Strategic Brand Partnerships: Does My Brand Look Big in This?

In branding, it turns out that bigger is better together. In successful strategic brand partnerships, the branding strategy of two plus two can equal five…or more!

 

Before jumping into bed together, several questions need to be asked – and answered. It’s essential to be clear and consistent about your values and your vision and to bring that conviction to the relationship from the start.

 

“Relationships between companies begin, grow, and develop—or fail—much like relationships between people”.

– Harvard Business Review[1]

 

Objectives of Strategic Brand Partnerships

Strategic brand partnerships are a “win-win” for both parties, delivering a great return on investment when done well while reducing marketing spend internally. It’s important to develop SMART* goals though and a plan for tracking and measurement of ROI in advance.

 

Partnering with the right business achieves:

  • Brand recognition
  • Increased visibility
  • Inherited reputation
  • Validity and credibility
  • A pathway to an expanded target audience

 

“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”

– Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-founder[2]

 

* Watch for an upcoming post covering SMART objectives for brand awareness.

10 Things Brands Must Look for in The Right Brand Partnerships

 

Successful brand partnerships between smaller and larger or better-known brands can work when there are mutual gains and wider distribution to be achieved by both brands. Both partners must examine the opportunity for synergy by first reviewing each of the following:

  1. Common brand values
  2. Complementary brand cultures
  3. Core competencies
  4. Mutual benefits; a “win-win”
  5. Alignment between products or services
  6. Enriched customer experiences
  7. Articulation of a clear brand road map
  8. Resources available
  9. Ability to reach a wider customer audience
  10. Mutual trust

 

If your brand is the smaller partner in the relationship then you need to ensure you have your brand fully codified and mapped out so you can critically evaluate who would potentially be a good partner for you.

 

Ensuring your brand is properly profiled with its personality, positioning and purpose fully articulated and documented means you’re also more fully equipped on an equal footing to engage with the larger player because they will have all their brand essentials including their brand guidelines fully documented so you want to level the playing field before approaching the deal!

 

 

If you want some direction developing your brand and your brand partnership strategy then take a look at our brand building programme called the Personality Profile Performer™. This online course takes you through all the key steps you need to implement in building your brand. You can watch a free course preview here.

 

Build Your Stand Out Customer Attracting Brand Using The Personality Profile Performer™ Programme with Lorraine Carter

 

 

Alternatively, if you want in-person professional direction with expert input to develop your brand and brand partnership strategy and would like to discuss working with us then give us a call T: +353 1 8322724 (GMT hours 9:00-17:00) or drop us a line to [email protected]. We’d be delighted to talk with you.

 

Related: How to Use Brand Positioning to Build Brand Impact in an Overcrowded Market

Successful Mixed-Size, Mixed-Use Brand Partnerships

Sometimes a brand partnership appears unlikely at first glance. A beverage and a nail polish; a social network and an airline; a music app and yogurt. How and why are these brand partnerships workable? Or even utterly brilliant?

 

The biggest innovation in media prize went to Burger King when the fast food brand sassily and publicly pitched McDonald’s. The much bigger, better funded golden arches folks declined to co-brand “McWhopper” for a day. Let’s take a closer look at each example.

 

PARTNER 1PARTNER 2BRAND 1BRAND 2
DestinationSatellite & Cable TVNYC & Co.Nickelodeon
Top end designerHigh Street retailerKarl LagerfeldH&M
Music appYogurtSpotify UKDanone “Light & Free”
Social networkMuseumsTwitterUNESCO #Museum Week
Soft drinkNail varnishCoca-ColaOPI
Online datingAirlineTinderDelta Air Lines
Ride Share appFast food giantLyftTaco Bell
Fast food giantFast food giantMcDonald’sBurger King

 

Related: Co-Branding: 13 Tips for Growing Your Brand Through Strategic Partnerships

 

Take a look at these brand partnerships a bit more closely because there are valuable learnings and takeaways you can apply to grow your business too.

 

NYC & Co. | Nickelodeon

Brand Partners:

NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization, announced Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will continue their role in 2017 as Official NYC Family Ambassadors. The co-branded national ad campaign highlights New York City as a family-friendly destination. Its activation allows visitors to pick a turtle to explore a topic.

 

Why It Works:

It’s fun. A popular, compelling cartoon family become the official brand ambassadors and tour guides for real families who make up about one-third of NYC’s 60 million annual visitors. The campaign’s activation allows kids to pick a turtle to explore a content topic.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via nycgo – NYC Turtles

 

Related: Personality Matters, Bringing Your Brand to Life to Grow Your Profits

Karl Lagerfeld | H&M

Brand Partners:

The collaboration that changed everything is revived once or twice a year with other top-end designer brands. It seemed incredible when introduced in 2004[3], a partnership between Karl Lagerfeld, haute couture fashion icon, and a mass market clothing chain. The in-store collection that was meant to last two weeks sold out to frenzied shoppers in 25 minutes in many of the retailer’s 1,000 locations.[4]

 

Why It Works:

Initially shocking, now it’s cool to make luxury apparel affordable. Both brands have reached new markets. The choice of designer is kept quiet in advance, and the collections’ resale market is as vibrant as the pieces that fly out the doors on opening day.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Harper’s Bazar UK

 

 

Spotify | Danone

Brand Partners:

What does yogurt sound like? Danone signed a year-long deal to associate its ‘Light & Free’ brand with Spotify ‘Chill’ moments, targeting listeners, artists, and influencers to create chillout playlists with ads for yoghurt.

 

Why It Works:

Pairing up products with moods resembles the way music reflects moods. Both brands suggested that consumers “really enjoy the feeling of ‘Light & Free’ at first hand.”

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Event Magazine, Danone, Spotify

 

Twitter | Museum Week

Brand Partners:

The first-ever #MuseumWeek launched in 2014 with Twitter as a partner. Hundreds of cultural institutions and heritage landmarks across Europe tweeted out 140-character bursts of inside information, facts and trivia to promote sharing and pique curiosity. Powered by UNESCO, it’s an annual success.

 

Why It Works:

Nobody gets museum fatigue. Twitter is the perfect partner for pumping out fascinating, compelling conversation-starter tidbits: “Did you know a bluestone weighs 2 tons, the same as 22 sheep?”

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Twitter

 

Coca-Cola | OPI

Brand Partners:

Paint your nails a flavour? Coca-Cola Red, of course. ABC News reported, “It may seem like an oddball pairing, but the connection between Coca-Cola and beauty products is not unprecedented…Coca-Cola said that partnerships with nail polish and lipstick brands actually date back to the 1940s. More recent products include Bonne Bell’s Coca-Cola flavoured lip balms.”[5]

 

Why It Works:

Both brands are pitching happiness in a bottle to an important female customer segment. For the nail polish, the association says, “I’m a classic.” For Coca-Cola, the association says, “I’m hip and happening.”

 

Brand Partnership

 

 

Tinder | Delta Air Lines

Brand Partners:

Delta’s promotional partner Tinder says, “World travellers are more likely to be swiped right.” On their Facebook page, AdWeek proclaims “Bravo, Delta.” The creative teams painted famous international landmarks on a Brooklyn, NY #DeltaDatingWall for selfies.

 

Why It Works:

Because travel is a turn-on. Because selfies are instantly shareable. And because data supports the validity of the claim. Both partners reach a prime customer audience in a densely populated, trendy neighbourhood.

  • 62 percent of men and 74 percent of women want a partner who shares their travel interests
  • 1 in 2 singles say travelling is one of their favourite things to do
  • 1 in 2 singles say travelling to a new city to meet a date would be exciting
  • 1 in 3 singles ranked travel as a top priority in 2017
  • 57 percent of singles take 1+ vacations year
  • 1 in 3 singles try to go somewhere different for vacation every time they travel

 

Image via AdWeek

 

 

Lyft | Taco Bell

Brand Partners:

Lyft (a Uber competitor) is partnering with Taco Bell to satisfy your late night hunger pangs. Taco Mode encourages Lyft riders to make a pit stop at a California Taco Bell fast food location for a free Doritos Locos Taco before reaching their final destination. Request to be collected in a Taco-themed car between 21:00 p.m. to 2 a.m.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via New York Times

 

Why It Works:

The emphasis is squarely on the customer experience. Taco Bell tells the New York Times[6] this partnership represents a new type of “experience innovation,”[7] delivering customers to the food instead of vice versa.

 

 

 

McDonald’s | Burger King

In the best partnership that never happened, Burger King got everyone talking when they publicly proposed a ceasefire on burger wars in an open letter to McDonald’s. In full page ads, Burger King suggested a hybrid McWhopper to mark World Peace Day. While McDonald’s rejected the tongue-in-cheek partnership, BK’s 2016 print campaign won a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival. (Just what Burger King wanted: Attention!)

 

 

Related: Use Humour in Branding to Create Strong Emotional Bonds so You Increase Sales

 

SMEs and Co-Branding – Leverage These Brand Partnership Ideas to Grow Your Business

Strategic partnership brand strategy can be especially fruitful for startups and small-to-medium sized companies that find the right collaborator in a bigger brand. By engaging with a like-minded big brand buddy, a smaller brand can build traction, momentum, and credibility while stretching their branding budget.

 

 

This works especially well when a bigger brand is launching in a new market, hence it must behave like a small brand, as there’s not yet brand awareness. Carabao Energy Drink was unknown when it was recently introduced in Europe while enjoying a strong second place standing in its category in Thailand with 21 percent market share.

 

However, small and big isn’t an exclusive combination solution. Two small brands or two big brands can also support one another very effectively as evidenced here in the four case studies detailed below.

