Brand collaborations to boost your businessStuart Taverner
When we need a job done or have to ask someone for help, the most common response is “I know a guy!’’ Growing your business through word of mouth is the Australian way. However, times are changing. With more and more businesses investing in digital advertising and brand collaborations, it can be hard for people to notice your brand.
Whether you’re a new business or have been in the game for a while, if you are wanting to reach a new or larger audience, a brand collaboration could be the way to go.
What is a brand collaboration?
A brand collaboration is the alliance between two or more brands or influencers, to curate a specific product or service offering, to grow their audience and consumer base. Sometimes in business, two complementary brands are better than one.
How many times have you hopped into a taxi that had horrible music playing? Too many times? Uber thought so. They partnered with the music streaming icon Spotify to provide riders a unique experience by allowing them to log into their Spotify account and control the music played throughout the trip. They saw an opportunity to improve their customer experience with the help of another business.
Now, your business may not be as big as Uber and Spotify but finding a brand to partner with can benefit both companies if the collaboration is authentic and natural. A 2017 study by American Express found that medium sized businesses in a collaboration, were on average $430,000 more profitable than business without one. But why? Some of the key benefits of a brand collaboration include:
- Broadens the reach of a company’s target audience
- Increased market exposure
- Extends the marketing budget
- Allows the business to market in a variety of new ways
- Gains new customers
- Strengthens brand reputation
Identifying collaborative partners
Finding the right brand to form a partnership with is a big task. You need to do your research to find a partner that has a complimentary product or service to yours, while providing increased market and audience exposure.
When identifying brands to work with, start by looking at their social media followings. Social media is a platform everyone has access to. If your target demographic is millennials, then partnering with a brand that has a large Instagram and Facebook following is ideal. However, keep in mind that there is more to a brand than the number of followers they have.
The most important part of a successful collaboration is choosing a brand that makes sense for your business to partner with. So, what does a successful partnership look like?
- Equal value for both brands in the partnership and their respective customers
- The brands should share similar values
- The partnership should be easily understood by the target audience – no tenuous links that may not be easily identified!
At the beginning of 2019, Australian supermarket shelves were graced with the new Arnott’s shapes flavour: Vegemite and Cheese. Two staples in the Australian household, Arnott’s shapes and Vegemite came together to create the ultimate iconic summer snack. To this day, you can still purchase Shapes Vegemite and Cheese, a match made in savoury heaven.
How can this work for you?
You might be thinking, I own a café, who can I collaborate with? No matter what kind of business you have, there is a like minded brand out there for you. For example, if you own a small organic café or restaurant, what about reaching out to an organic winery. This could result in hosting a collaborative wine tasting event at either venue with catering provided by you, opening up a new audience that you may have been unable to tap into previously.
If you own a fruit and veg store, you could reach out to the local bakery. They can use your produce and you stock their goods in return. Or start a partnership with the local sporting team, you provide fresh fruit for players, and the club advertises your store in their program.
The possibilities are endless. Look around your local area for inspiration, there will be plenty of other likeminded business owners who will also be looking for unique ways to increase their revenue, and you could be their perfect match.
The first step in any collaboration is coming up with a plan or proposal to present to your potential partner. Decide what is it you want to collaborate on, is it a product, service, event or sponsorship. Outline the specific goals, what do you want to achieve? Create a timeline for the length of the partnership that includes any promotions or events. In your plan, ensure to cover the basics:
- Who are you partnering with – is there more than one party involved?
- What is the budget? Make sure everyone is in agreement with the investment from the start.
- Define your marketing goals. Outline what you want to achieve, the steps you will take to get you there and how you will measure success.
- Plan your campaign. What it will look like, how long will it run for, and how will you and your partner(s) promote it.
- Outline the logistics. What tools and resources will you need?
- Assign the roles. Ensure everyone knows what their role is and what is expected of them.
- Once the details are finalised, you can build your campaign and roll it out.
Collaboration is a powerful tool for all businesses, regardless of their industry. The connections you form with others, and the different product/ service offerings you can create when you collaborate with them, can take your business to a whole new level. Collaborating with other likeminded brands will allow you to reach more people, grow your customer base and ultimately, your business.