Why creative partnerships work (and how to pull them off) | brandInspired newsletter

Weetabix and Heinz brandInspired

From our brandInspired newsletter

This week we saw one of the most interesting brand partnerships happen right in front of our eyes.

Weetabix and Heinz shocked the world with their collaboration. But not every partnership has to go viral for it to work. In this issue of brandInspired, we look at this collaboration, plus a local brand partnership.

What brands are the beans to your Weetabix?

You’ve likely seen on Twitter (or the news) the recent collaborative effort of Weetabix and Heinz that shocked the world. The official Weetabix account tweeted out a picture of a bowl of Weetabix covered in beans tagging the Heinz account and using the Heinz slogan #ItHasToBeHeinz.

The tweet generated 101k retweets and 20k comments and has been picked up by major news organisations over the world. You could argue whilst on paper this collaboration seems odd (and believe me, it is), it certainly did the job of marketing.

Not all collaborations need to be as tongue in cheek. A little closer to home, Ainsty Ales and York Cocoa Works started a partnership. The two York-based brands have joined up for Valentine’s Day offering beer and chocolate together.

This local partnership is wonderful example of sharing target audiences. Ainsty Ales has a predominantly male audience, York Cocoa Works’ audience is generally female. Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to bring the two audiences together. 

Your actionable takeaway

Brand partnerships can come in all shapes and sizes. Take Weetabix for example. That comedic campaign drove news coverage and elevated their social media presence. This, however, is an anomaly. Most campaigns won’t drive that much engagement.

When you’re planning a brand partnership consider the following:

  • Does the brand share the same values as yours?
  • Do you have a similar audience or completely different audiences?
  • What are your expectations from the campaign? I.e. brand awareness, to drive sales, to drive opt-ins to mailing lists

If you have a brand in mind that you’d like to collaborate with, here are some types of campaigns you might like to run:

Selling their product on your website or visa versa 

This may sound simple, but this is still a partnership. If you have similar audiences, then selling each other’s products on your websites could be an easy partnership. 

Packaged partnership

A packaged partnership, like Ainsty Ale’s and York Cocoa Works, works similarly to the previous partnership. The main difference is, it’s being sold alongside one of your products. This works well if you’re wanting to expand your audience.

Blog posts

You don’t have to work with influencers for a blog post. Including other brands that aren’t direct competitors in your blog posts works, as well as partnering with other businesses to be included in theirs, can lead to a) more people discovering you from the partnership and b) a small boost in SEO from the backlink to your website.

Unusual partnerships

We couldn’t write this actionable takeaway without referencing Weetabix one more time. We’re not expecting Heinz or Weetabix to start selling the other’s products anytime soon. You could look for the unusual partnerships, however.

For example, a takeaway could do a partnership with a gym, offering a special healthy menu if the gym user hits a certain number of gym visits. A florist could do a partnership with a menswear shop around Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day to reach men who have maybe forgotten to buy flowers.

There are lots of partnership opportunities out there that your business could benefit from. Don’t be afraid of putting your brand out there and asking brands you admire for a chance to work with them.

If you want to try out a brand partnership but haven’t got any ideas yet, get in touch with me at alan@milnercreative.co.uk and we’ll see if we can help.

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Each week we send our brandInspired newsletter out to business owners and marketers. We take a campaign from a brand and share actionable tips that you can apply to your business.

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