Talking about collaborations brings a giddy feeling to my stomach. If you haven’t collaborated with another brand before, perhaps this is a sign that you should. But like everything, there’s a right and wrong way to do anything, we are here to help you take the right steps towards every collaboration you decide to take upon now or in the near future. Keep reading to take notes!
- Know more about your audience and how collaboration will best serve them; now what exactly constitutes collaboration? It’s often a barter, rather than a paid partnership, and it works as a way to increase brand awareness and reach new markets by finding fun and creative ways to shine a spotlight on all the businesses involved. It’s a way to tap into the audiences of your fellow brands who share similar values and the same target customer. Collaboration on its own can work just fine but it’s always best when paired with something you’ve already got going. Hence, the idea of amplification. So complementing your marketing strategy with strategic partnerships is a big part of the success of your fashion business. If you think creatively about the lifestyle of your customer and what services they use or activities they take part in, what products they love, and what matters to them, then developing a collaboration strategy becomes so much easier and more naturally and authentically grows your business.
- Add Collaborations to your business goals; It’s super important that you get clear on your goals. You need to know why you even want to collaborate with other businesses in the first place. If you understand what you’re hoping to accomplish, you can better communicate your needs to your partners and find ways to collaborate that will have a real impact on your business. You need to be able to answer the following about your business:
- What are your business goals for the next 3 to 6 months?
- Look at your marketing plan—are you focused on increasing email subscribers, connecting with your customers more offline, or maybe entering a new market? What’s happening?
- Based on the business goals you listed above, in what ways do you see collaboration supporting them? Just jot down ideas like “A sweepstakes (giveaway) can help me increase our subscribers.” Or “co-producing an event can help me connect with my audience more offline.
Once you’ve answered the questions above, use those responses to create a menu of 5 to 10 ways in which fashion brands collaborate with each other (giveaways, event collaboration, etc) so that you’re not reinventing the wheel with every collaboration. Then start making a list of companies you’d love to collaborate with and why.
- 3. Come up with ideas with your different partners; Once you come up with a list of possible collaborators, even though you have not yet spoken to any of the companies, you should come up with a few possible ideas that will support your business goals (cross-promotion, content creation, event production, etc.) for each possible partner. Keep the ideas general but the attach types of collaborations with each potential partner.
I’d love to partner with Company A on an event.
I’d love to partner with company B on content creation.
I’d love to partner with company C on a giveaway.
These ideas will evolve and become more detailed once you better understand the other company’s goals. But it’s important to have some initial ideas ready to share if they ask. This step actively involves you stating why you want the collaboration in the first place, who you will like to partner with and how would you like to partner with them.
- 4. Come up with a strategy that meets your business goals as well as the business you’re collaborating with; Once you start having those initial collaboration calls with companies you’d love to partner with, you’ll need to use those conversations to create more detailed ideas, figure out who would be responsible for what, and create goals and metrics. Now that you’ve talked to them, it’s time to take into account both your business goals and their business goals and refine the initial ideas you created before your call. It can sometimes be challenging to come up with creative ideas for collaborations. But don’t overthink it.
When working on your ideas, here are 3 top tips:
- Go low pressure, start simple with an Instagram takeover or FB live, or co-produced content
- Think about what kind of thing you would want to attend or experience
- Think about the collaborations you click on, what sparked your interest? And try replicating the idea.
Here’s a little example for you…
If you plan on hosting an event that brings several brands together in one sitting. Come up with ideas that would fit your brand and the other person’s brand. Come up with a logo merge if you can. Introduce your customers to the other brand and the other brand introduces you to their customers to yours. The point with collaboration is to find ways that benefit all partners involved by helping everyone get closer to reaching the business goals they have in place. And to have fun doing it!
- 5. Collaboration And Legal Issues; If the project is major, or there is a possibility of it generating significant revenue or media attention, it’s obviously important to work out the details of who receives what compensation and so forth. A contract can come in handy here, and there are plenty of resources, both online and off, that can help you draft something which will protect you and your partner in any conceivable situation. Even if you and your partner are collaborating purely for creative or artistic reasons and don’t expect anything to come from the project, things can change when there is an unexpected windfall of cash or fame involved. One or the other may feel slighted, or like they’re not getting as much notice as the other. Sorting out the legalities early on will prevent disagreements from turning into bigger problems.
For every step your Fashion business takes, it is important to know the dos, the don’ts and the ‘definitely not happenings’ so as not to make a mistake that could be detrimental for your brand image. With the points above you should comfortable to take on profitable collaborations!
We hope this write up helps you take the right steps towards collaboration.
Until next time, stay fancy!