Meet Jess Ruhfus, founder of Collabosaurus – the totally wonderful business that helps brands come together in effective and creative collaborations and partnerships. Someone whose job is to help you find your kin? I think that’s pretty great. Jess has put together her top six tips on how to make sure your collaboration is a killer one. What are you waiting for?
Brand collaborations can be extremely valuable in growing your tribe, making sales and getting exposure. It’s no wonder that big brands like Google, Havaianas and Mount Franklin have been executing brand partnerships of all shapes and sizes for years, with amazing results. You can have just as much success even if you are a small business, in fact you are probably more flexible in a collaboration than the bigger brands.
So, how can you get on the collaboration band-wagon and use them to grow your brand? Since I can’t resist a good list, here are my 6 top tips on all things collaboration – with a little story at the end.
What makes for great collaborations?
01. Having a shared target market
Would a baby-bibs brand partner with a walking-stick company? Of course not! There’s no value there because they don’t have a shared target market.
At the top of your collaboration agenda, make sure you’ve considered your target market, where they hang out, what they like and who they are. Aim to partner with a brand who can offer you valuable exposure with their own community, and vice versa.
02. Make sure it’s mutually beneficial
You’d hate it if someone called you and said “Hi, I’m Bob and I think I’m pretty great, how about you send me 150 of your handmade candles for free so I can give them as gifts to my clients? It would also be great if you shared us on social media…”
The whole point of a partnership or collaboration is that both brands benefit. Make sure you consider the needs and goals of your collaborator, as well as your own. Be willing to exchange some of your own marketing assets to get what you want! Playing nice in the sandbox is sexy.
03. Be goal oriented
As with any marketing initiative, sit down and think about what your goals are. Do you want to grow your Instagram following specifically? Perhaps you want to drive sales for a particular product? Or you’re running an event and want to make it amazing on a budget?
You can always gear a collaboration towards achieving your goals. If it’s Instagram for example, run a collaborative competition on Instagram with a brand that shares your target market and this can get you valuable exposure! For events, what are the extra special touches you want to provide to your guests and who can help you provide that?
04.Look at brand alignment
‘You are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with’…have you heard that quote? This is true of partnerships. Always collaborate with companies that reflect your own brand, because in turn their audience and tribe will reflect yours!
05.Know your worth and assets
You probably have something someone else wants. It could be a social media following, an email list, some budget at the ready, marketing or publicity skills, an engaged, regular client base – anything! Before approaching a partnership, know what you’ve got to offer and know what you’re prepared to exchange.
Don’t know what that is? Ask a trusted friend who gets your business. Or, you can ask me!
06.Test and measure
As with any marketing activity, it’s extremely important to test and measure every strategy. This comes back to your goals; if for example your goal was to boost email subscribers, measure your database before your partnership kicks off, and again afterwards.
Brand collaborations and partnerships should consistently be part of your marketing strategy throughout the year. Make sure you take note of successes and/or frustrations to tweak and improve for the next one.
We love a good story (aka The Case Study)
There are so many incredible brand partnerships out there! Today I’ve picked the Samantha Wills x Yellowglen product collaboration.
What they did: In addition to the design and production of Peacock Lane, the partnership collaborated on a launch party (you should Google this one, talk about stunning!), press coverage and ongoing social media cross promotion. Samantha Wills and Yellowglen share similar target markets and consistently cross promote each other, proving that one-off collaborations aren’t always just a quick fix!
Why you’d do it: Two loved brands uniting is a great catalyst for publicity buzz and story inspiration. As with all collaborations, it’s extremely beneficial to get creative and think outside the box; social media engagement and press opportunities heighten when a creative collaboration is executed well. Furthermore, a product collaboration can boost sales, particularly if the product is a limited edition and scarcity is created.
Collaborations will benefit your business (and theirs), create fabulous brand stories and be A LOT of fun. It just takes a little bit of planning and creativity. Go on. Get Started!