 

PARTNER 1PARTNER 2BRAND 1BRAND 2
Energy drinkSports teamsCarabao Energy DrinkEnglish Football League
Online datingDining appMatch.comGrub Club
DestinationBankTourism Authority of ThailandKrungthai Bank
Supermarket chainTV showColes (Australia)MasterChef (Australia)

 

Related: From Zero to Hero, How to Become a Must-Have Brand

 

Want to develop your strategic partnerships branding strategy so you can grow your brand awareness, increase your sales, expand your market reach but you’re not sure where to start to get a successful return on your investment?

 

Just drop us a line to [email protected] or give us a call T: +353 1 8322724 (GMT 9:00 – 17:00) — we’re here to help.

 

If you want direction and support transforming your internal branding strategy so it empowers your team and increases sales then the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind is the perfect fit for you.

 

The Persona Brand Building Blueprint Workshop

 

This is a two-day brand building intensive shared with a small group of like-minded peers where you work on your brand with our leadership. In fact, over the two days, you reevaluate your brand, codify it and create your brand strategy from the ground up whether you’re revitalising an existing brand or creating a new one.

 

This is a highly empowering workshop where we take a deep dive, step-by-step into how to build a brand. You discover and apply the systems and methodologies used by some of the world’s greatest brands as you work on your brand under Lorraine Carter’s direction and tutelage so you can grow your own brand and business.

 

This is not a theory based program but a highly interactive fast-track course where you work intensively on your brand throughout the programme duration using our ten step system to:

  1. Completely re-evaluate your brand to make it much stronger so it’s highly visible enabling you to increase your profits
  2. Map out your brand in full so it’s codified and comprehensively documented to grow your business faster
  3. You leave with your total brand road map or GPS of your brand empowering you to manage your brand, stand out and attract your ideal customers so you multiply your sales

Outcome:

Your brand transformed so you can increase sales.

 

At the end of the two-day Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind you leave with your fully documented brand strategy ready for implementation in your business or organisation.

If your team is larger and you’d like to include everyone’s’ participation in the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind then we also run in-house private client brand building intensive programmes too.

 

Ring us to discuss your brand building preferences

Just drop us a line to [email protected] or give us a call T: +353 1 8322724 (GMT 9:00 – 17:00) to discuss your preferences and we’ll develop your brand building intensive bespoke to your particular brand requirements so that you’re empowered to develop and lead your internal brand building team.

 

Related: How Do Challenger Brands Become Market Leaders?

Carabao | English Football League

Brand Partners:

Carabao is a Thai energy drink with good market share. However, the brand was unknown in the UK, part of its European launch. Carabao is a principal partner of both Reading FC and Chelsea FC.

 

Why It Works:

Pro sports and energy drink are an obvious dynamic pairing. The English Football League and its 92 member clubs got a shot of adrenaline when Carabao signed on for three years of title sponsorship. Carabao got instant brand recognition as a major player in its new territory.[8]

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Chelsea FC TV

 

 

Match.com | Grub Club

Brand Partners:

Grub Club connects chefs with underused spaces for pop-up dining. Diners are delighted by quality food in quirky places. The supper club startup was founded in London in 2013. Grub Club hosted an après ski-themed evening with Match.com, one of the largest dating sites.

 

Why It Works:

Dinner = Date Night. Even if it’s over the top for a first date, Grub Hub engages with an established like-minded web-based company that acts as a big brand buddy, helping them build brand momentum and credibility. The bigger brand gets access to a closely aligned niche.

 

“Very few startups have any marketing budget so the only way to get your brand out there is by setting up strategic partnerships with companies big and small.”[9]

– Siddarth Vijayakumar, Co-founder of Grub Club

 

Related: The Case for Brand Disruption, Be The Disruptor or Be Defeated

Tourism Authority of Thailand | Krungthai Bank

Brand Partners:

Medical tourism meets beach holidays. The largest bank in Thailand partnered up with the national tourism office to promote the destination for people who combine treatment with travel.

It’s a large and growing international trend, and Thailand is a leader in the market.

 

Why It Works:

A health and wellness website[10] highlights popular treatments available in Thailand as well as providers. The bank offers tourists the Miracle Thailand Card, a free visitors’ debit card that carries some medical and life insurance coverage and is accepted at 286 hospitals.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Thailand Tourism

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Krungthai Bank

 

Related: Brand Management: Top 10 Tips for Managing Your Brand Reputation

 

Coles | MasterChef

Brand Partners:

Business surged when the Western Australian supermarket chain launched “To cook like a MasterChef cooks, shop where a MasterChef shops” as a campaign tied to recipes used on the reality TV show.

 

Why It Works:

How about a 30 percent uptake overnight in the meat sales for a MasterChef beef stroganoff dish?[11] From spices to cooking equipment, the grocery store chain says revenue is soaring. For MasterChef, the positive impact on expanded viewing audiences tuning in for the next bright cooking idea is built right into this “win-win” partnership. After all, everyone regularly goes grocery shopping.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via TenPlay TV MasterChef

  

So the question is, have you considered strategic brand partnerships to increase your brand awareness, market reach and sales? Scale and size is not an excuse because this is a brand strategy open to large and small with innovative thinking — once you have a few fundamentals in place, like codifying your brand as previously mentioned.

 

Consider Strategic Brand Partnerships to Increase Your Customer Base and Grow Your Sales Fast

  • Do you have a marketing budget dedicated to brand partnership opportunities?
  • Do you have clear objectives in mind for a potential co-branding campaign?
  • Do you have one or more potential co-branding partners in mind for your business?
  • What innovative co-branding or brand partnerships have impressed you lately?

 

Related: Brand Profiling, How Brand Performance and Purpose Are Inextricably Linked

 

The Persona Brand Building Blueprint Workshop

 

[1] https://hbr.org/1994/07/collaborative-advantage-the-art-of-alliances

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2012/02/14/10-memorable-quotes-from-the-start-up-of-you/#1b2295315b3c

[3] http://about.hm.com/en/media/news/karl_lagerfeld_and_hm.html

[4] http://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/truly-fast-fashion-h-m-8217-s-lagerfeld-line-sells-out-in-hours-593089

[5] http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/coca-cola-manicure/story?id=23713099

[6] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/business/media/lyft-taco-bell.html

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brJoJlRu_0Y

[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBggju4mBGE

[9] https://www.marketingweek.com/2014/02/12/start-ups-and-big-brands-join-forces-for-mutually-beneficial-partnerships/

[10] http://thailandmedtourism.tourismthailand.org

[11] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/masterchef-sparks-coles-sales-surge/news-story/e6ef72e4b4f1793a9bd453fc7936970d

 

 

Top 10 Branding Articles in 2015

Are you curious which Persona Branding and Design articles have been the most popular over the past year?

 

We’re always interested to see which of our posts resonate most with you, our reader. Even though we do lots of research and planning, there are no guarantees which topics will trigger the most interest.

 

Here you’ll find an insider’s peek into our top ten most popular branding articles of 2015, some of which you might have missed.

 

I’m sure you’ll find at least one that will be very useful to your business in the year ahead.

Wishing you growing success in 2016!

   

  

Top 10 Branding Articles In 2015 600px

  

   

1. Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

 

The differences between a tired, old, has-been of a brand and a fresh, lithe and provocative one can be boiled down to a singular concept: storytelling. The art of telling a story, and telling it well, is integral to grabbing every potential customer’s attention, and a key part of your brand strategy.

 

The secret to success in the elegant art of storytelling lies in understanding its fundamental components. Though by no means comprehensive, what follows is a breakdown of some major elements that any good story should include. These are in fact some of the key ingredients we incorporate in our Story Selling System™ used when developing our clients’ brand stories:

 

The Top 5 Components of a Great Brand Story are as follows…

    

  

 Open Book 600px

   

  

2. Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success  

 

Launching a new brand is both exciting and challenging. The excitement comes in the promise of something fresh and new that could be wildly successful, be it for your well established, emerging or new start-up company — and the challenge comes in getting it right the first time.

  

Evaluating, articulating, developing and documenting your new brand’s position and purpose is crucial to building a strong successful brand.

  

It provides the roadmap and rationale to get you out of the starting blocks and heading in the right direction towards your ultimate success. And similar to your business plan, it’s also a key foundation to any successful business, be it product or service.

 

The question here is, do you know the key ingredients required for building a new brand?

 

To help you move in the right direction with your branding here are some of the elements we typically include in our branding process every time we’re working with a client to help them build their brand, whether it’s revitalizing an existing brand or launching a totally new brand to market.

 

These are actionable points which you should reference and evaluate before you launch your new brand, product or service, to market.

   

   

 Top 10 Branding Tips For Success 600px 


  

3. What Customers Want: Top 16 Branding Trends in 2016

 

More than a half century ago, the customer-centric branding pioneer Walter Landor said, “Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.” [1] In 2016, the path to that consumer experience is a two-way street, and guess who’s in the driver’s seat? Brands with strong personality are the winners, because consumers equate experiences with brands.

  

Branding keywords for 2016 include: personalized, authentic, humanized, interactive, engaging, and mobile.

 

We take a closer look at some outstanding examples from brands that illustrate key 2016 on-trend pointers to successfully target today’s customers.

  

 

  Edelman Slide1 600px

Image via www.edelman.com

 

 

4. Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality  

 

Your brand is much more than merely a product or service, or a logo. Brands are an experience—the relationship between your business and your customers—and to create an exceptional customer experience, your brand must have an irresistible personality.

 

To quote Martyn Newman PhD “In the information age and globalised economy where values and meaning matter more in the market place, the value of emotional capital increases. This creates brand value and goodwill and results in repeat sales through customer loyalty, lifetime relationships and referrals. In other words, the brand is more than a name or a logo; it creates trust and recognition and is a promise and an emotional contract with each customer.”

