Its been an intensely provocative week.
First, it was the amazing post-election exchanges between Obama and Trump. Then it was what I learned at the Dior Makeup Counter. Both of these experiences made me think about collaborative brand relationships. Of course, since I am in branding and consumer products, I look at most everything through this lens. Barack and Donald are definitely brands. Just as politicians shape and influence our lives and decisions, so do brands.
Never, ever could it be imagined that Barack and The Donald would have this most gracious of exchanges. Of course, a hand-off of the office was expected. The unexpected was this high level of success in civility, cooperativeness and effectiveness. When brands never thought of as compatible can pull off a major relationship coup such as this, this is what I call a Brand Crash Collaboration.
Could your brand successfully collaborate with another at this extreme level?
The Donald and Barack Obama together. This is a Brand Crash Collaboration because it is so unexpected and effective that you cannot take your eyes and attention away from it.
What I learned at the Dior Makeup Counter
This much openness to a partnership between true competitors in the beauty space is remarkable. I love the brand collaboration as much as I am loving this product.
Other successful Brand Crash Collaborations are:
- Louis Vuitton & BMW– brand behemoths executing at this level is definitely worth benchmarking.
- Bonne Bell & Dr. Pepper- can you believe this collaboration formed in 1975?!
- Karl Lagerfeld & The Odyssey at Hotel Metropole in Monaco– historic hotels have taken deep dives into the fickle world of fashion with these catwalk giants such as: Armani, Versace and Diane von Furstenberg.
Brand Crash Collaborations are beneficial but require lots of forethought and planning.
- Greater Audience Reach
- Expanded Brand Identity
- Alliance of Expertise
- New Creative Opportunities
- Expense and Revenue Sharing
- Extra Effort Coordinating Teams
- Authenticity Issues
- Execution Complexities
- More People Equals More Finger Pointing
- Legal Agreements
There is much to be considered and possibly much to be gained through Brand Crash Collaborations. Every situation requires extreme diligence in assessing viability and pay-off and what everybody stands to gain or lose.
Brands now have a new benchmark high in collision collaboration. Be careful with your brands and the possible outcomes- just as Barack Obama and Donald Trump seem to be.
Christine C. Oddo is the author of The Christine Report blog and founder of Madison Luxe Group; a beauty and luxury retail sales, product development, brand curation and digital strategy agency.
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