When it comes to your business, your brand is everything. It’s more than just a logo with a quirky tagline attached; it’s your reputation. From the moment a potential customer interacts with your company—either through a phone call, social media, or website—they are carefully determining the value of your brand. It is through these experiences that your brand’s reputation is formed.
A successful brand isn’t built overnight. It takes repeated efforts on the part of your staff to raise awareness, build buzz, and drive traffic toward your business. Unfortunately, efforts can grow stale over time as creativity dries up, and you’ll find yourself wondering, “How do we expand our brand’s reach? Is this our limit?”
No, it isn’t!
Once internal efforts grow stagnant, consider the option of collaborating with another brand. A brand partnership can not only help you build on all the performance indicators listed above, but also reach a wider audience—perhaps even a demographic that you never thought to target before.
Most importantly, a co-branded product or service drives innovation, creating a unique offering that a consumer won’t find anywhere else.
Now that you know the awesome benefits behind brand partnerships, it’s time for one last final push! For a bit of inspiration, here are six famous brand partnerships that were so successful we will remember them for years to come.
Casper and West Elm: A mutually beneficial partnership
Casper is an online mattress and bedding company. West Elm, on the other hand, is a high-end furniture company, including selling elegant bedroom furniture.
Despite numerous customer unboxing videos being available on YouTube, Casper realized that potential customers might prefer to try their mattresses in person. After all, sleep is important to most people and they don’t want to waste their time or money on a lackluster mattress—we know we wouldn’t.
Since they occupy a similar space and sell products often bought together, Casper decided to partner with West Elm to allow customers to try out their mattresses at West Elm’s store locations.
From this, it’s easy to see how this famous brand partnership was mutually beneficial. Customers could sit and get a good feel for a Casper’s mattress, while at the same time seeing how West Elm’s bedframe would hold up.
Bonne Belle and Dr. Pepper: Understanding their consumers’ tastes
At first glance, Bonne Belle and Dr. Pepper don’t seem to have much in common. But famous brand partnerships don’t need to be forged between companies in the same industry. In fact, collaborations between two seemingly unrelated brands tend to gain more buzz, for consumers are curious about how the two will combine their products or service.
In 1973, Bonne Belle debuted Lip Smacker, the world’s first flavored lip balm. Two years later, they decided to collaborate with Dr. Pepper to create a, you guessed it, Dr. Pepper lip balm flavor. Why Dr. Pepper? Besides being timeless, the company also, in Bonne Bell’s words, managed to create, “The world’s most original soft drink.”
As a cosmetic company that strives to give their consumers ‘the best flavors forever’, Bonne Belle wanted to showcase through this collaboration that they understood their consumer’s taste.
To this day, it’s one of Bonne Belle’s longest running collaborations.
GoPro & RedBull: Re-imagining human potential
Like with the previous entry, you might be scratching your head, trying to figure out how these two companies came together. Yes, they occupy two different industries and their products—portable cameras and energy drinks, respectively—couldn’t be any more different.
But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a connection. GoPro and RedBull have both positioned themselves to be lifestyle brands; a lifestyle that is focused on being fearless, active, and adventurous.
Their partnership works through a series of sporting events, like races and stunts, all run and sponsored by RedBull. GoPro, in turn, invites athletes and provides the tools and funding they need to capture the action up-close from their perspective.
One of the most famous stunts, perhaps, between the two lifestyle brands was “Stratos” where Felix Baumgartner jumped from a space pod that was more than 24 miles above the Earth’s surface with a GoPro camera secured to himself.
When he set three world records that day, the event served to highlight both brand’s values of believing in unlimited human potential (or re-imagining it).
BMW and Louis Vuitton: Luxury high-end travel
BMW and Louis Vuitton are both established, well-known brands. The former produces luxury cars and motorcycles, and the latter is a luxury retail company that has a signature luggage line. As you can plainly see, the keywords that tie these two brands together are luxury and travel.
So, Louis Vuitton, in their brand partnership with BMW, designed an exclusive, four-piece set of suitcases and bags that would fit perfectly in the rear parcel shelf of BMW’s i8 sports car model.
In addition to the like-a-glove fit, the design of the suitcases perfectly matched BMW’s sleek and masculine image, even using the same carbon fiber found in some parts of the car’s interior to ensure perfect coordination. Customers who shopped this high-end collaboration are certainly traveling in style.
Alexander Wang and H&M: Reaching a new customer base
If you’re into fashion, then you know there is a huge discrepancy between the pricing of pieces by Alexander Wang’s versus those sold at H&M. One is a high-end designer, the other a price-conscious retailer known for “fast fashion”.
In order to expose a new audience to their designs, in 2014 Alexander Wang sold an exclusive collection of active and menswear through H&M.
The result? The collection sold out fast and overloaded H&M’s servers. How is that for a successful fashion collab?
Apple & Nike: A famous brand partnership dating back to the early 2000’s
For tech pioneer Apple, innovation is the key to brand success. In 2006, Apple announced it would partner with ubiquitous athletic brand Nike to launch Nike+iPod, a way for runners to connect their Nike gear with an iPod for a personalized workout experience.
Years later, the brands launched Apple Watch Nike+, a smartwatch with all the usual Apple Watch functionality plus special features like a stylized Nike band, deep integration with the Nike+ Run Club app, and exclusive Siri commands. It was a perfect way to create even more overlap between the Nike and Apple fan bases.
When brands partner up to raise awareness, enhance their reputations, and reach a wider audience—maybe even a demographic that was unavailable to them on their own—it’s a win-win-win. Not only do both partners benefit, but so do consumers, who get to enjoy an elevated experience with an innovative and exclusive product or service.