Can You Use Brand Collaboration As A Key to Your Success in 2013?
Rising competition, increasing consumer power, the level of market noise… brand building in the current climate can be a daunting task. Many brands are finding it challenging to secure the attention of their target customer. However breaking through the clutter is not just restricted those with large marketing budgets, brand collaboration could be the key to your success.
Brands need to realize they hold significant power. Every brand has distribution channels, financial resources, audiences and communication collateral which is valuable not only to that brand but to potentially other brands with similar target audiences in the market. Collaborating with other brands, when leveraged appropriately and strategically, can be the key to new opportunities and commanding greater customer attenditon, resulting increased market share.
Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Use Brand Collaboration In Your Business
1. Add Value
The opportunities are there, with creative thinking, for many brands be they local, national or global to benefit from increased growth through a more collaborative approach in their brand strategy.
By applying a more stratgic approach and aligning themselves with compatible partners, brands can offer increased value to their customer, boost the brand experience and grow profitability. Nike and Apple curently collaborate with the Nike+ project; a product that combines Apple’s electronic technology with Nike’s sporting technology to offer customer’s of both brands a collaborative lifestyle package.
2. Increased Market Reach & Access to New Customers
Brand collaboration offers the potential of introducing one brand to another’s audience; expanding brand reach and enhancing awareness of both brand collaborators. This form of collaboartion is mutually beneficial to both non competing brands.
Chevrolet cars enlisted designer Isaac Mizrahi to collaborate on a collection of clothing and fashion items linked to Chevorlet’s Malibu brand line. The collaboration between the brands was seen as a good fit because both brands were looking to reach a style-conscious female audience with a well designed, appealing, high quality product. The collaboration aimed at getting women to take a closer look at a brand that might otherwise miss their attention.
3. Increase Brand Awareness
There has been an explosion of collaboration between luxury fashion houses and high street retailer brands. Swedish retailer H&M has collaborated with some of the biggest fashion designers offering their customers limited edition collections at affordable prices. The partnership between the luxury brand and the high street brand is in essence a promotional tactic boosting advertising and driving traffic. The high street brand benefits from the collaboration by drawing increased demand, greater consumer attention and increased media coverage.
While fast fashion collaborations frequently offer little return in immediate profitability levels to the high fashion houses, they do however provide a meaningful way to increase brand awareness and gain access to customers in emerging markets that are not yet ready to house a flagship store, but with whom they wish to start building brand awareness and nurture a relationship for the future. The collaboration is also seen as a gateway purchase for the bigger paychecks that they will one day yield.
H&M and Lanvin’s latest collaboration benefits H&M in terms of sales volume, but as it coincides with the launch of Lanvin’s new e-commerce website media coverage is also likely to pay off for the high end retailer.
eBay are offering their customers a ‘Holiday Collective’; an exclusive new collaboration of original, limited edition ranges of clothes, travel experiences, electrical goods and more. eBay benefits from the partnerships with an extended brand offering for their customers and their collaborative partners gain valuable access to the substantial eBay customer base and consequently increased brand awareness with their target customers.
4. Enter New Markets
Fiat cars are attempting to crack the lucrative American market with a collaboration strategy. For any foreign brand trying to become better known in America, partnering with a brand that is already renowned, particularly a ‘made in the U.S.A.’ staple, can be a great strategy.
Fiat is doing just that by participating in the 20th anniversary of the Monopoly Game contest at McDonald’s. The brand is aiming to get more attention in the American media while further embedding itself in American culture through the McDonalds tie-in. Its hoping the collaboration will help raise awareness with an audience that still tends to favour bigger cars. The opportunity for such extensive exposure outweighs any potential perceived cheapening of the Fiat brand risked by tying in with the fast-food giant.
Brand collaboration is an effective way to surprise your customers and attract new ones. Whether you are refreshing your brand image, introducing new features, entering a new market or launching a new product line, brand collaboration can offer several very significant benefits to brands. In fact, brand coalitions could talk not only to customers but also to investors and regulators, if brands lobby their own interests.
A word of caution though, brand alliances are not always guarantees for success. Collaboration strategies fail if there is not equal value for both brands in the relationship, if the brand’s value or positioning does not match each other, or if the customer does not easily understand the strategy.
Is it time to re-examine your brand strategy and collaborate your way to success in the year ahead?
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