There are many approaches when it comes to collaboration. Everybody is out to gain as much exposure for their product and to appeal to the biggest and widest audiences they can because tapping into a fanbase that’s already there is one way that success can be achieved. By pooling resources, whether it’s social following, career heritage, viral trend or being new on the block with a new fan-dangle idea, everybody’s a winner.
The most popular recently is Celebrity endorsements and collabs which are rife on the Highstreet now. It’s almost impossible walking down a row of shops without seeing one of your favourite personalities donning a new shoe, a watch or the latest beauty product.
Trending virally right now is also a great collabs opportunity. For example, earlier this year when Alex from Glasto popped up on stage and became a viral sensation when he rapped every word so rhythmically to Dave’s – Thiago Silva. What followed was an onslaught of public appearances and Alex’s endorsement of BoohooMAN. You can’t predict this type of exposure, but everyone can celebrate in the riches it can bring right to your doorstep.
But collabs don’t have to be celebrity-driven. Your favourite TV franchise or film might be what attracts you. Disney graphics on your favourite Primark or Zara T or the latest film on your new Van’s. Whatever your interests, show it off with pride.
We have also seen companies like Apple invest heavily in working with others, especially on their wearable devices. Its collaboration with both Hermes and Nike on Apple Watch straps, attract very different audiences to a product that the user wouldn’t necessarily consider. By making it more desirable to the luxury market and more accessible to the sporting community, it brings the product into every day and makes it feel less like a product only and Applephile user would invest in.
Here are some great collaborations which benefitted from each other’s very different customer followings, but make it work for the benefit of both.
Starbucks and Spotify
In 2015, Starbucks and Spotify launched a partnership that integrated the Spotify mobile app with the Starbucks My Rewards program and app. While in-store, customers could use either app to find out what music is playing in the store and add it to their saved music in Spotify.
The goal of the collaboration was for Starbucks to drive customers to download the app and join their customer loyalty program. Starbucks integrated the mobile experience into the in-store experience, and the mobile experience is one that customers could take elsewhere with them, through their Spotify playlists. Each store has locally inspired music, so when customers hear that in another location, it makes them recall that experience and keep Starbucks top-of-mind.
Consumers who subscribed to Spotify’s paid memberships would also get extra points for Starbucks My Rewards program and Starbucks would gain from increased repeat visit from customers.
By working proactively together, both parties mutually benefited through a wider collective of each other’s users. This led to both companies in achieving success in their own fields.
Dunkin’ Donuts and Waze
In both 2012 and 2017, these two very different companies joined forces to firstly put Dunkin on the virtual Waze Map and to encourage users to engage with the app to gain offers and the ability to order ahead. This Order Ahead feature rewarded loyalist commuters with journeys that were quicker and more convenient and sparked the interest of new customers just looking for a bite to eat on the whim.
As a bonus, they also used a celebrity voice over in the form of NFL player Rob Gronkowski. He would lead users to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts, such a novelty!
This colab worked because it seamlessly integrated travelled apps and fast beverage services with each benefitting through a shared interest in making things quick and efficient. Even though on the surface these companies seem opposite in what they offer, they both have benefitted from each other’s strengths and customer following successfully.
Luxury to the masses: H&M x (Insert Favourite brand here)
Probably one of the most famous collaborative endeavours, H&M has worked over the years with some of the biggest brands in the luxury goods market, bringing a little bit of high-end glamour to the masses.
Brands like Versace, Balmain and Kenzo have all partook including each’s induvial the designer elements, branding and style. These garments are usually a lot cheaper than their offered to exclusive stores, often selling out immediately after launch.
This is a great image booster for H&M because it’s seen to be moving in luxury circles which creates higher regard for their own brand garments. It also serves to encourage wearers to experience something they may have been priced out of previously. It also keeps luxury brands relevant and talked about and once a user has tried, they may be more inclined to splash out on these luxury goods on special occasions.
Food that’s fun! The McDonald’s Happy Meal
It goes without saying that many of our nostalgic memories were spent opening that little red box to reveal a surprise inside. Since 1979 these bosses have had frequent marketing tie-ins to an existing television series, film or toy line. These collaborations have always worked in favour for McDonald’s as they have always appealed to a variety of audiences across the years and people may be inclined more to go there over its competitors.
Recently, they bought back many of the most iconic toys for a special 40-year anniversary selection alongside updating the food options inside to cater for the changes of the modern-day consumer, to lure dinners back once again.
So, when it comes to working together, sometimes one’s weakness is another’s strength and a collective approach reaps benefits for all. When it comes to collaborations, everybody wins.