Very common in the fashion world, partnerships between brands to launch products – better known as “collabs” – also occur in other corporate segments.
From a business perspective, joining forces with other brands is an excellent strategy for expanding your reach into new niches.
Traditional companies with more experienced consumers, for example, can team up with young brands to win over new consumers and vice versa.
To better understand the strength of collabs in the corporate world, let’s look at 5 cases where brands came together to launch exclusive products. Read on!
1 – Adidas and Stella McCartney
Let’s start by looking at a success story from the world of sports. Adidas, a century-old company that has a vast portfolio for various sports and invests in casual fashion, is well known for its collabs with local brands.
It was during one of these local partnerships that one of the company’s biggest collab cases came about, together with fashion designer Stella McCartney.
Since 2005, the two brands have been producing collections together and have developed items such as sneakers, sports accessories for various sports and accessories in general.
For Adidas, teaming up with such a renowned haute couture designer adds value to its brand, especially given the sustainable approach behind the English designer’s creations, who does not use animal-derived materials to produce garments.
On the other hand, for Stella McCartney, the partnership is equally valuable, generating collections that can be consumed on a larger scale than her solo launches.
This partnership’s famous case took place at the 2012 Summer Olympics, when Stella was appointed Creative Director of Adidas and designed the uniforms for the UK athletes. It was so successful that the feat was repeated for the Rio Olympics and Paralympics in 2016.
2 -Virgil Abloh and Mercedes-Benz
The collaboration between Virgil Abloh, renowned Louis Vuitton designer and founder of Off-White, and Mercedes-Benz, the car industry giant, represented an innovative encounter between fashion and automotive functionality.
This collab resulted in the creation of a unique concept vehicle, where Abloh’s visionary design met Mercedes-Benz’s precision engineering.
The project, dubbed “Project Maybach”, transformed one of Mercedes’ most iconic models, the Maybach, into a work of art on wheels, combining luxury and street style like never seen before.
With a bold exterior and an interior that reflects Abloh’s minimalist and contemporary aesthetic, the concept car was a celebration of creativity and disruptive design.
This collaboration not only set a new standard for future projects in the field of automotive design, but also honored the legacy of Virgil Abloh, who sadly passed away shortly before the project’s launch, leaving a lasting impact on the world of fashion and design.
3 – BMW and Air Console
Continuing in the automotive segment, let’s take a look at the collab between BMW and AirConsole, which resulted in an innovative in-car gaming experience.
This partnership, announced in 2022, was an initiative to integrate gaming into the BMW 7 series as of 2023. The AirConsole, which was part of the BMW Startup Garage, was the perfect match for BMW’s curved display, allowing third-party applications to be quickly integrated into the vehicle’s entertainment system.
The games, which are part of a collection of individual and multiplayer games, play directly on the vehicle’s entertainment system and can be transferred over the air. For the safety of passengers, games can only be accessed when the car is parked. Players use a smartphone as a controller, connecting it to the car by scanning a QR code.
BMW and AirConsole also worked together on a contest for game developers, offering a prize of 5,000 dollars for the best game ideas, with the possibility of them being fully funded and integrated into the vehicles by AirConsole.
This collab is a major step towards transforming the time spent waiting in vehicles, such as while they are being charged, into entertaining moments through casual and interactive games.
4 – Carmed and Fini
Now let’s take a look at a national collab that has generated buzz on social media in Brazil recently!
The collab between Carmed, a brand known for its skin care products, and Fini, famous for its colorful and fun candy, has resulted in an exclusive line of products that combines the best of both worlds.
Inspired by the vibrant flavors and colors of Fini candy, Carmed has developed a range of lip moisturizers with fragrances and textures reminiscent of the famous gummies, marshmallows and gummy bears.
In addition to being visually appealing, this innovative lip care line also offers intense hydration and protection, thanks to Carmed’s expertise in dermo-cosmetics.
The success of the collab was clear, attracting both fans of beauty products and candy lovers, generating a significant increase in sales and visibility for both brands.
The joint marketing campaign, which highlighted the combination of fun and function, was also well-received on social media, further strengthening the online presence of both companies.
5 – Havaianas and Oreo
Lastly, we’re going to analyze the collab between Havaianas and Oreo, which was an unexpected and creative fusion of two cultural icons.
In this partnership, Havaianas, known around the world for its colorful and comfortable flip-flops, has teamed up with Oreo, famous for its chocolate cream sandwich cookies, to create limited edition flip-flops inspired by the design and colors of the cookie.
The flip-flops sported a stylized pattern that resembled the texture of an Oreo cookie, with black and white details and even a touch of blue, a nod to the classic Oreo packaging.
In addition to highlighting the ability of both brands to innovate and surprise, this collab also showed how seemingly different products can complement each other, creating a unique piece that appeals to fans of both businesses.
As we’ve seen throughout the article, collabs are excellent corporate strategies for increasing sales and attracting new audiences, but they are so much more than that!
They can also be used as a tool for innovation, often resulting in increased visibility for the brand.
In this sense, creativity comes into play as a determining factor in all stages of the collabs, from choosing the partner brand, to product development and the communication campaign.
Master once and for all the most widely used global techniques in Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship with the short course from CUOA, Italy’s renowned business school.