 

Brand profiling is the systematic process of creating, developing and implementing your brand character and personality through shaping its brand promise, values, the do’s and don’ts of its behaviours, story, emotional benefits, its culture and what it stands for and so forth.

 

It’s this humanized entity that gets your brand message out into the market, cuts through the noise and gets the attention of your primary customers in a way that matters to them.

 

When creating and developing the profiles for our clients’ brands we use our bespoke Personality Profile Performer™, a systematic approach which underpins the commercial, rational, and holistic aspects of successful brand profile building.

 

The following six key elements are representative of some of the core ingredients included within this branding process, used to create and deploy a compelling personality for your brand.

  

  

 Martyn Newman Brands And Emotion

Image via www.eqsummit.com

 

 

5. Co-Branding: 13 Tips for Growing Your Brand Through Strategic Partnerships 

 

Co-branding is defined as a partnership between brands. It typically works best when Brand A partners with Brand B, each with a different set of customers and brand associations of their own.

 

As in the expression, “the whole is bigger than the parts,” co-branding can add value when synergy exists between the brands; it creates an emotional energy, starts conversations and creates buzz around both partners and can delivery significantly increased financial returns for all involved when done right.

  

In addition to brand revitalization, co-branding objectives may include getting more bang for your buck, growing market share, building audience reach and altering perceived positioning. Co-branding is primarily used an alliance of two brand partners, although there’s no rule against bringing three or more to the party.

 

Checkout here:

• The Top 7 Benefits of Co-Branding

• 5 Co-Branding Risk Management Guidelines

• The Top 6 Tips for Co-Branding Success

with case studies and examples of who’s done it really well.

  

 

 Co Branding Multiple Examples 600px

Infographic via www.missvinc.om

 

 

6. Colour Psychology: Cracking the Colour Code for Profitable Branding

 

Colour increases brand recognition by 80%. 93% of shoppers consider visual appearance over all other factors while shopping. It adds huge power to communications, opinions, recall and emotive influence. In fact when used correctly, colour is a pivotal tool to substantially influence purchasing decisions, service or product.

  

Since colour choices impact every aspect of a commercial enterprise, brand owners should aggressively re-evaluate that choice throughout their brand strategy.

  

The question is, has your brand’s colour palette been selected with the right intent and applied to best possible effect throughout all your brand communications and touch points to ensure your brand grow and increased profitability?

  

Find out more about why colour matters and how you can use it more effectively within your business.

 

  

 Colour Infographic Cropped 600px

Infographic via Blueberry Labs

  

 

7. Packaging Design: How to Make it into an Irresistible Customer Brand Magnet

 

The growing proliferation of multiple different brands in the market place has made customers spoilt for choice, but often at the expense of easy decision-making.

 

When presented with an assortment of packaging options in which nothing decisively stands out, with a compellingly clear message that speaks to a customer succinctly, analysis paralysis sets in. It’s when faced with this situation that a confused shopper will typically default to making decisions based on price alone.

 

The question here is, where does your brand sit in the mix?

 

Leading brands cut through the visual and cognitive noise created by an oversaturated market full of aggressive competitors and hook their ideal customers by meeting their needs both emotionally and rationally.

 

Here’s how…  

 

 

 Marmite Limited Editions 600px

Image via www.marmite.co.uk

 

 

8. Luxury Branding: How to Establish or Re-Position Your High-End Brand   

  

The combined value of the various luxury goods markets in 2014 was an estimated 865 billion euros, with luxury cars, personal luxury goods and luxury hospitality taking the top three places, with values of 351 billion, 223 billion and 150 billion respectively.

 

You might think those statistics make luxury branding a very interesting sector, however if you want to reposition or establish your brand targeted at a high-end customer then there are six keys factors you need to consider within your brand strategy.

 

Firstly there are four main characteristics by which the luxury customer defines a luxury brand. However the way in which someone perceives luxury will depend on factors ranging from their socio-economic status to their geographical location.

 

Here are the four main characteristics by which luxury brands are defined together with the six key brand strategies for building a winning luxury brand. 

  

  

Super Rich Shopping Habits Infographic 600px 

Infographic via Raconteur.net

 

 

9. Millennial Branding: 6 Ways Your Brand Can Appeal to Millennial Customers

 

Millennials, the newest generation of influential consumers (also known as Generation Y or Gen Y), spend more than $600 billion dollars annually with spending power expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020, (or 30% of US sales) according to Accenture 2013 research.

 

While these statistics sounds like ‘gold bullion’ for many brands, in our experience often smaller companies and organisations struggle to develop their brand strategy in a way that relates relevantly to this fast changing group of buyers.

 

Millennial consumers are a very fluid constantly moving target with multiple devices overflowing with content clamouring for their attention 24/7. However once you really understand this discerning consumer properly and tailor your brand to really meet their needs, you can, like many others tap into this incredibly lucrative market.

 

Here are our top 6 key brand attributes you need to consider when developing your brand strategy to attract your Millennial customer.

   

   

 Millennial Entrepreneur 600px

 

 

10. Video Brand Strategy: Top 11 Tips for How and Why You Need to Use Video

 

The average consumer spends 88% more time on content with video and video is shared 1200% more times than links and text combined. A landing page with video gets 800% more conversion than the same page without video.

   

If you ever thought using video to promote your brand was too difficult or beyond your reach these statistics might make you think again.

 

Find out exactly how you can use video to grow your brand here.

 

You can even find out how one small start up brand used video to achieve worldwide distribution and now has more online viewers than its competing massive global brands combined!

  

  

 You Tube 360 600px

Image via Google / YouTube

 

 

Did your favourite post feature in one these top 10 branding articles of 2015? If there was an alternative that was your first preference, drop us a line and let us know. 

 

Meantime I’d love to keep you up to date with what’s happening in the world of branding and make this blog really useful to you. If there’s anything branding related you would like to read about in this blog or if you have any questions or comments, suggestions for a blog post, feedback or even just to say Hi, just send me a short note, I’m here to help!

E: [email protected]

or give me a call at Tel: +353 1 8322724

 

Wishing you increasing success in the year ahead!

  

  

   

Luxury Branding: How to Establish or Re-Position Your High-End Brand

The combined value of the various luxury goods markets in 2014 was an estimated 865 billion euros, with luxury cars, personal luxury goods and luxury hospitality taking the top three places, with values of 351 billion, 223 billion and 150 billion respectively. [1]

 

In order to understand the branding strategies developed and utilized by the top luxury brands, those who have maintained their reputation for over several decades, as well as those that have successfully re-positioned themselves as high-end brands, we must first look at the very definition of luxury.

 

There are four main characteristics by which the luxury customer defines a luxury brand:

  • Quality
  • Craftsmanship
  • Exclusivity
  • Elegance

 

However, the way in which someone perceives luxury will depend on factors ranging from their socio-economic status to their geographical location. According to latest Albatross Global Solutions and Numberly study, “The Journey of a Luxury Consumer”, people from different parts of the world prioritize the order of importance of these key factors differently when defining luxury goods. For example, an overwhelming majority of luxury consumers worldwide value quality above all else, however, UK luxury consumers place more importance on craftsmanship, while elegance plays a more vital role when it comes the global luxury market.

 

Since customer preferences and definitions can vary from one jurisdiction to another, luxury brands need to tailor their brand communications strategy for each of the relevant market segments they are targeting, while remaining true to their core brand values, brand DNA and brand story. It can be challenging but with the right brand strategy it can be hugely rewarding, as evidenced by Louis Vuitton and their distinctly different approach to marketing their luxury brand in Japan.

 

The brand collaborated with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami in the early 2000’s to create a more colourful version of their classic monogram, and even reduced prices slightly during the economic crisis, to retain its position on the Japanese luxury market. However, it performed best when focusing on the quality and craftsmanship aspects of luxury brand on the Japanese market, as opposed to the allure of exclusivity and elegance — that had a greater impact with their customers in Western countries.

   

    

Luxury is About Exclusivity

In order to thrive, a luxury brand needs to secure its own unique corner of the market. Premiumisation strategies or high price points are designed to attract a particular kind of customer while alienating others – the high quality, and the unique experience that a luxury brand provides will not be right for everyone, nor should it be. To quote the head of Lexus Europe, Alain Uyttenhoven: “Our cars won’t please everyone.”

 

The brand strategy developed and deployed in different jurisdictions often varies because the definition of luxury changes amongst consumers as we move around the world and up the socio-economic ladder. Also, some of the top luxury brands strategically choose to stay out of the most obvious limelight. Very subtle marketing and the fact that the general public isn’t necessarily aware of their existence creates a unique aura of mystique and exclusivity. It also alludes to the fact that high-quality craftsmanship and aesthetics are amongst luxury brands’ highest priorities, values which are not compromised by things such as price sensitivities.

 

The brands at the very top of the luxury spectrum are not necessarily bound by the same constrictions of the more mainstream ‘accessible’ luxury or premium sector. Indeed, more exceptionally wealthy clientele might perceive price tags or ostentatious displays of affluence as lacking in taste in certain markets. In fact, there is a wise old saying in the luxury yacht industry: “If you have to ask about the price, you probably can’t afford it.”

     

     Super Rich Shopping Habits Infographic 600px

Infographic via Raconteur.net

 

 

The French purveyor of personalized luggage, Goyard, is a fine example of a luxury fashion brand that has retained its high-end status for over a century, continually prospering without engaging in many of the strategies that are considered to be the cornerstones of effective mainstream marketing.

  

The brand favours direct sales and word of mouth marketing over media hype, large-scale advertising and online sales, even though Goyard has thousands of followers on several social media platforms, including the luxury brand’s newly launched YouTube channel.

