Having recently returned from Abu Dhabi after working on the Marriott Rewards and Mercedes brand activation Purity Account Manager Melissa Hannan explores what it takes to create and leverage successful brand partnerships
Brand partnerships are often established to augment the market strength and brand awareness of two or more complementary brands. To be successful, they should be strategic, relevant and ultimately, create value for their customers. Partnerships often allow brands to reach wider audiences, as an example, challenger mobile brand OnePlus recently penned a partnership deal with luxury British supercar brand McLaren. In announcing the partnership, the brands mutually pointed to their ethos of being “born with a big dream to create something special”. With the deal incorporating McLaren Racing it opens up new audience and communication channels to OnePlus in particular who now have access to the exciting arena of motorsports.
Understanding what it can take to establish a fruitful partnership is essential if brands are looking to reap the rewards such as accelerating in their market or potentially moving into a new one.
In looking to create a successful brand partnership, a number of factors should be taken into consideration;
1. Commonality of values:
A strategic partnership should coalesce those brands who share the same core values. Without this alignment there is a risk of coming across as disingenuous to (increasingly) savvy customers. The Red Bull and Puma F1 partnership dates back to 2007, when they first collaborated. The relationship has long continued and thrived with the intention of reinventing the concept of Formula 1 fashion. This is defined by a shared, young, rebellious spirit and a desire to explore the unexpected. Both Red Bull and Puma are adventurous lifestyle brands aiming to be the best in their industry. The partnership has shown longevity and succeeded as a result of united demonstration of each other’s core values.
2. Partnering with initiatives:
Customers are becoming increasingly particular with brands they chose to spend their money with by looking at sustainability and ethical values. Brands can succeed in reaching this growing customer base by leveraging a partnership with a charity or initiative and using their platform to address current world problems. Take the Adidas and Parley partnership which aims to prevent plastic entering the oceans by transforming plastic waste into fashionable sportswear. The problem of plastic in oceans has been heavily documented by the media in recent months and the collaboration demonstrates Adidas’s corporate responsibility and commitment to addressing current world issues. The same can be said for Lacoste and Save our Species who united earlier this year in replacing the iconic Lacoste crocodile logo with images of 10 endangered species and secured huge coverage as a result.
3. Utilising the technology from your partners:
A great benefit of a partnership is being able to utilise the resources and technology already in place and combining this in innovative ways. Toyota is set to invest £388m in their partnership with Uber to develop self-driving cars. The partnership will make use of specialised technologies from both partners; Uber will combine its autonomous driving system with Toyota’s Guardian technology offering many safety features which can potentially push them ahead of competitors in the market.
4. Rewarding loyal customers:
Loyal customers who are frequently rewarded are in turn more likely to spend more money with the brand(s). The partnership between Marriott and Mercedes at the Abu Dhabi Grand prix provided exclusive experiences to its Marriott Rewards loyalty members through a purpose-built stand within the F1 Fan Village. Marriott rewards is well known for providing its members with exclusive experiences and the partnership with Mercedes gave participants the chance to win money can’t buy experiences including Mercedes Garage tours, tickets to the Amber Lounge and signed Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport merchandise.
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To understand more about brand partnerships and how these can be created and then activated using experiential marketing contact the Purity team