How to Initiate and Maintain Effective Brand Collaborations

How to Initiate and Maintain Effective Brand Collaborations

The sight of a “X” between their two favourite brands is one of the few things that can make people as enthusiastic as this. Marketers are learning more about their target consumers, and one of the most useful pieces of information they are gathering is information about other companies that they are considering. 

In addition, brand partnerships and cobranding initiatives are a win-win for both parties involved. Furthermore, these campaigns may be 25 times less expensive than other kinds of digital marketing.

We’ve seen a lot of collaborations in the fashion and music industries, but e.l.f. cosmetics and Dunkin’ do seem to be the frontrunners for the best brand cooperation award right now.

It is more than just collaboration; it is cobranding.

While e.l.fDunkin’ .’s Donuts-inspired product line did not launch until April, the two companies have a long history of working together in marketing. “Eyes. Lips. Famous,” an e.l.f. campaign in the form of a TikTok “reality show,” was launched in late 2021. Influencer judges created three challenges for the campaign, with the winners receiving a year’s worth of free e.l.f. items in exchange for their participation. One of those challenges just so happened to be a style inspired by Dunkin’ Donuts.

With the campaign, ELF gained insight into possible customer interest in a brand cooperation as well as a chance to collect original and intriguing user-generated material, all of which helped the company maximise its affiliate marketing strategies. 

The TikTok hashtag “#EyesLipsFamous” received a total of 41.8 million views in total. It’s no surprise that Dunkin’ Donuts and e.l.f. Cosmetics decided to take their brand connection one step further by launching a product.

Unexpected pairings are the starting point for successful brand collaborations.

While it may not seem like coffee has much in common with concealer at first glance, e.l.f. and Dunkin’ Donuts have managed to make their collaboration appear natural. In some ways, they’re capitalising on the seemingly outlandish nature of their agreement, just like Dunkin’ did when they originally announced the partnership through a Twitter post.

The cooperation between the two brands makes perfect sense in other respects. Dunkin’ Donuts and e.l.f. are both attempting to appeal to the same demographic of younger, budget-conscious consumers on social media. Because they collaborated on the creation of the campaign, they were able to reach a larger audience that fit their target consumer profile.

We delved into Sprout Social’s Listening feature in order to determine the campaign’s effectiveness. We examined social media data from March 14, 2022, to April 14, 2022, in order to determine how the brand alliance influenced social performance within that time period.

Since launching their brand partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts on March 30, 2022, the keywords and hashtags “Donut,” “Dunkin,” “#dunkindonuts,” “#elfxdunkin,” and mentions of @dunkindonuts have accounted for 21% (12.9 million) of e.l.fTwitter .’s impressions. 

When compared to the two weeks before to the product introduction, this represented a 52 percent increase in impressions for e.l.f. It is also reaching the intended audience: eighty percent of Tweet authors are between the ages of 18 and 34, according to data from Twitter.

Positivity in the face of scarcity

Everyone enjoys the exclusivity of a limited edition. The e.l.f. and Dunkin’ product is extremely specialized–and much sought after. It was inevitable that this cobranded product would sell out due to the fact that it was only available to members of e.l.fBeauty .’s Squad loyalty programme and there was only a limited quantity of the product. Even after it has sold out, it continues to be in high demand. 

However, although the original “Classic Dunkin’ Stack Vault” was offered for $75 with free delivery, it is now being marketed for as much as $135 with $30 shipping on resale websites.

Even after the items were sold out, the brand partners continued to promote them by hosting an Instagram sweepstakes. e.l.f. collaborated with Dunkin’ Donuts to promote the deal on Instagram, taking advantage of the Collaborate function. 

The post had a total of 88,658 likes and 148,969 interactions. A total of 681,000 Instagram interactions were recorded between March 30, 2022 and April 14, 2022 for e.l.f. between those dates. The team devised a successful social media strategy that included the use of Instagram and TikTok for interaction and Twitter for reach.

What to look for when identifying lucrative brand collaborations

There are a few things to bear in mind if you’re thinking of putting your own spin on the cobranding phenomenon.

Make an informed decision.

Choosing how to collaborate with companies might be a difficult decision. Concentrate on what you could have in common with possible partners rather than on what you might not have in common with them. Dunkin’ Donuts and e.l.f. shared a number of market categories that they pursued jointly. Perhaps your ideal collaboration is based on the sorts of emotions your product elicits, the interests your audiences share, or the priorities of your target market as a whole. 

Having something in common can help you stay on track with your brand cooperation in the future.

Early testing is recommended.

Through their TikTok campaign, Dunkin’ Donuts and e.l.f. were able to gauge the public’s reaction to their cooperation early on. If your audience is interested in possible cobranded projects or goods, social media is a terrific way to gauge their enthusiasm. You can figure out which pieces of a cooperation to lean into–and which portions you should cut–by listening to what others are saying about them on social media.

Bring your imagination to bear.

A cooperation is an excellent opportunity to make a huge splash with your brand. Focusing on the coffee and baked goods chain’s signature brand colours and capitalising on the cosmetic brand’s reputation for innovation paid off for e.l.f. and Dunkin’ Donuts. Determine what your target consumers identify with your brands and don’t be afraid to be more daring than you may be if you were doing a single ad.

It is not only America that is powered by Dunkin’ Donuts. It appears that successful social strategy does as well. Dunkin’ Donuts and e.l.f. Cosmetics were able to multiply their reach and efforts by leveraging their existing brands and followings–all while creating something cool in the process. The brands used social media to better understand, reach, and influence their target market, resulting in a product that transcended industry boundaries and left consumers wanting more.

Data from social listening can assist you in better understanding your audience and creating the next cult classic. Learn more about how social data can provide new insights into what your customers want by reading this article.


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