 

   

   

  

This extreme level of exclusivity amongst long established luxury brands, e.g. specialising in a single product category to the point of elevating a brand to the level of art or supreme craftsmanship, can be used as one element of a brand strategy to create distinction and separate it from the rest of the market, but it can also be a more challenging route for newer entrants to the luxury market.

 

The luxury landscape is changing, and a brand can quickly become irrelevant if it lacks online exposure. Millennials are close to outspending Baby Boomers, according to a Berglass + Associates and Women’s Wear Daily study that explored the retail industry, which means that a brand has to account for the values that drive Millennials when developing their brand strategy.

 

For Millennials the bigger purpose of a brand, its big why, has a significant impact on their purchasing decisions which means that CSR and so forth has a bigger role to play in brand strategy than every before — for this growing audience.

  

The smartphone is an essential component of the Millennial lifestyle because it allows easy access to multiple online platforms and immediate connectivity – 85% of Millennials in the 18-25 age bracket and 86% of those in the 25-34 age bracket own a smartphone[2], while 88% of Millennials use Facebook as their primary news source.[3] For more traditional brands this means embracing new fully integrated brand strategies that wouldn’t have seemed relevant eight to ten years ago.

 

Even luxury brands that are primarily focused on in-store purchases, e.g. Goyard, are investing in social media and reaching out to affluent Millennials. The way that younger generations perceive luxury is markedly different from the way Baby Boomers perceive it, and luxury brands have a challenging task ahead of them – educating Millennials on luxury goods and adapting their brand strategy to fit the Millennial lifestyle.   

 

 

Develop Trademark Brand Symbols and Assets Beyond Just Your Brand Logo

Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé has been virtually unchanged for years, and the silhouette itself is just as recognizable as the logo, brand name and the Spirit of Ecstasy mascot attached to the bonnet.

 

It’s the Rolls-Royce uncompromising commitment to quality craftsmanship and attention to detail that has the brand where it is today. When we work with clients to develop a distinct brand identity that reflects their core brand values, personality, story and communicates their brand message it requires a similar level of focus from everyone working on the project coupled with a deep understanding of the brand’s primary target audience in order to achieve successful results.

  

   

 

  

  

Burberry’s trademark black, tan and red check pattern and Channel No. 5 perfume’s simple, yet elegant bottle design are both instantly recognised by the average consumer. These are distinct, different and memorable brand assets that are as important as the brand names themselves.

  

Founded 150 years ago Burberry is a particularly interesting case study because not long ago it was struggling to maintain a consistent brand identity leading to the brand falling off its luxury positioning, despite its admirable provenance. Inconsistencies in product variants, pricing and communication strategies all combined to undermine the brand. In fact this brand, now worn by Emma Watson and Kate Moss to mention a few high profile names, was once at risk of being considered frumpy before its very successful luxury revitalization strategy was implemented so successfully.

 

It wasn’t until Angela Ahrendts took over as CEO that a long-overdue brand repositioning and brand relaunch was set in motion resulting in the iconic and much sought-after luxury brand we see today. The company was restructured and the sourcing of materials and production was centralised in the UK. Burberry stores were modernized and equipped with iPads, digital displays and audio equipment that enabled the brand to showcase its quality craftsmanship through video material, and to provide a more engaging customer experience.

 

However, the true stroke of genius was the decision to focus on a younger demographic, and utilize social media as a powerful promotional tool. To successfully target the affluent Millennial consumer, Burberry had to diversify its product line and make significant stylistic changes, while at the same time retaining the timeless aesthetic that the brand was once known for.

 

The results of the brand relaunch were astonishing – Burberry doubled their revenue and operating income within five years, and successfully repositioned their brand as a luxury brand. Their famous Burberry check is once again associated with premium quality British craftsmanship.

 

 

Provide a Memorable Brand Experience for Your Customers

With a luxury product, the brand packaging, presentation and shopping experience are just as important as the quality and exclusivity of the product itself. Luxury customers are far from average shoppers, they are wealthy and powerful people with refined tastes. A luxury brand has to engage these customers on multiple levels – spark curiosity, engage all the senses, stimulate the mind, and make an emotional connection.

 

The Gentleman Floris, a new line of luxury men’s grooming products launched by the Floris London, a nearly 300-year-old British family perfumers brand since 1730, uses understated heraldic symbolism on the embossed navy blue packaging to reference its noble origins and royal patronage coupled with its renowned to quality, craftsmanship and rich heritage. The brand story is used eloquently to draw its audience in and sell its brand proposition.

 

We have created many different packaging design solutions for clients over the years, both luxury and FMCG, and when you consider that on average you have less than 9 seconds to engage your customer through the impact your packaging design has on them, it is critical that your customer gets an immediate sense of your brand story, promise and values if you want to close the sale.

 

  Gentleman Floris Gift Set 600px

Image via www.florislondon.com

 

In luxury branding everything from the customer journey to the brand experience and customer service, not to mention the accessories, has to be carefully considered to ensure that it’s elevated to an exceptional level.

 

The brand experience has to be much more personal, which means that staff, your brand ambassadors, must be chosen to fit with your brand values and culture. They need to be fully inducted and trained in all the details of how your brand is lived and experienced, both internally and externally, and how that unique brand experienced is transferred and cultivated with each the individual customer.

 

Sometimes this training may also require the front line staff to make important judgement calls in the heat of the moment, in order to accommodate the customer’s specific needs. At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, each employee is empowered and trained to anticipate and fulfil their guests needs with an exemplary level of service.[4]

  

 

Ritz Carlton Logo 600px

Image via www.Ritz-Carlton.com

 

 

The Ritz-Carlton is another good example of a luxury brand that successfully maintain its positioning for decades and in fact case studies have been built around its success. The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Centre is now the place where executives from other companies worldwide in many different sectors come to learn The Ritz-Carlton principles of service.

 

The Ritz-Carlton success is due to a number key factors such as they have:

  • A formulated a set of standardized hiring criteria
  • Empowered their front line staff and instituted a standardized brand language
  • A consistent high-end luxury brand experience regardless of location
  • Take note of user feedback, perform regular brand audit health checks
  • Constantly evolved to adapt with the times while staying true to their core brand values

  

The Ritz-Carlton has created an admirable balance between maintaining a consistent brand image and evolving to meet the needs of a new generation of patrons who prefer more authentic interactions with the staff. It’s their uncompromising commitment to excellence which has made them the only brand to win the much sought after US Presidential Baldrige Performance Excellence Award twice, firmly establishing Ritz-Carlton’s positioning as a luxury brand and setting the highest standards for customer service throughout the luxury hotel market.

  

  

Create an Aura of Exclusivity by Limiting Supply

Special limited edition items often become cherished collector’s pieces and dramatically increase in value over the years. In fact, the lack of product availability doesn’t negatively affect a luxury brand they way it might other mainstream brands. Its limited availability to the select few makes it even more appealing to its target customers.

 

Long waiting lists have never deterred Hermès fans, who often wait several months for the privilege of purchasing the brand’s signature Birkin bag. [5] Some of the most popular luxury car brands are the ones with both the highest prices and longest waiting lists. Only the most persistent and loyal customers gain access to these limited items, which enables you as a brand owner or manager to create an elite subgroup within your customer base.

 

The Rolls Royce SG50 Ghost Series II is a prime example of a brand offering a limited edition product to a particular segment of their target demographic, another example of the exclusivity strategy at work, and establish an emotional connection with its customers. In this particular example, Rolls Royce honours the fact that 2015 marks 50 years of Singapore’s independence, helping it increase individualised customer brand relevance and secure an increased market share in one of Asia’s most developed economies, second only to Hong Kong in terms of financial freedom.

 

 

 Rolls Royce Sg50 600px

Image via www.luxuriousmagazine.com   

 

 

The Apple Hermès brand collaboration helped connect the luxury fashion brand connect to a well-developed demographic of tech-savvy affluent Millennials while at the same time opening the horizons of the wealthy Apple users to the allure of a luxurious brand such as Hermès.

 

  

Apple Hermes 600px

Image via www.apple.com

 

 

High-end craftsmanship and a sense of exclusivity have already been associated with both brands, but the halo effect of this collaborative project, the super-luxurious Apple watch, has proved to be quite beneficial in terms of exposing previously unexplored segments of the market to each brand.

  

  

 

  

 

  

Luxury watch aficionados and loyal Hermès customers who are delighted with this new offering will be tempted to explore some of the other Apple devices. On the other hand, the more affluent Apple consumer may easily eschew their previous luxury favourite and make Hermès their alternative preferred choice instead.

 

  

  

 

     

Be Proud of Your Heritage, but Offer Customization to Build an Emotional Connection  

Giving consumers some decision-making power over the production process, even if their contributions are limited to the choice of colour or engraving, accomplishes several things:

  • It turns each product into a personalised more unique item that is to be cherished
  • It creates a more personal connection between the customer and the brand
  • It enhances the overall customer experience

 

Goyard doesn’t offer a diverse product range, but what it does offer is the ability choose from a wide range of colours and styles. A luxury customer can leave the Goyard store safe in the knowledge that the product they have purchased is truly unique, and tailored to their personal tastes.

   

      Goyard Paris 600px

Image via www.Goyard.com

  

  

Luxury brands can also use their geographical location to their advantage. A luxury brand is often associated with its country and region of origin – sparkling wines from the Champagne region have become a key component of many major celebrations, BMW and Mercedes are touted as the epitome of German engineering precision and so on. The brand thus takes on the qualities associated with the local culture. We can use Burberry as a good example once again – its British heritage has been a key component in successfully repositioning the brand as a high-end brand.[6]   

 

  

Create an Epic Brand Story that Mesmerizes Your Customers

A good brand story is instrumental in capturing the imagination of customers, but a luxury brand needs to go beyond mere storytelling and develop a veritable fairy-tale that fully immerses a customer, to the point where he or she wants to become a part of your luxurious world. The brand experience and how that is created lived and experienced is the penultimate test.

