When brands collaborate, they create brand partnerships that combine their abilities to build stronger brand awareness and expand their audiences (well, sometimes).
Nikki Gilliand of econsultancy.com reviews the pros and cons of recent national brand partnerships, analyzing what qualities make good co-branded campaigns and what causes them to fall short of their goals.
Ford and Tinder
A match made in promo heaven, Ford partnered with Tinder to create a contest that appeared on the popular dating app. Ford created a profile that successfully enticed 1.5 million users to swipe right for a blind date in a Ford Mustang. Ford filmed 5 winners on their drive-in dates for a promotional video, targeting 50 millions active Tinder users, giving Ford an outstanding opportunity to engage millennials during and after the competition.
CoverGirl and Lucas Film
The benefits of brand partnerships like CoverGirl and Lucas Film were less obvious. When the studio released its Star Wars film in 2015, CoverGirl launched a new line of sci-fi inspired make-up. While CoverGirl images lacked Star Wars specific branding, Lucas Film was able to diversify their exposure with the make-up company’s younger, female audience.
BMW and Louis Vuitton
With a shared focus on high-end craftsmanship and design sophistication, BMW and Louis Vuitton successfully co-branded a line of suitcases and bags to fit in the boot of a BMW i8. Vuitton made bags from BMW’s new carbon fiber material, further elevating both brands’ exclusive status in the travel category.
Spotify and Uber
Ever wanted to listen to your own playlist while sharing a ride to the airport? Thanks to brand partnerships like Spotify and Uber, passengers can now DJ their own rides with integrated app functionality. While this marriage of music and rideshare technology continues, Spotify has pulled back on promotions, due to concerns over recent Uber controversies.
Apple and Hermès
Sales of the Apple Watch were up 50 percent when Hermès cashed in on the Apple clout by designing a second range of luxury wrist straps. This successful co-brand coincided with the release of a third version of the smart watch.
Unicef and Target
One in four children globally suffers from malnutrition. One in four Americans are underactive. What does one have to do with the other? Target and Unicef partnered to address both issues by co-branding a new range of kid’s wearable fitness brands. The fitbit-style accessories were combined with an app that challenged kids to get moving every day. The reward: credits toward helping malnourished children worldwide. The companies report that when kids met their fitness goals using this co-branded technology, 8.2 million food packets were delivered, saving 52,000 lives.
Levis and Google
Levis and Google partnered to create a pricey ‘smart jacket,’ which allows commuters to control phone functions with touch sensors on the jacket cuff. However, at $350 per jacket, consumers are likely to have a negative experience with this wearable technology that is only estimated by manufacturers to function with less than 10 washes.
While many brand partnerships effectively combine their abilities to solve consumer problems and attract wider audiences for both brands, Gilliand warns marketers to choose wisely. Stick with brand affiliations and product development that makes sense for both sets of consumers. Most importantly, deliver on the promise!