The number one question we get asked by brands who are new to collabs is how to get in the game. Read on to get under the hood of what collabs are and how to make them work for you.
The first question we ask is also an obvious one but is often overlooked. Many brands start with 'who?' and forget to ask 'why?', 'what?' and 'how?'.
Who to partner with is the last question to ask. Understanding the goal and the approach dramatically increases the likelihood of finding a great partner to work with
What is the goal or outcome you seek from creating a collab?
A collab can achieve a wide variety of outcomes for an overall marketing plan, but determining a concentrated, direct “job” for a collaboration to do will improve the search for partners, make measurement more accurate make campaign success more likely.
When we work with clients we start with these core questions;
Who should the collab reach?
How will they be reached?
When is the best time to release this collab?
A “job” is shorthand for what a brand really seeks to accomplish in a given circumstance. Jobs are complex and multifaceted; consider the experience a brand is trying to create.
When we buy a product, we essentially “hire” it to help us do a job and collaborations can be the product a brand “hires” to achieve a desired outcome.
Collabs can replace or enhance current marketing calendar objectives, work in tandem with planned campaigns, or reach a differentiated audience through adjacent segment capture.
The "Jobs To Be Done" framework originated at Harvard University and was made famous by Clay Christiansen. You can read more about it here.
Once we have established the goal, or job to be done, we can begin to look at the various types of collab that can be executed. Collabs come in many forms but for ease of discussion, we break them down into two categories; Macro and Micro Collabs.
Joint Events - diverse events with varying crowds that increase brand exposure
Affiliate Program - payment based on attributed member signups
Trade Advertising - in app ad for brand created & posted social content
Coupon to Revenue Share - percentage of sale from coupon/gift card directed to partner
App Integrations - Brands receive ad space or creative content endorsement through respective brand apps
Product Collab - Brands work together to create a new product/line
Mutual Endorsement - brands talk about their partner brand on live streams, interviews or other determined promotion space
Social Media Cross Promotion - mutually created social content posted to each brand’s channels (share assets)
Giveaways/Bundles - sign up for a giveaway/bundle with another brand
Email Campaigns - co-branded emails linking to shop (share assets)
Calendar-related Cross Promotion - Brands promote each other around a certain calendar event or holiday
So now you know how to think about collabs and the different types of collab you can execute, let's get started on creating your collab plan.