  

  

Coco Chanel 600px

  

  

The legend of Coco Chanel and the immense respect consumers still have for the Chanel brand matriarch is a prime example of how effective legends can be in promoting a luxury brand. Her humble beginnings, timeless style and daring persona are woven into a narrative that all ambitious, independent, fashionable and adventurous women around the world find inspiring.

  

    

  

  

  

On the other hand, we have brands with a proud and storied history, such as White’s Gentlemen’s Club in London, which has no intention of expanding or opening its doors to anyone but the most select clientele.

   

     Goyard Paris History 600px

Image via www.Goyard.com

 

 

Much like Goyard, White’s has no need for heavily resourced marketing campaigns, as it relies on its few elite “members” for word of mouth marketing. With patrons like Prince Charles and several British Prime Ministers gracing the bar and gaming rooms with their presence, being a member of White’s Gentlemen’s Club is considered a privilege. Even David Cameron’s vocal critique of men-only clubs and the fact that the British Prime Minister resigned from White’s did little to tarnish the reputation built on several centuries of myth and legend.   

    

Key Takeaways to Consider

In conclusion, here are some key points to keep front of mind when re-evaluating your luxury branding or premiumization brand strategy:

  • Ultra premium luxury brands often use understated branding strategies coupled with word of mouth, but offer unmatched top end quality and exclusivity   
  • Brands that have successfully repositioned themselves have invested in brand audit health checks and embraced the affluent Millennial demographic and use social media to spread brand awareness
  • Luxury brands that have successfully maintained their positioning for decades have used their provenance and leveraged near mythical brand stories to maintain brand distinction, but continued researching the market and changing trends regularly, and encouraged customer feedback to maintain relevance
  • Providing an exceptional customer experience in-store, through empowering frontline staff and developing a consistent brand language, is very important, as a majority of luxury consumers make their purchases in person
  • Involving customers in the production process enables a luxury brand to personalise its offering with a diversified range of unique variations, even if it doesn’t have an extensive reach across multiple categories
  • Collaborating with a brand that has a significantly different customer base and brand associations can produce a halo effect that is highly beneficial for both brands

 

You may also like:

  

• Co-Branding: 13 Tips for Growing Your Brand Through Strategic Partnerships 

 

• Brand Audit: Tips for Determining Your Brand’s Health – Can it be Improved?

 

• Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

 

• Rebranding Strategy: Using Premium Repositioning To Increase Profitability 

 

• Colour in Brand Strategy: Colour Psychology and How it Influences Branding

 

• Video Brand Strategy: Top 11 Tips for How and Why You Need to Use Video

     

• Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success  

   

• Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality

 

• Millennial Branding: 6 Ways Your Brand Can Appeal to Millennial Customers 

   

So, what do you think?

• Have you performed a brand audit to identify the holes in your luxury branding strategy?

  

• Is your brand utilising social media to its fullest potential and reaching out to affluent Millennials?

 

• Are you using appropriate brand language?

 

• Have you created a consistent brand image?

 

• Have you considered how you can make your brand more profitable by changing your brand strategy with a premiumization approach to reposition your brand, create an aura of exclusivity and attract luxury consumers?

 

• Do you have an exceptionally engaging brand story that elevates the brand to legendary status and could be leveraged to better effect with a rebranding?

 

[1] Statista.com, Value of various global luxury markets in 2014, by market type (in billion euros)

[2] Nielsen, Mobile Millennials: Over 85% of Generation Y Owns Smartphones, September 2014

[3] Americanpressinstitute.org, How Millennials Use and Control Social Media, March 2015

[4] Forbes.com, Micah Solomon, Your Customer Service Is Your Branding: The Ritz-Carlton Case Study, September 2015

[5] Uché Okonkwo, Luxury Fashion Branding: Trends, Tactics, Techniques

[6] The Australian, “Paul Smith, Burberry and Mulberry Revive ‘Made in Britain’”, September 2014

  

Seasonal Branding: Tread Carefully with Christmas Themed Brand Strategies

Fourth quarter commercialism looms large. Sparkly red and green Christmas displays are simultaneously mounted as spooky orange and black Halloween decorations come down.

From Ireland to Illinois, consumers react in unpredictable ways to brand seasonal messages that creep in earlier and earlier every year. For retailers, that response can mean boom or bust for critical end-of year-sales figures.

  

 

Black Friday Launches the Season

 

Like a turkey sandwich in-between Halloween and Christmas, America has another huge national holiday. On the fourth Thursday of November, the weekend following Thanksgiving traditionally signaled the official start of Christmas during most of the 20th century. Dreamt up as a marketing concept in 2003, Black Friday is now the most frenzied shopping day of the year. It sees queues forming overnight for big sales, many beginning at dawn and some as early as midnight on Thanksgiving Day.

 

Black Friday is spreading. In recent years, Canada, Mexico and India have followed suit while giant American retailers like Disney and Apple introduce online sales in Australia, too. French shoppers are familiar with “Vendredi Noir.” In the U.K., Tesco and Argos 2014 Black Friday promotions prompted police action in Manchester, with Argos withdrawing from the event in 2015. 

 

Meantime, as early Christmas shop windows draw back the curtains on November installations, the 114-year-old U.S. retailer Nordstrom takes a different approach, making a statement about celebrating one holiday at a time, as seen in a window display. 

  

  

 Nordstrom Window Twitter

Image via www.twitter.com

 

  

In America, Hollywood goes nuts at the holidays over box office receipts for new film releases, but the small screen is tame on TV adverts compared to the U.K., where Christmas adverts are a national pastime. 

  

We look at a mixed bag of examples representing both large brands and smaller ones on both sides of the pond to see how campaigns are making the most of the season — while others have misfired and are quickly pronounced a failure. See what you think about these adverts.

  

 

Balancing Sales Strategies Intended as Charitable Endeavours

 

John Lewis is one of those nationwide UK brands that attracts considerable media attention with their annual Christmas message, usually a tear-jerker. This year’s advert tells the story of a little 6-year-old girl called Lily and an old man she spies with her telescope, who lives — all alone and lonely — on the moon. The advert is designed to raise awareness for the charity, Age UK, with its tagline: “Show someone they’re loved this Christmas.”

 

 

 

 

 

According to The Guardian, “Last year, the retailer also spent £7m on a campaign featuring a realistic animated penguin and a young boy playing together to the tune of John Lennon’s Real Love, sung by British singer-songwriter Tom Odell. It had drummed up 22m views on YouTube by the first week of January…” This year’s numbers are soaring ahead of last year’s. 

 

  

 

 

Rachel Swift, head of brand marketing at John Lewis, is quoted in The Telegraph saying there is a consistent style for the store’s seasonal adverts. “It is has become part of our handwriting as a brand. It’s about storytelling through music and emotion. The sentiment behind that hasn’t changed – and that is quite intentional. The strategy behind our campaigns is always about thoughtful gifting.”

  

The £1 million production for a six-week-long £7 million campaign, which includes more cost for shop floors kitted out to resemble a moonscape, has seen members of the public ask[1]: Why couldn’t John Lewis make a multi-million contribution to Age UK? In fact, the profits from three small ticket items sold at the department store – a mug, a gift tag and a card – will go to the charity supplemented by donations from the public, inspired by the advert’s message.   

 

 

John Lewis Consumer Reaction Twitter 

Image via www.twitter.com

 

 

Brands Play to Emotions to Drive Brand Loyalty 

 

Tugging at the heartstrings via hugs, cute penguins, a melting Mr. Snowman, and even World War I soldiers celebrating a Christmas truce in the trenches are among the emotional connections brands are working and spending hard to make happen.

 

 

 

 

 

Why? In a word, loyalty. As pointed out by a retail analyst[2], for modern consumers to change brands no longer involves driving to another village or shopping centre; swapping brands is as easy as the click of a mouse. All of which means your brand strategy needs to be a lot more sophisticated if you want to first attract and then hold onto your customers. Remember people buy with emotion first and justify with rational afterwards — regardless of gender or cultural background. Your brand must be rich with authentic personality, have a really big why — reasons beyond the money to buy, create emotionally compelling reasons to engage, and ensure it includes an advocacy strategy within your action plan if you want to increase your profitability and ensure long-term success.  

 

A MindMover opinion poll[3] indicates the following brands are most closely associated with Christmas adverts in the U.K.: Coca-Cola, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Cadbury, Asda, Toys R Us and Amazon. Not queried is the million pound question — that is, whether top-of-mind-awareness produces the all-important return on investment.

  

  

A Big Brand Blunder at Bloomingdale’s

 

Bloomingdale’s, U.S. luxury fashion chain stores owned by Macy’s, made such a spectacularly poor judgement in their 2015 Christmas advert that a week after the department store had apologized via Twitter, major editorials continued to call for a deeper response.

 

  

Bloomingdale's Advert Via Twitter 

Image via www.twitter.com

 

 

“Appearing to promote date rape,” says the Wall Street Journal[4], the “creepy” and “offensive” advert reads, “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.” Clearly, it went viral in the wrong way for the large retailer.

