Insightopedia: Brands collaboration approach, the 'new normal'

How will brands be able to achieve the increased demands for commercial value during this period of diminished marketing budget? There is a solution.
Louis Vuitton x Supreme collection
Louis Vuitton x Supreme collection

Now more than ever, brands need to think out of the box and look to brand collaborations to reach their marketing objectives. According to www.launchmetrics.com, a brand collaboration is a strategic partnership between a brand and another party. This partnership might be with another brand (a co-branded campaign) or with an artist, celebrity or influencer.

An excellent example of a successful brand collaboration was the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme. At first glance, ultra-luxurious fashion house Louis Vuitton and cult streetwear brand Supreme are worlds apart. But look a little closer. Both have dedicated followings. Both bank on scarcity and exclusivity. Both have built empires on visible logos and bold branding.

When the two joined forces in 2017 it became one of the most hyped luxury brand collaborations of recent years. Each stood to gain something valuable: for Supreme, it was the association of luxury and the deep-pocketed spenders that come with it; for LV, a slice of Supreme’s unparalleled street cred.
The collaboration, therefore, satisfied two requirements of any successful co-branded partnership: it was well-aligned, and it was mutually beneficial.

For more on this partnership click here

On home soil, The Walt Disney Company has often had a collaborative approach when marketing their properties. Two vastly different campaigns come to mind.

Inspired by Minnie at SA Fashion Week
Inspired by Minnie at SA Fashion Week

The first was a collaboration with Disney Africa and Suzaan Heyns to showcase an ‘Inspired by Minnie’ capsule collection at SA Fashion Week (SAFW) in 2013. The collaboration was a coup for SAFW and a wonderful opportunity for Suzaan Heyns to gain global attention. One of her runway garments was snapped up by Miley Cyrus! The Walt Disney Company Africa leveraged this campaign to celebrate Minnie Mouse’s status as a style icon – with her polka dots, bows, charm, independence and more.

“Minnie Mouse continues to inspire women the world over and we are thrilled to continue the Inspired by Minnie campaign by bringing her fashion-savvies to South Africa in this unique and exciting collaboration with Suzaan Heyns,” said Christine Service, country manager, The Walt Disney Company Africa, at the time.

View the collection here:


The second collaboration was a festive tree installation at Cresta Shopping Centre in December 2016. The two brands worked to create the (at the time) tallest Christmas tree in Africa, adorned with Mickey and Minnie Mouse plush toys, whilst also implementing a CSI campaign to benefit orphaned children.

Insightopedia: Brands collaboration approach, the 'new normal'

Openfield Marketing brokered the partnership with the two brands and so the 5m high tree was built, with nearly 700 Mickey and Minnie plushes adorning the tree. Shoppers were able to purchase or donate towards the cost of the plush, which would be presented to SOS Children’s Villages for their resident children. The campaign was a massive success for both The Walt Disney Company Africa and the Cresta Shopping Centre, with the SOS Children’s Villages receiving all the plushes as well as an additional cash amount from donations. Cresta went on to win an international shopping centre award for this festive campaign.


As we navigate our ‘new normal’, we will realise that multimillion-rand marketing budgets are a thing of the past. Brands and their marketing agencies need to work together to identify and broker exciting and unexpected partner collaborations that can break through the clutter in the market. This will result in greater impact from the pooled resources including funds, equity but, most importantly, audience.

1 Jul 2020 08:21

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