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Tiffany Montgomery
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Tips on collaborations from Schillereff, Gehris, more

By Tiffany Montgomery
December 08, 2010 6:00 AM

I’m catching up this week on some of the useful details from the panels at the Industry Boot Camp.

 

Click here to read a previous story about tips for sales reps from the Boot Camp.

 

Collaborations

Brand representatives shared some lessons they have learned from working on collaborative products with other companies.

 

Here is a short summary of some of the information shared.

 

Johnny Schillereff of Element spoke about Element’s successful collaboration with Toms that took place in 2008/09.

 

The collaboration included co-branded Toms shoes and Element skateboards, and used the “one-for-one” concept.

 

Toms ElementToms and Element ended up giving away 20,000 pairs of shoes in South Africa, where Element also supports a skate camp. They also gave away skateboards to kids who skate at the camp.

 

While the Toms/Element collaboration turned out great, Johnny advised brands to be very, very careful about collaborations.

 

He recommended brands not do a lot of them because they can be a distraction, one brand can be trying to ride on another’s coattails, collaborations can dilute a strong brand and can put a brand identity at risk.

 

Collaborations can tribute to your brand equity or take away from it, he said. “There’s nothing in the middle.”

 

Here are some of Johnny’s tips:

 

1. It’s all about the relationship. You need to work together so it stays strong during the process

 

2. Figure out the all the logistics up front.

 

3. Know when to stop.

 

4. Create a way to measure results.

 

5. Define the distribution channels.

 

6. Keep minimums low – you want to feel like the collaboration was a success.

 

7. Make the branding on the product clear.

 

8. Keep communication open – you cannot communicate enough.

 

9. If it feels right, you should do it.

 

See Page 2 for tips from Vestal, Reef and DC Shoes

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