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With numerous brands at the forefront of viral advertising and others chasing after the marketing goldmine, the last few years has seen a substantial rise in collaborations across a range of customer-driven industries including design, fashion & print.
But why the rise and is it sustainable?
It’s true, connectivity has empowered the consumer. If we strip back all the technical implications of constant data, connectivity in it’s simplest form has raised the expectations of the consumer. People want to be wowed, they want to be challenged to think and they want to be entertained, constantly and repeatedly. This means that brands have to think outside the box because their audiences are already well and truly outside.
Collaborative projects can allow your product and/or services to reach a whole new audience and potential buying market. A fantastic example of this was Balmain’s epic collaboration with H&M. Why did this work so successfully? Firstly, the days of exclusivity have long gone. Exclusivity is dead and has been replaced by a drive for quality, connectivity & accessibility. Secondly, the collaboration was unexpected and slightly quirky but driven by an underlying love for style. When two brands from opposite sides of the same industry, in this case luxury and retail, collaborate we see anticipation, hype and ultimately, success.
It seems that the rise of the collaboration is well and truly here to stay. It has the power to grab an audience unexpectedly, and that has become a rarity in today’s digital climate. While done right collaborative collections & works create unprecedented exposure for both parties, there is a concern that collaborations can lead to dilution of one’s brand. Whatever size of business you have, think about whether or not you have the right climate to successfully execute a collaboration.
Is the other brand on your wavelength?
You don’t have to look the same, you don’t have to sell the same product or work in the same creative spheres but you do need to understand each others desired outcomes and values. This may seem on the basic side but often the excitement of being approached to collaborate overtakes the strategic foresight; don’t get into a stranger’s car and don’t collaborate until you know your new partner. Remember they’re brand, in it’s entirety, will be forever linked with yours somewhere on the www.
Are the costs worth the outcome?
Depending on the circumstances of the collaboration often one party ends up putting in the majority of the elbow grease in order to leverage of the other’s traction. In the right climate this is worth the financial and time costs but make sure both parties are aware of the expected input before you invest in your project.