Cross-Brand Collaborations: X Marks the Spot
Cross-brand collaborations seem to be everywhere right now. But why the sudden explosion in collaborations? And why do brands do it? SEKO Logistics teamed up with digital e-commerce agency Red Hot Penny to analyze some likely reasons behind cross-brand collaborations to provide insight and inspiration.
Open up new markets
A collaboration of two brands in complementary markets will vastly increase your brand reach, as you're talking to two sets of customers, rather than one. This partnership subtly alerts consumers from one brand that the other brand can be trusted.
For example, Red Hot Penny noticed that high-fashion brands are constantly collaborating with high-street brands in an effort to tap into the different customer groups.
While two brands, or sectors, may not initially seem to have a common link on the surface, as they dig deeper, they discover mutual interests. These interests will resonate with the consumer and could possibly lead the customers of one brand to consider the other.
Understand your customer
Sometimes a collaboration isn't necessarily about accessing new customers, but rather showing your existing customers that you 'get it'—you understand what they want. By taking it to the next level with the development of new products based on popular demand, you put forth the effort to create something that you know your customers are going to love. The ability to connect with the consumer increases your brand value and makes your fans even more dedicated.
As technology progresses, all sectors of the marketplace are so crowded that brands have to do something extraordinary to be heard. And a collaboration is one way to do just that.
Both big brands and small brands use collaboration to get ahead and piggy-back on the reputation of their better-known collaborator. Through collaboration, smaller brands gain access to a much bigger audience and larger brands get positioned as a champion. Win - Win.
The common thread between two brands may be something as genuine and selfless as bringing awareness to a specific cause or charity. Although this collaboration will likely contain a sales message driving consumer purchases, the effort and participation demonstrate commitment to charitable causes, while also bringing brand awareness to various audiences.
Sometimes collaboration can be a great way to dust off an old brand to create a bit of positive buzz and show that it's still relevant. The ability to harness and analyze the effect your brand has on consumers is immeasurable. Whether it be a distinctive smell, a graphic, or a specific color variation, iconic brands that have been around for decades have harnessed the essence of their brand and found ways to re-tap into the market.
Collaborations aren't necessarily long-term deals and that's never more evident than when brands team up with pop culture 'flavors-of-the-month' for short-term collaborations. No doubt they're a great way to quickly boost awareness and align with something hot, but they possibly lack the impact of a collaboration motivated by one of the previous reasons.
Collaborations between brands don't look like they're going to stop any time soon and, with the ever-evolving e-commerce industry, pairing up with a brand, even for a short while, has its benefits.
So, whether it's to open in new markets, reinvigorate a brand, or shine a light on a cause close to your heart, collaboration can lead to increased awareness, positive opinion, and prospective new markets.