You’ve probably heard the word on the street is collaboration, and well, you’d be hearing right. The whole concept of seeing everyone as competition is dead, and brands that still see it like that, are sure to follow suit. It’s all community over competition over here now folks, and I’d suggest you start thinking of ways to give it a shot.
The opportunities are endless, I mean why not use 2 brands to accomplish 1 goal, it’s win-win. We saw a perfect example of this this past week with Adidas teaming up with Berlin’s public transit network, bringing us shoes that have a season ticket to the network embedded inside them. Now that’s some next level shiz (read about it here).
So when I wanted to talk about this subject I knew that I needed a seasoned pro to help me out, so I decided to hit up Jess Ruhfus from Collabosaurus. She’s got a background in PR, an Instagram following of over 24k and a very successful platform (her website) that literally helps YOU to collaborate with like-minded people/brands for a similar end goal. So let’s see what she had to say.
Jess, can you give us a brief rundown of yourself and Collabosaurus?
Of course! Collabosaurus is a matchmaking platform that helps brands grow through powerful marketing collaborations in social media, products and events. We’re a marketing tool up to 30x less expensive than other digital advertising (and much more fun, in my opinion!)
The idea came about because I was frustrated sourcing effective brand-to-brand marketing collaborations while working in PR and then at an SME marketing education company. Tinder was becoming popular and I thought: “how amazing would it be to have a Tinder-style platform for brand partnerships?”
Now, we have built a community of over 30,000 businesses, big and small across fashion, beauty, lifestyle, B2B, food and beverage (and more!) in 5 countries, all looking for brand collaboration opportunities.
We’re hearing so much about collaboration and the advantages, why do you think it’s important?
I have always valued brand collaborations not only for their engaging, creative impact but also for the ripple effect of building a strong network. Now, we have enough data to support the monetary advantages of brand collaborations as an extremely impactful advertising tool. American Express recently released a whitepaper that revealed that mid-sized companies that invest in collaboration achieved a profit 1.5 times their investment. This equates to average savings of more than $319,000 or an average increase in sales of close to $430,000.
That is MASSIVE in terms of the dollar value of collaboration alone. Not to mention the opportunity to grow your network, engage new and existing audiences and get creative!
Working in PR I bet you know all the tricks of the trade in regards to exposure. How do you think collaboration can contribute?
I think ‘PR’ is so much more than getting into the media. It’s how you communicate your brand with the world. Drumming up ‘buzz’ and publicity around your brand has a lot to do with how interesting you are, the story you have to tell and how you communicate with your existing and new communities.
Brand collaborations are, in themselves, an incredible exposure tool. Depending on the type of collaboration you explore, they also give you the opportunity to attract media interest by doing something that gives back to the community, or is visually impactful, or different, or provides a talking point, a story or experience. If ‘gaining publicity’ is a marketing goal for you, collaborations are a great way to create a story worth telling.
How do you think we can educate people in understanding the value of collaboration and not seeing it from a competition standpoint?
I could honestly write a novel about this! Haha. I think the term ‘collaboration’ is thrown around a lot and is used in different ways. What we mean when we say ‘collaboration’ is a mutually beneficial, win-win partnership where both brands benefit. If you collaborate in this way, competitor or not, you’re seeing VALUE from a collaboration, and you’re providing value to your communities.
There is enough room in the market for competing brands to coexist and be successful, why not help each other? Of course, there’s a limit to this and it depends on the industry. If you’re worried about competition, why not collaborate with a complementary industry space? If you’re a fashion brand, why not collaborate with a chocolate brand? If you’re in beauty, what about a health and wellness collab? The opportunities are endless and we built Collabosaurus so that it’s easy to find awesome brand collaborators.
Are you able to give us an example of a good collaboration?
There are so many! I love a recent one from Chandon x Seafolly as they produced a limited edition, co-branded, co-promoted product and were able to tap into each other’s communities.
As a Collabosaurus case study, one of my favourites is The Dessert Parlour x TopShop which was for a student event for 500 guests in Melbourne. Topshop’s catering partner dropped out last minute, so they hopped on Collabosaurus and were matched up with The Dessert Parlour. They baked 1000 Instagram-worthy donuts for the event, and in exchange, Topshop gave them an event-day shout out and branding, an email blast to 30,000 people and 2 x posts on Instagram to an audience of over 300,000. A great example of a win-win partnership.
Lastly, tell us more about Collabosaurus and why people should check it out.
Collabosaurus allows you to easily tap into the most cost-effective marketing strategy around. It’s free to get started and works just like a dating site to match you up with cool collaboration partners. Use Collabosaurus to source collaboration partners for events, social media or product projects and cross promote for powerful marketing.
So there you have it, a whole array of information that can get your mind turning and burning to create new things! Go out and think of new ways and potential opportunities that can align with your marketing plan! Work together because remember, teamwork makes the dream work.