  

  

 Bloomingdale's Apology On Twitter

 Image via www.twitter.com

 

  

A Storm in a Teacup at Starbucks

 

At Starbucks, they knew what they were doing when the white snowflakes decorating the seasonal red cup design were removed. A seemingly simple change sent consumers in large numbers straight to social media, to sign a petition, and to boycott the brand, claiming that Starbucks was making an anti-Christ religious statement. “It’s just a red cup”, tweeted the voice of reason while Instagram lit up with Starbucks images and the nation’s top talk show hosts chimed in.

 

 

 Starbucks Red Christmas Cup 2015

Image via www.vox.com

 

 

Three lessons learned, says Entrepreneur[5], and small brands should pay especially close attention to number three on this list:

1) All PR is good PR. Starbucks marketing knew the response wouldn’t be universally positive, but they also knew this was not a crisis

2) The power of social media sharing is awesome — and free

3) Brands who react fast can newsjack a trend. “Other coffee brands got a boost from the issue, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, with its holiday cup release.

  

  

 Dunkin' Donuts Shout Out Twitter

Image via www.twitter.com

 

 

The subject has also created opportunities for smaller companies, YouTubers and creative types alike to ride the wave and get attention.”

 

 

Just Wine Starbucks Cup Twitter 

Image via www.twitter.com

 

 

That’s the same brand strategy employed by the many John Lewis parody adverts that follow immediately on the heels of the store’s annual commercial.

 

 

Smaller Brands & Seasonal Brand Strategies

 

Small brands can make a large impact in the community by scaling ideas such as co-branding in a lower key way, supporting a charity or club, adding removable seasonal details to products and packaging design, donating Christmas trees to community centers, hospitals and nonprofit organizations.

 

In London, independent, privately-owned residential estate agency Bective Leslie Marsh has supported West London Action for Children for over a decade. Estate agents and local residents partner to raise funds for the 98-year-old charity through year-round bridge and tennis tournaments, trivia quiz nights, barn dances, garden fetes and more.

 

To offset Black Friday’s emphasis on big box stores and chain stores, Small Business Saturday was launched in the USA in 2010. It focuses on the bricks and mortar local shops that are the fabric of the Ma & Pa character neighbourhoods with American Express is the main sponsor. Partnerships and promotion via Google street view, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook come up with initiatives to launch holiday shopping on the last Saturday of November too. 

 

Other successful ideas have included branded shirts and kits for a local sports club, providing staff to serve Christmas dinners at senior centres, running a toy drive or food hampers collection, singing Christmas carols to collect for the Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul and similar. It’s important to make a small investment in well design brand collateral such as banners, posters, placards, T-shirts, caps and other branded items to decorate and to wear in order to properly associate the occasion with your own brand.

 

 

So, what do you think?

  

• Are you often caught short of time, or do you have a holiday marketing plan drawn up by Quarter 2? Do you need to include this as part of your brand audit health check or brand revitalization strategy?

 

• Does your brand have a charitable and/or community giving programme?

 

• Does your brand strategy include corporate social responsibility?

 

• Do you know what initiatives, outreach or volunteer activities your employees — your brand champions — would feel most supportive of on behalf of your brand?

 

• Do you feel confident about maximizing the potential impact on sales via volunteerism on behalf of your brand?

 

 

You might also like:

 

• Christmas Branding: Top 10 Tips to Infuse Your Brand with Seasonal Spirit

  

• Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Big Enough to Compete?

 

• Brand Voice: Differentiating Through Your Own Brand Language and Attitude

 

• Brand Sponsorships: The Best Brand Ambassadors Are Already On Your Payroll 

 

• Humanizing Your Brand: Why It is Key to Commercial Success

 

• Brand Differentiation: 30 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

 

• Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality

 

• Creating New Brands: Top 10 Tips for Brand Success

 

• Brand Profiling: How to Use Emotion to Make Your Brand More Profitable  

 

[1] As seen on Twitter #johnlewischristmasadvert

[2] Bryan Roberts, Kantar Retail analyst, The Telegraph, 16/11/2015

[3] “Glad Tidings for John Lewis…”, The Guardian, 6/11/15

[4] “Bloomingdale’s Holiday Ad Draws Backlash…”, Wall St Journal, 12/11/2015

[5] “3 Lessons from Starbucks’ Red Cup ‘Controversy’”, Entrepreneur, 16/11/2015

 

 

Co-Branding: 13 Tips for Growing Your Brand Through Strategic Partnerships

Why Co-branding?

 

Co-branding is defined as a partnership between brands. It typically works best when Brand A partners with Brand B, each with a different set of customers and brand associations of their own. As in the expression, “the whole is bigger than the parts,” co-branding can add value when synergy exists between the brands; it creates an emotional energy, starts conversations and creates buzz around both partners.

  

 

 Co Branding Multiple Examples 600px

Image via www.missvinc.com

 

 

What do the experts say about co-branding and the future? According to design experts in the field, co-branding is important as the path for delivering a one-of-a-kind product, for delivering something to the marketplace that is otherwise impossible without the contribution of both brands.[1]

 

 

 Virgin Master Card 600px

Image of Virgin Mastercard via Bloomberg.com

 

 

According to franchising experts, “co-branding offers the best of both worlds” by combining compatible concepts and leveraging efficiencies, often placing two brands under one roof for a win-win.[2] And, according to a trademark expert, “co-branding has great advantages provided there is trust and transparency between the partners,” suggesting a kind of pre-nuptial agreement is the way forward.[3]

 

 

Co-branding Means Endless Possibilities

 

In addition to brand revitalization, co-branding objectives may include getting more bang for the buck, growing market share, building audience reach and altering perceived positioning. Co-branding is primarily used an alliance of two brand partners, although there’s no rule against bringing three or more to the party.

 

In the definitive book published in 2000, “Co-Branding: The Science of Alliance,” the authors laid out the opportunity on page one: 

 

“…the term ‘co-branding’ is relatively new to the business vocabulary and is used to encompass a wide range of marketing activity involving the use of two (and sometimes more) brands. Thus co-branding could be considered to include sponsorships, where Marlboro lends its name to Ferrari or accountants Ernst and Young support the Monet exhibition…The list of possibilities is endless.”   

 

 

Co-Branding Sponsorships and Sport

 

Examples of co-branding strategy are all around us, particularly abundant in international sporting events. In a longstanding partnership that has kept the ball in play since 1902, Slazenger is an official supplier to Wimbledon, gifting 52,000 tennis balls for each tournament. Huge sums of money, strategically spent, presented Rugby World Cup 2015 Worldwide Partners in a lineup of Heineken, Land Rover, Duracell, Société Générale, DHL, Emirates, Canon, EY (Ernst & Young) and MasterCard.

 

 

 Duracell Sam Warburton Rugby World Cup 2015

Image via www.marketingweek.com and www.duracell.com

 

 

 

FMCG Co-Branding and Packaging

Co-branding in fast-moving consumer goods can provide delicious “Aha” moments. On your grocery store shelf, see a perfectly packaged example in Betty Crocker Brownies Mix boxes containing Hershey’s chocolate syrup in a pouch.

 

 

 Betty Crocker Hersheys 600px

Image via flickr (CC 2.0, theimpulsebuy)

 

 

The partnership unleashed a succession of activities reaching way beyond the supermarket: Betty’s Big Bake Day at General Mills’ headquarters, recipe sharing among Facebook fans, events at Hershey World’s Pennsylvania theme park, cupcakes for the “Good Morning” television presenters to savor on-air and a road tour to launch a new lineup of 12 products for home baking. This multi-tiered co-branded campaign embraces a swathe of what Google marketers term “micro-moments,” from “I want to bake chocolate cookies” to “I want to win a trip.”

 

 

 Cobranding Betty Crocker Hershey 600px

Image via www.bettycrocker.com and www.hersheys.com

 

 

 

Nike and Apple Lead the Way

 

In 2006, the obvious connection between listening to music and going for a run partnered Nike+ iPod Sport Kit, a clever technological advance and a natural fit for both the shoe giant and Apple.

 

 

 Cobranding Nike Apple Packaging 600px

Image via Amazon.com for www.apple.com and www.nike.com

 

 

Having cut their teeth on co-branding with a Michael Jordan product line in 1984, Nike is one of the world’s strongest co-partners. And, Apple didn’t stop with footwear; co-branding continues to evolve in their product lines, such as Apple Music’s partnering with UK fashion retailer Burberry and its high-end collaboration with Hermès for the Apple Watch.

 

 

 Apple Hermes 600px

Image via www.apple.com

 

 

This special edition Apple Hermès watch offers both co-brand partners unique opportunities. For Hermès, it breathes freshness and modernity into a brand founded on tradition and heritage. For Apple it’s a clear signal that it now considers itself to be a luxury brand fused with a formidable blend of design and technology, effectively elevating the brand and positioning it even further from its nearest competitors.

 

 

 

Positioning and Fashion Brands

 

Fashion, accessories, and fragrance are fertile grounds for a co-branding triangle (the third party is the person wearing the item or the scent!) A very interesting collaboration strategy with couture houses is being used by the Swedish mega-chain H&M. Specially created campaigns with Karl Lagerfeld, Versace, Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang and other celebrity designers underpins the chain’s statement, “High-fashion design doesn’t have to be a matter of price.”

  

  

 Balmain H M Ny Times 600px

Image via www.nytimes.com (Rob Stothard for The New York Times)

 

  

These limited capsule collection collaborations are massive brand investments, but H&M have been using them as to create high-street or mass market frenzy, media attention and as ruthlessly effective brand builders. The scene repeated in November 2015, when a Balmain fashion collaboration touched off pre-dawn queues of thousands outside H&M stores from San Francisco to London to Sydney. As a result, couture becomes more relevant and H&M gets a distinctive positioning with serious attitude — definitively separating the brand from its mass market competitors.

