A collaboration results in a brand working together with another entity, (whether that’s another brand, a celebrity or a designer) to produce something. Combining two different elements together could offer something completely different and fresh to your customers.
There are different types of collaborations available such as brands in different sectors coming together, in a range of campaigns. For example, high-end fashion label Louis Vuitton and car manufacturing giant BMW may not be the most obvious of pairings but they joined forces and targeted the luxury travel market. Louis Vuitton supplied the fabric for the BMW interior and produced a range of luggage that complimented the vehicle.
“This collaboration with BMW i epitomises our shared values of creativity, technological innovation and style,” said Patrick-Louis Vuitton, head of special orders at Louis Vuitton.
Of course, this isn’t the only type of collaboration that can happen. Working with celebrities could also result in a successful collaboration and brands could be keen to capitalise on a large following that celebrities bring with them. Beyoncé’s activewear line, Ivy Park is sold in Topshop stores around the world. Victoria Beckham has also been in multiple collaborations, most recently teaming up with both former basketball star, Shaquille O’Neil and with sportswear giant Reebok.
Fashion brands could work with each other in a usually temporary campaign to create a buzz and something fresh for fashion lovers. Skate and streetwear brand Supreme are frequently in collaborations with other brands ranging from previously mentioned Louis Vuitton, Nike, Stone Island, A Bathing Ape and most recently Lacoste. On launch date, a high number of products were already sold out!
A collaboration could potentially result in both parties creating and capitalising on momentum as well as improving brand awareness. The results could be long lasting and incredibly successful. Michael Jordan’s collaboration with Nike back in 1984 provided sports fans with a recognisable logo and fashionable footwear. The Jordan brand is still going, now 34 years later, with the shoe sales totalling to $3 billion in 2015 according to a Forbes article, and Michael Jordan himself making ~$100 million from his Nike partnership.
Achieving a successful collaboration however is no walk in the park. More than 1 successful brand with a very clear identity and direction, may cause difficulty due to conflicting strong views about their brand positioning and marketing strategy etc. Keeping momentum after the event/campaign is over or if the initial buzz or a new partnership has worn off, can also be a problem which may occur. Both parties have to share mutual goals and ambitions for everything to work.
There of course has to be an audience for what you’re offering as well, there’s no guarantee that customers for one brand will like the association with another, so there is a level of risk involved.
Pharrell Williams is one celebrity who has had a few collaborations with different fashion brands, perhaps most notably collaborating multiple times with sportswear giant Adidas to create high fashion sports trainers. What may not be as well know however is that Pharrell has also collaborated with streetwear brand, A Bathing Ape back in 2006 releasing the ‘Roadsta’ trainer line.
High Snobiety noted: ‘This collaboration perfectly captured a particular streetwear era for BAPE and Pharrell, and aligned it perfectly with his musical aesthetic at the time as well.’ – https://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/07/19/pharrell-shoe-collaborations-ranked/
In a competitive market, a collaboration may be the ideal marketing and business strategy to drive a brand forward. Do you believe that independent and aspiring brands could benefit from a collaboration? If you and a prospective partner want to look at producing customized hats, please get in touch.
To learn more about the fashion predictions from MILAN AND PARIS FASHION WEEK, or find out WHY AUDITS AND TESTING ARE SO IMPORTANT – not only for big retailers but also for the smaller independent fashion brands.