Brand cooperation: a contemporary approach
What is the tension?
Nowadays, brands need to adopt a different approach to cooperation, and not everyone knows how to capitalise on it.
Partnerships between brands are nothing new. As consumers, we have seen a multitude of examples that are familiar to everyone. However, in recent years, we have seen changes that mean brands must now interact with their audiences and with each other.
This is the result of a number of gradually emerging trends, including a hybridisation between environments, the growth of the collective culture and the rejection of certain dichotomies (premium vs. mainstream; industrial vs. craft; high culture vs. low culture, etc.).
It is essential that as brands we are able to understand on a strategic level how cooperation can offer attractive options for our consumers and drive our growth.
What do we need to know?
Cooperation between brands is a source of equity and profit. Today, consumers expect disruptive approaches to cooperation. There are many ways to develop win-win partnerships:
- Between brands from totally different sectors/categories.
- Between brands developed for different business segments (premium/mainstream).
- Between personal and consumer brands.
- Between brands that are competitors.
- Between brands that work together to develop not products, but services, content, spaces, and experiences.
- Between brands with substantially different value proposals.
Who can we learn from and what should we look at?
- IKEA is a mainstream, mass consumer brand that has succeeded in establishing partnerships with personal (Virgil Abloh) and premium (Byredo) brands. This allows IKEA to expand its price range, while giving its partners access to a wider range of consumers.
- Mahou Brewers and craft beer producer Founders worked together to develop Mahou 5 Estrellas Session IPA.
- Burger King demonstrated contemporary leadership by proposing a joint activity with McDonald’s for Peace Day, which McDonald’s turned down.
- Balenciaga and The Simpsons joined forces at the Paris Fashion Week, developing content to showcase the firm. They have also created a collection inspired by the cartoon series.
- Gucci and Balenciaga, both megabrands owned by Kering, have worked to bring their codes in line with each other.
- Loewe has aligned itselfwith countercultural movements by organising activities featuring Divine’s legacy, including a collection of products and content (exhibitions, etc.).