Whether you’re a new business looking to grow your brand reputation from the ground up, or you’re an established company who wants to reach a wider audience, brand collaborations are an ideal way to achieve this goal.

However, in order to make the most out of this collaboration, you need to ensure you have secured an authentic collaboration. Why? If the partnership is weak or you’ve chosen the wrong partner for the job, your collaboration may fail. This will cause you to experience a loss in profit that could have been avoided.

As one of the UK’s leading influencer management agencies, Influencer Matchmaker have years of experience in successfully pairing brands with influencers to create harmonious collaborations. Keep reading to discover our top tips for creating an authentic brand collaboration.

What is a Brand Collaboration?

Before we delve deeper into how you can create a successful brand collaboration for your business, it’s important to first understand exactly what a brand collaboration is. A brand collaboration refers to the alliance of two or more brands, or brands and influencers, to curate a specific product or service to grab the attention of a niche audience.

Examples of brand and influencer collaborations include Casey Neistat + Nike and Samsung Crossover Marketing, Mark Ferris and Dell and Saffron Barker and Primark. Whilst some pairings may seem unnatural, they work well to target a whole new audience that may have otherwise been out of reach.

Do any of these collaborations ring a bell? The ones you remember the most are likely to have been some of the more established brand collaborations, meaning their partnership was successful in getting both brands at the forefront of their customer's minds.

Plan your Campaign

Before any great collaboration can begin, you must first come up with a great plan that you’ll be proud to present to your chosen partner. From our experience, we’ve found that brands that develop a well-thought-out plan for what they want to achieve from the collaboration will have more success in attracting the right talent to promote them.

Decide what it is you want to collaborate on, whether it be a product or service. Once this has been decided, you can more easily find the perfect influencer to work with.

Select your Partner Carefully

You may have found a brand or influencer that is fresh, young and exciting and think they will be the perfect way to boost your brand’s rep. You may also be attracted to their fantastic numbers on social media and their status online, however, there is much more to a brand collaboration than that.

You need to think carefully about who it is you want to work with in order to get the best results. Some opportunities may offer you a chance to break out of your comfort zone and reach a niche target audience, whereas others will give you the opportunity to reestablish yourself as an industry leader.

Try not to pick someone your competitors have previously worked with. This partnership would not feel natural for the other party, leading to an unsuccessful partnership. Instead, you ideally want to work with a brand or influencer who is fond of your own brand. A quick way you can check this is to see if they follow you on your social media channels.

Design a Clear Contract and Guidelines

Perhaps the number one rule for creating authenticity in your brand collaboration is to be consistent. In order for the collaboration to seem natural, both parties need to work closely together and deliver consistent marketing.

Not only this, but you also need to ensure your influencer has the freedom to express themselves. You don’t want the collaboration to come across as forced or unnatural, so remember to let your chosen influencer have some creativity around the project.

Remember to think about things such as tone of voice, creative elements and which social media channels you’ll be using to promote your product or service with your chosen influencer.

Examples of Successful Collaborations

A great way to find inspiration for your upcoming brand collaboration project is to have a look at some of the collaborations that have been successful in the past. At Influencer Matchmaker, we've helped to create some fantastic partnerships with leading brands and top influencers.

Lethal Bizzle & Arsenal / Visit Rwanda

We worked with Arsenal to help them on a brand awareness campaign. We felt the best way to boost their brand awareness would be through the help of an influencer. This is where Lethal Bizzle came in…

Why it was successful:

  • It is very important for the brand to make sure they define their objectives and goals.

  • Visit Rwanda is Arsenal’s official tourism partner. The UK rapper, Lethal Bizzle, was hired to promote the first #RwandaChampionsChallenge.

  • The focus was predominantly on brand awareness and Rwanda as a tourist destination.

  • Arsenal were very pleased with the outcome of this collaboration. The campaign got great coverage and high levels of engagement on both Lethal’s social channels and Visit Rwanda.

  • This campaign offered effective touchpoints within a much wider promotional campaign that they’re running.

eBay with Em Sheldon and Syd and Ell

In order to help eBay promote their fashion and accessories category on their website, we introduced them to influencer marketing. For this brand collaboration, they required high impact influencers to successfully deliver the campaign.

Why it was successful:

  • It is extremely important when brands are collaborating with influencers that they take an audience-first approach. Don’t always be drawn to the big numbers as these can be deceptive!

  • The campaign was focused around bringing more attention to the fashion and accessories categories outlet on the site.

  • With a target audience of females aged 18-35, they required fashion influencers that have the same target audience.

  • This specific campaign was extremely audience-focused.

  • eBay sent through a whole presentation on the audience they were looking to target. Instead of just looking at the number of followers, they considered both the audience and engagement.

  • From having great insight into both Em and Syd & Ell’s audience, the team here at Influencer Matchmaker knew straight away that they would be a perfect match for this campaign.

Are you interested in working on a brand collaboration to grow brand awareness or promote a product? Simply contact the Influencer team on 02039 580427 or email contact@influencermatchmaker.co.uk for more information.