The Best of Both Worlds: Five Steps to Follow for Successful Brand Collaborations

“It takes two to make things go right… it takes two to make it out of sight!” With the rise of brand collaborations in the past few years, the idea that two is better than one has never been more apparent. From the automotive industry to tech, food and beverage to fashion, many brands are looking outside of their industry to partner with a like-minded brand in order to offer a new, exclusive, buzz-worthy version of their product or service.

A strategic collaboration can be a great way for a brand to improve sales revenues, raise awareness, break into new markets and attract new customers. While a partnership with a hot brand or personality may seem like a great opportunity, it is important to do research and analysis before jumping in. Here we have outlined five steps to follow for a successful brand collaboration.

UNIQLO and MoMA collaboration

1) The perfect fit

The first step before entering into a collaboration is to assess whether the other brand’s mission and values align with your own. Finding a company that fits well with your brand is important for maintaining your public image and will also make it easier for your current customers to embrace the partnership.

Assessing whether your mission and values align will also allow you to identify synergies within the target markets and discover if an untapped market is attractive to your brand. Look at your target market crossover to research if there is a possibility for a product line that will complement your individual brands and how your partnership will appear aesthetically when your two images combine.

2) Do your homework

Before jumping into a brand partnership, take the time to research your potential partner, past associations and collaborations. In looking at their previous work, you’ll want to take note of whether their programs were in-line with your values and what kind of results they achieved.

An excellent way to assess the success of past collaborations is through press coverage. Look at major news outlets, as well as magazines, blogs and social media pages, to see the amount and type of media attention they received. Even something as small as reading through the comments of a brand’s collaboration-related Instagram posts can give you great insight into how the public felt about the initiative.

Spotify and Starbucks Collaboration
Coca Cola and Karl Lagerfeld collaboration

3) What's in it for me?

Equality and balance are key elements of a successful partnership, which is why it is important to set goals that are mutually beneficial. Depending on your collaboration’s project or product, the benchmarks for success will vary. Therefore it is important to decide from the start what you are hoping to gain from this partnership, such as brand awareness, sales, social media growth, likes and engagement.

Check-in on your results mid-project and assess if there is any room for improvement going forward and if your results are hitting the forecasted milestones. This way you will not be surprised if the end results are different from your expectations, plus it will allow you to pivot in your marketing strategy if necessary.

4) Sign on the dotted line

Get it in writing. A great deal of hard work goes into creating a solid collaboration, so it is important to outline all the program details, deliverables, responsibilities and timelines. Create a contract for both parties to sign to ensure that you are both aware of all the factors that will go into this partnership and you have something to bind your partner to this project legally, should anything go awry.

Target and Neiman Marcus collaboration
BonLook and Maripier Morin collaboration

4) Extra! Extra!

A fabulous brand collaboration will not be successful if no one knows about it! Once you’re ready to launch it’s time to get the word out. Tap into all available communication channels to maximize exposure. Showcase your collaboration on your respective social media channels and e-newsletter campaigns, send out press releases to news and trade outlets, blogs and websites and perhaps host an event to showcase your collaboration to the public, up-close and personal.

Many brand partnerships continue to impress us with their ability to combine creative ideas while reaching new markets. Today’s retail climate may be fast-paced, but that doesn’t mean your collaboration must be rushed. Follow these steps to ensure your partnership will be a successful collaboration. If you need help navigating a potential collaboration or would like some creative partnership ideas customized to your brand, Suite 203 can help. Get in touch.

Suite 203 is a boutique marketing consulting firm that recommends the best combination of marketing strategies and tactics to reach the right people at the right time.

We offer various packages to cater to businesses of all sizes and growth stages. Get in touch to find the best fit for your brand.


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