 

 

A Closer Look at Co-branding Pros and Cons

 

When co-branding is perceived as successful by consumers, it can drive price points upward. Three stunning examples are cited by Liddell in his article for FastCompany:

 

“The Doritos Locos Taco earns a 40% premium compared to Taco Bell’s regular taco. The Fiat 500 by Gucci sells briskly at a 52% markup over the base price of a standard Fiat 500. Online pre-orders for the original Nike+Fuelband sold out in minutes, and Nike’s equipment division reported an 18% increase in profits for the fiscal year following the product’s introduction. These are impressive numbers for what are essentially a taco, an iOS-powered pedometer, and a very small Italian car.”

 

 

 Fiat 500 By Gucci

Image via www.fiat.com

 

 

Top 7 Benefits of Co-branding

 

As a marketing strategy, co-branding earns strong recommendations for its scalability. Co-branding for small and medium-sized businesses can be equally productive as for the biggest brand names playing on a global field. Consider these tactical and strategic advantages:

 

On the plus side, co-branding can: 

1. Introduce products or services of one brand to customers of another

2. Represent substantial cost savings on advertising

3. Enhance the appeal of a product or service

4. Reposition brands with a more elevated appeal

5. Broaden a geographical market reach

6. Enable a small brand to punch above its weight and a larger one to focus on a niche

7. Alter brand perceptions permanently amongst a target audience through positive associations in what is known as the ‘spillover effect’

 

 

Top 5 Co-branding Risk Management Tips

 

Just like falling in with the wrong crowd can harm your reputation, co-branding with the wrong partner carries risk by association. Likewise, public perception about brands changes and endorsements can go sour, even without the drama of a superstar and a criminal offense. Readers may recall examples of O.J. Simpson former partnering with Hertz Rent-a-Car (1978) and Lance Armstrong’s former association with Nike. 

 

Without a budget for superstar endorsements or the resiliency of a big brand, small businesses must choose co-branding partners as carefully as they would choose a supplier.

 

It’s prudent to take these steps to reduce risk when co-branding: 

1. Identify partners with deep synergy

2. Collaborate with partners who reflect similar brand values

3. Choose brand partners that are leaders in their sector

4. Create programs with partners who best complement your brand

5. Retain full approval and refusal rights for all communications

 

 

Why Co-branding is Often Overlooked

 

First and foremost, you must protect your own brand. Smaller businesses often overlook co-branding for three main reasons:

1. Fear that the risks outweigh the positive

2. Wrongly thinking that opportunities will simply present themselves and

3. A lack of strategic brand vision

 

Nonetheless, when co-branding partnerships are strategically and tactically developed, they can be an extremely effective tool.

 

 

6 Tips for Co-Branding Success

 

These recommendations cannot be over-emphasized:

 

1. Research thoroughly, evaluate carefully and understand your partner’s corporate mission

2. Ensure there’s a win-win for both parties – that both brands will get a beneficial return on their investment

3. Protect brand logo and trademark integrity

4. Identify separate and joint objectives and target the ROI for each campaign

5. Develop a brand strategy plan and assign action plan responsibilities, with deadlines, to individuals

6. Communicate, communicate, communicate

 

 

Co-branding in the Digital Age

 

Our digital world is where storytelling meets online strategy. Have a look at the Facebook page of any small business to see customers who “liked” it. On a micro-level, that’s co-branding at work. Influencers for hire and brand ambassadors, some of whom boast followers in the hundreds of thousands, are the embodiment of contemporary co-branding on platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

 

The ‘always-on’ aspect of social media connectivity provides opportunities for consumer interaction, contests, YouTube videos, Twitter chat rooms and more, often drawing on popular culture for inspiration.

 

In 2012, the #CokeZero007 campaign challenged commuters as they stepped up to a soda vending machine in an Antwerp train station to “unleash the 007 in you” for the release of “Skyfall,” the latest James Bond film. A music-rich YouTube stunt video, devoid of voice-over, has earned more than 11 million views.

  

  

  

 

 

In a 2013 surprise move, Google named their Android operating system KitKat, after a Nestlé brand chocolate bar, stretching even the most imaginative marketing minds about co-partnering possibilities.

 

 

Celebrate The Breakers Break 600px 

Image, Nestlé via www.independent.co.uk

 

 

Google-owned YouTube exploited the connection further in 2015 to link the platform’s 10th birthday and the candy bar’s 80th birthday. The message? Break open a yummy KitKat while enjoying YouTube’s most popular videos, curated for viewers’ break time.

  

  

  

  

  

For Christmas 2015, Burberry’s YouTube ad connects the dots between the 15th anniversary of “Billy Elliot” and a cast of stars including Romeo Beckham, Sir Elton John, Julie Walters and “Downton Abbey” actor Michelle Dockery performing ballet moves dressed in the trademark tartan cashmere scarves and signature macs. The co-branded message translates as “Cool Britannia.”

 

  

  

  

  

• What innovative co-branding partnerships have impressed you lately?

  

• Are short-term partnerships a good choice for small businesses?

  

• Could you use co-branding as part of your brand revitalization strategy?

  

• Do you have potential co-branding partners in mind for your business?

  

• Do you have clear objectives in mind for a potential co-brand campaign?

  

• What can be learned from co-branding mistakes such as Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld?

  

• Can brands insulate themselves from external forces and public opinion, such as the

  Greenpeace effect on ending the partnership between toymaker Lego and petroleum giant Shell?   

  

  

 

You might also like:

• Brand Sponsorships: The Best Brand Ambassadors Are Already On Your Payroll 

  

• Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

   

• Brand Differentiation: 30 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

   

• Video Brand Strategy: Top 11 Tips for How and Why You Need to Use Video

  

• Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Big Enough to Compete?

 

• Brand Voice: Differentiating Through Your Own Brand Language and Attitude

  

• Humanizing Your Brand: Why It is Key to Commercial Success

  

• Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality

 

 

[1] Devin Liddell, “3 Reasons Why Co-Making is the Future of Branding,” FastCompanyDesign

[2] Kerry Pipes, “Co-branding Offers the Best of Both Worlds,” Franchising.com

[3] Ilanah Simon Fhima, “Trade Mark Law and Sharing Names,” Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd

 

 

Rebranding Strategy: Using Premium Repositioning To Increase Profitability

Repositioning or revitalizing your brand can be a powerful way to gain new market share and boost your profits. One of the most effective rebranding strategies is premium brand repositioning or premiumisation, which is about establishing higher perceived quality or specialness in order to achieve increased profitability by enabling you to charge more for your products and services.

 

Premium repositioning involves elevating demand and customers’ willingness to pay higher prices for your brand by adding value, which may be either actual or perceived. Checkout the following premium brand repositioning tips to help you make your rebranding strategy a success and grow your revenues.

 

5 ‘Premium Positioning’ Rebranding Strategy Tips

  

1. Increasing Actual Value

It’s only natural that improving the quality of your products or services will allow you to charge more. With a premium brand repositioning strategy, adding actual value typically represents a larger financial investment upfront but in turn leads to steady and substantial long-term growth profitability which considerably outweighs the initial investment. Some examples of actual value increase include new innovations, sourcing higher quality materials for product manufacturing, redesigning with new premium features, or delivering higher service quality.

 

Technology companies are a frequent example of adding actual value to achieve premium rebranding, in an industry known for rapid evolution and innovation. One of the most well-known rebranding campaigns involved Apple, which faced near bankruptcy in the mid-1980s before founder Steve Jobs returned as CEO to turn the flagging company around.

  

 Apple Logo

 Image via www.apple.com

 

Among several dramatic steps that included a partnership with primary competitor Microsoft, Jobs increased the actual value of Apple products and the company overall by eliminating a large, money-draining project, and introducing a new, sleek design for Apple personal computers with higher performance—the iMac, which would lead the way for the company’s best-known premium branded products in today’s mobile technology market.

 

 

2. Increasing Perceived Value

Premium brand repositioning that involves an increase in perceived value is a popular strategy because there is often less upfront loading and less ongoing capital investment, compared to the previous strategy mentioned, in order to achieve higher profits.

  

Adding perceived value to your brand requires engaging a rebranding strategy which causes a change in customer perceptions so that your products or services are considered to be worth more—even though you haven’t necessarily changed anything significant physically about the product or service. There are numerous strategies that can be deployed to increase perceived value. Some of them include:

We’ll explore some of these strategies in detail, all of which we’ve deployed with multiple clients over the years when enaging in premium branding repositioning strategies, with examples of brands that have successfully moved and repositioned to more premium markets through increasing their perceived value.

  

  

3. Premium Brand Repositioning Through Packaging Design

Birchbox, a subscription ecommerce company offering beauty products for women and men, underwent a premium rebranding campaign in 2013 that focused on its packaging, together with all its brand collateral. The company created a new global identity which included replacing its logo – with its light, somewhat illegible font and splatter style box – with a stronger modern, elegant sans serif font and a simple diamond, representing the ‘spark’ or ‘aha’ moment of the Birchbox brand experience.

  Birchbox Before After Rebrand

 Image via www.birchbox.com

 

The previous single shipping boxes were replaced with an inner box in a clean sophisticated brown with a silver foil embossed logo on it, designed to set off the boxes tissue wrapped interior contents to their best, and a colour-coded outer box with a large, monogrammed version of the new logo design – fuchsia pink for women’s products, and teal blue for men’s.

  

Birchbox Box Detail Inside 600px 

Image via www.birchbox.com

 

Adding an inner ‘gift’ box not only increased the aesthetic appeal of Birchbox, but also improved customer service, as the outer box tended to become slightly crushed or damaged during the typical rough and tumble of shipping or postage. In addition to the new packaging, Birchbox redesigned its website and messaging across all its brand collateral and communication channels.

