Opinion

Let's work together

13 August, 2019 Share socially

For the last couple of years brand collaboration has been having ‘a moment’ with marketing teams busily workshopping ideas and forging shrewd partnerships to connect with audiences in innovative and meaningful ways. If strategic and well executed then there is an opportunity for brands use collaboration to make them stronger now and in the future by generating long-term loyalty. We know that brand 'fit' and complementary value propositions are at the heart of a successful brand partnership but rewinding to the start of the process, what are the 3 fundamentals of a successful collaborative process?

1. Seek a fresh perspective

Take the Spotify in-house creative team for example. They are getting a fresh perspective by collaborating with Saturday Morning, a small collective of senior creatives of colour, to make sure their content appeals to a diverse audience. Jackie Jantos vice-president of brand and creative at Spotify said: “We have partners to help make sure our perspective is holistic, outsiders who are not living within our business and brand Spotify.” This collaborative approach has proven to work for Spotify as they have just reached 96 million paid subscribers.

2. Get your hands dirty

Then there is the Adidas design team, getting their hands dirty when collaborating with hikers on the Pacific Coast Trail in the US. While walking and talking with the people they met on the route they discovered hikers were wearing heavy old-school boots despite the fact they didn’t feel comfortable wearing them. “After a week [people on the trail] are like, ‘this just isn’t sustainable, and it’s also not me, it’s not who I am’. The team created the ‘Free Hiker’ to be the best performance hiking shoe on the market, but one that you could wear daily on the street and bring that energy to urban environments,” explains Adidas’s global VP of marketing and digital commerce Stephen Dowling. He adds: “We like to talk about ‘dirty fingernails leadership’ and startup mentality, which is why we had our team hike the Pacific Trail to experience it for themselves.”

Let's work together

3. Everyone knows the objective

Burger King has cultivated a formidable reputation for creativity by everyone knowing the objective. Over the past four years, the fast-food chain has grown its quirky, counter-intuitive personality. The brand sets clear goals and well-defined KPIs so the whole team knows the aims when collaborating with outside agencies. The team measure everything and regularly refer back to the brand strategy to keep in mind the objectives when working collaboratively together. Global CMO, Fernando Machado says “We are not in the pursuit of random ideas. We’re in the pursuit of ideas that will link back to our business and brand strategy, which have clear targets and objectives. Not all campaigns will do everything, but they should be doing something in the direction of the objectives you have.”

I believe the key to effective collaboration is everyone knowing and more importantly, agreeing on the objective from the outset - in our world we need to be clear on the central brand idea and the journey the brand needs to go on. It sounds trite, but agreeing on the objective is often overlooked. To reach an agreement, you need open debate (get your hands dirty) and a willingness to listen (to a fresh perspective), but without a shared aim, collaboration simply can not flourish.

We thrive on developing effective multi-disciplinary collaborations across The FutureBrand Group on behalf of our clients, so get in touch to find out how we can help to bring your brand experience to life.