bookshop and even the French government; Apple and Nike; Uber and Spotify; Google and KitKat (they even named an operating system after the chocolate bar); and Coca-Cola and what seems like every other brand on the planet.
Collaboration can add value if the strategic and creative thinking is aligned. Both brands can benefit from increased growth, reduced costs and a greater reach. The simple trick to ensure success is for brands to align themselves with the most compatible partners. This increases value to the customer and enhances the brand experience.
If brands are non-competing then there is great potential for rapid audience expansion as brands can introduce their customers to their partners. And there’s always potential to reach out to a new audience and get them to pay attention to a brand they might otherwise have never considered.
There are always going to be risks in aligning yourself with another brand. Like with any partnership, there is no guarantee for success and the strategy can easily fail if there is not equal value for or effort made by the brands in the relationship. It’s also important to ensure your combined audience will understand the collaboration.
Negative feedback and attention is often shared whilst positive attention can seem a touch diluted when shared. However, don’t underestimate the power of peer endorsement amongst your customers and target audiences. Collaboration has great potential and just requires some planning and strategy to get the most out of it.
If you set expectations early on, not only are you clear about what is expected from each party but you’ll get better results. Work out what each brand is bringing to the table and respect the expertise each has. By accepting which brand does what better, you’ll both be more empowered to achieve a successful outcome. Keep a regular schedule of communication to keep everyone on track and on message. Most importantly – have fun with it!
Brand collaboration can surprise and impress your customers, as well as attract new ones. Whether you are updating your brand image, entering a new market or launching a new product, brand collaboration can help you to amplify what you are doing and advertise your business in a new way to the modern consumer.
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