    Birchbox Box Customer 600px

   Image via www.birchbox.com

 

Redesigning brand packaging as a premium rebranding strategy can be highly effective in shifting customer impressions of your brand and adding a stronger perceived value to your products or services, provided the total brand and product or service experience is congruent with what the packaging sells or communicates!

You won’t get a second sale or good ‘word-of-mouth’ if your packaging oversells and underdelivers in terms of product or service. In fact you’ll deservedly get so much negative customer sentiment both on and offline you’ll likely undermine your brand and its reputation, not to mention potential profitability even further.

 

  

 

  

 

4. Affiliations and Testimonials for Premium Brand Repositioning

Associations with well-known public figures, VIPs or trusted organizations can enhance your brand identity immensely and help accelerate your rebrand as a premium provider of products or services. A clear example of this theory in action are celebrity endorsements. People are willing to pay more for products or services when they have the perception that celebrities use them, which is why big brands continuoulsy shell out millions for endorsements from celebrities and VIPs, relevant to their target audiences.

 

 Kate Middleton Michelle Obama

 Image via www.stylist.co.uk

  

And some brands just have the good fortune to be chosen by the much admired. High street brands such as LK Bennett, Reiss and Whistles when worn by the Duchess of Cambridge are well know for selling out of the favoured items in less than a couple hours – as are items from brands such as J.Crew when worn by the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama. In fact Michelle Obamas’ endorsement of J.Crew has helped the fashion brand rebound from plummeting sales enabling it to reposition itself as a premium line of casual wear.

 

 J Crew Michelle Obama

 Image via www.jcrew.com

 

However aligning your brand with premium affiliations doesn’t have to cost your company millions either. Local celebrities can have a significant, positive impact on your brand positioning and contribute to a more premium perception too. For some companies, professional certifications and ties with trusted organizations also work to create premium brand repositioning and enhanced brand credibility.

 

 

5. Brand Messaging and Premium Brand Positioning

Your brand can achieve a shift into the premium market through refined messaging that targets a more discerning marketing demographic. Many luxury brands use this strategy to increase perceived value of their products or services, by conveying their brand as a desirable “must have”.

 

Stella Artois is among the most in-demand beer brands in the UK. However, in 1976 when the brand was introduced, it was considered too strong, too different, and too expensive. When Frank Lowe took over marketing for the company, he launched an innovative campaign that transformed the perceived disadvantages into strengths. Using the tag line “Reassuringly expensive,” and a focus on the experience of the brand, rather than the taste, Stella Artois was effectively repositioned as a premium brand that still holds strong today.

 

   

  

 

Whether the focus is on increasing actual or perceived value, premium brand repositioning can be a powerful strategy for boosting your brand’s visibility, demand levels, and profitability.

  

Creative brand repositioning can revitalize a flagging brand and give new customers reasons to try your brand and existing customers new reasons to remain loyal to your products or services for years to come. As a rebranding strategy, repositioning is one of our most requested services from clients and one which has reaped them the most rewards, assuming everything else in the mix lives up to customer expectations or ideally exceeds them!

 

What do you think?

 

• Does your brand have a viable way to increase the actual value of your products or services?

 

• Would you focus on production values, customer service values, or both?

 

• What types of perceived values could you increase in association with your brand?

 

• Could your products benefit from a packaging redesign? How would you add premium value through your packaging?

 

• Are there any affiliations or professional organizations that would create a good premium association or match for your products or services?

 

• How would you shift your brand messaging to appeal to a higher value customer?

  

Limited Editions Packaging : Why They Work

Most of us at some point in our lives have probably been triggered to make an impulse purchase (or at least considered purchasing) one of our favourite brands solely because of the packaging.

 

There’s a high probability too that the particular brand packaging in question was of a ‘limited edition’ variety. Brands tend to investment considerable effort into limited edition products and, as a result, the packaging design typically has even greater impact on its target audience.

 

Exclusivity Rewards Loyal Customers

However limited edition packaging isn’t always appreciated, as MAC executives discovered when they launched their Wonder Woman range in spring 2011. This was in collaboration with DC Comics who owned the rights to the cartoon character. The MAC range included lipsticks, eye shadow, nail polish and blusher ranging from €6. to €35.

 

Mac Wonder Woman Promo

Image via Flickr and Bruno Boutot

 

The look was bright, dynamic (like the character herself) and, some said, ‘tacky.’ Many of the brand’s followers didn’t approve of the MAC Wonder Woman packaging, believing it cheapened the MAC brand (which is seen as a quality cosmetics leader with a trendy, younger customer base). Other fans defended the brand saying they loved the “fun, funky look.” As a result the controversy received lots of varied opinions and comments on websites, social media and blogs – all which, of course, greatly stimulated brand interest even further.

 

Mac Wonder Woman Range

Image via Cult Beauty

 

MAC executives built up a significant amount of pre-release excitement and anticipation by sending samples to leading beauty bloggers and magazines. Each product in the limited edition range was supported with a detailed descriptions, ensuring plentiful coverage for its target audience to read about.

 

All this pre-launch activity ensured the Wonder Woman limited edition lipsticks, blushers etc. generated lots of online traction thereby making them easy to find on search engines and consequently in retail outlets too when finally released. Cumulatively this integrated pre-launch marketing strategy raised the MAC Wonder Woman limited edition range profile and stimulated greatly increased interest to potentially purchase.

 

In an effort to gain further traction for their limited edition packaging, MAC also initially limited the collections availability. The Pro Members on the MAC website were given access to the MAC Wonder Woman goods 12 hours before anyone else – thereby increasing the range’s exclusivity even further. MAC limited edition products have been known to sell-out within two days. The MAC Wonder Woman range was no exception.

 

Feel-Good Associations

Beefeater Gin chimed into the London zeitgeist last year when it launched a limited edition bottle aimed at celebrating the capital’s stupendous year with the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

 

Their new bottle, coloured pillar box red, celebrated London’s ‘inner eccentricity’ the company said, by showing glimpses of London life inside the outline of a beefeater to reflect the city’s vibrancy and diversity. Pre-orders for the bottle were the highest the company has ever received, which is a testament to its success as a limited edition range.

 

Where Beefeater really excelled with the limited edition brand packaging was in associating their brand with the ‘feel good and success factor’ that was very much an integral experience of London at the time. Beefeater is a London brand and by amplifying its association with key London characteristics around a significant event, Beefeater executives hoped that customers would associate the Beefeater brand with a happy occasion in their lives, and one which brought to mind the feeling of success as well as celebration.

 

Beefeater London Limted Edition

Image via Packaging of the World

 

Reinforcing Brand Identity

Another association which enhanced a brand (also a drinks company) was that of film director David Lynch and Dom Pérignon. The arty and cool Californian-based movie maker designed new ‘ghostly’ labels for the brand.

 

Dom Perignon By David Lynch Vintage Champagne

 

Image via Harvey Nichols

 

According to the brand’s website, the two have much in common. A spokesman for Dom Pérignon said: “The worlds of Dom Pérignon and the one of David Lynch have many points in common: mystery, intensity, commitment, time, the constant reinvention of the self, and above all, absolute faith in the power of creation.”

 

 

 

  

So Why Does Limited Edition Packaging Typically Sell So Well?

Apart from the above ‘success/feel good’ associations (Beefeater) and creating demand through exclusivity (MAC), limited edition brand packaging can also reaffirm to its target customer that he or she has made the right brand choice. Limited edition packaging tends to be of a higher and more eye-catching quality than the standard packaging for the brand, which in turn makes it look even more enticing and, importantly, more exclusive and thereby making it more sought after.

   

Limited Edition Packaging Can Be A Test For Permanent Packaging

And what happens when a limited edition brand is just too popular to remain a one-off? Ask Coca Cola. Such was the popularity of the drink giant’s exclusive diet coke design that it decided to resurrect it a year later and make the bold and more minimalist design its standard Diet Coke can format.

 

The design enlarges then crops the original Diet Coke logo which makes it more eye-catching on shelves, according to the company’s executives.

 

Diet Coke 

Image via CreativeBoysClub.com

 

 

It Can Result In A Whole New Brand Campaign Strategy

Kit Kat wanted to ensure its limited edition white chocolate bars were never forgotten – and managed to boost its free publicity quota as a result.

  

 

 

The Australian branch of the chocolate firm said they were preserving a piece of the brand’s history by saving the last 50 bars and handing them over to illustrator Mike Watt. He then proceeded to melt the bars down and form pictures from the gooey chocolate moulds using a knife. The process makes an interesting video and the final pictures were uploaded onto Kit Kat’s Facebook page leading to increased social media interaction, which in turn also boosted the company’s SEO endeavours and the Kit Kat brand profile.

 

Kit Kat White Final Fifty Posters Tiger

Image via Feel Desain

 

 

Limited edition brand packaging can have multiple advantages when used effectively to leverage a brand, not to mention of course increasing sales and profitability. It can also add greater perceived value to a brand’s existing core product range by making customers feel like they’re receiving something ‘really special’ with an added extra. It doesn’t just increase brand impact in the market, but it can also create an even greater demand for products by marking them with an exclusive tag, which its target audience consequently finds irresistible.

  

• What kind of limited edition packaging could your brand consider?

  

• Could you tie your limited edition packaging in with an appropriate significant event or occasion to amplify its significance?

 

• Who in your current target audience would be extremely attracted to a limited edition range of packaging for your brand?

  

 

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.

 

 Nike Apple Collaboration

 

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.

  

 Lanvin Hm Collaboration 

 

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.

 

 Ebay Holiday Collective Fb

 

 

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.

 

 Win A Fiat 500 At Mc Donalds Collaboration

  

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?