Two brands are better than one… Collaborations that work

Creating content can be a timely and costly job for most businesses. Though nowadays it’s a must. So how do you find that balance between spreading your resources across your whole business, with the need to churn out constant content? 

There isn’t one straight answer to this, many businesses take different approaches. If you’re a creative business then you probably already have a whole team of people highly-skilled in content creation and perhaps a portion of their time dedicated solely to social or marketing content. No matter what you have in your creative arsenal though, the one solution that is more often than not, guaranteed to lighten the creative load and amp up your audience reach — is brand collaboration. To inspire you to start thinking about what kinds of brands may work well with your business, we thought we’d take you through some of our favourites, as well as some of the world’s most renown brand collabs. 

KITKAT X R U OK

Launched just last year, the compassionate collaboration encourages KitKat enthusiasts to sit down ‘have a break’ and have a ‘chit-chat’. Inspiring people to check in on their friends, which is the general sentiment for suicide prevention charity R U OK. This one is a favourite of ours because it’s so beautifully partnered between the two brands to bring meaning to an already well-known slogan for KitKat — ‘have a break, have a KitKat’. It gives a human touch to the brand that it didn’t previously have. 

Nestlé head of marketing confectionery Joyce Tan says of the collab: “As a brand, KitKat is synonymous with taking a break; whether it’s at work or at home, long or short, it’s important to take some time out. How that time is spent is also important, which is why we’re proud to partner with R U OK? and encourage people to use this time to have a meaningful chit-chat that could make a difference.”

And just like that we see another dimension added to this brand. KitKat has always been a fun, happy and joyful brand, so to partner with a charity that works with mental health just extends that brand personality a step further. They’re fun, happy and joyful, but they’re also caring — they want to spread that fun and joy where it matters the most. It’s an example of a collaboration that brings true meaning to a brand, while also extending their audience reach and giving a platform for an array of new content ideas. Which is always needed!

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SMEG X DOLCE AND GABBANA 

For so many, the kitchen is the most prized room in the home. It’s where we lovingly prepare food to nourish ourselves and our families, stand contemplatively while we wait for the kettle to boil for our morning cup of tea or share a bottle of wine with our bolognese in-the-making (everyone else does that right?). 

Point is, people aren’t overly hesitant to invest in quality kitchen-gear. And there’s a LOT of that out there. It can be tricky to navigate as a newcomer. That’s probably why top-tier brand Smeg decided to give themselves a little boost above the competition and partner with high-end fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana to create some truly beautiful kitchen appliances. While their first collaboration was unveiled back in 2018 and featured $50,000 designer fridges, they’ve since joined forces again for a slightly more affordable range of kettles, toasters and juicers. Their ‘Made in Sicily’ range is truly funky and definitely brings an edge to your kitchen-game. It helps reposition Smeg as the ultimate luxury brand when it comes to kitchenware, and it makes shopping for a toaster a little more exciting too. 

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REDBULL X GOPRO

Now we’re getting to the classic, world renown collaborations. Does anyone NOT associate Red Bull with GoPRO? And, does anyone NOT associate GoPRO with adventure? You can see where we’re going with this… it’s a pretty clear association pathway. Red Bull ‘gives you wings’ for adventure and who’s there to capture it? GoPRO. 

They’ve been partners since 2016 and in that time have participated in over 1,500 events together. They’re kind of like the ultimate in experiential partnerships. This works in two ways for them. 

  1. They are now really well known for putting on some incredible events based around extreme stunts. 
  2. They get everything on film and can re-use it over and over again for content. 

There’s not too much more to say about this one. It’s a cleverly thought out collaboration that brings two like minded brands together. It reinforces Red Bull as the support you need to be extreme and GoPRO as your handy cam, ready to keep the memories you’ve made together. They’re adventure brands with a similar audience, so unlike the KitKat x R U OK collaboration where they’re adding a whole new perspective to a well-known brand and bringing in a new audience, they’re just strengthening one another’s position and marrying similar audiences together. 

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MICHAEL JORDAN X NIKE 

Possibly the most monumental of all brand collaborations is this one. The Michael Jordan x Nike partnership. As the first athlete to transcend their sport and become a brand in themselves, MJ turned out to be bigger than expected for Nike. A collaboration still making waves over three generations later, bringing in $US3-4 billion in 2018 and 2019 alone — you can see why this one was worth a mention. 

Not only has this collaboration been extremely successful financially for Nike, but it also paved the way for athlete and brand collaborations across the whole industry. During Michael’s career, Nike dropped a new version of the famed Air Jordans every year. They trail-blaze just how much mileage you can get from a truly great partnership. And they’ve been doing it ever since, now with a line of shoes for Serena Williams. They’ve inspired other shoe brands to do the same. Converse has partnered with Miley Cyrus on a number of products. Another great collaboration because both Converse and Miley are for the ‘everyone’. They don’t discriminate, they accept and support all versions of who you want to be. 

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Phoebe Carden

Written by: Phoebe Carden
Published: February 15, 2021

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