Brand collaborations are not a new thing. Even if it seems like there are an extraordinary number of brand collaborations this year, companies have been teaming up for decades, across several consumer-driven industries.
But this year, a lot of people are talking about the two collaborations in particular that have taken the world by storm: FENDACE and the Adidas x Gucci partnership.
If we take a step back, we’ve seen many companies join forces: Uber & Spotify, Louis Vuitton & Supreme, Valentino & Levi's, and The North Face x Gucci, just to name a few.
So what makes FENDACE any different? Donatella Versace argues that it’s not really a collaboration, but rather more of a house swap. “We worked independently,” she told Vogue.*
Donatella Versace and Kim Jones created two collections — one line of Fendi designed by Versace and another of Versace designed by Fendi (Jones) — both inspired by the cultural relevance of each brand.
Jones, a streetwear and subculture style guru, affixed his mark on FENDACE’s Versace by Fendi collection, where the letter V and Fendi’s classic double F’s are meant to stand for Virtuosity, Fun, and Freedom, respectively. On the other side of the partnership, we find Donatella Versace seeking inspiration outside the typical surroundings of the fashion house, instead looking to other brands for creative stimuli.
In the case of Adidas x Gucci, the goal of the collaboration is to explore the universe of urban wear. Gucci’s designs add a vintage leaning gait to the collaboration by proposing silhouettes, colors, and graphics reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s. The designs are sporty and retro, an undeniable combination of both Adidas and Gucci. Unlike FENDACE, Adidas x Gucci is a true collaboration, signaled by several versions of the brands’ logos combined: Adidas’s stripes and trefoil and Gucci’s colorful monogram, interacting with one another and emblazoned on shoes, pants, jackets, and luggage.
But the real question is: why do brand collaborations matter? How do they help brands to capture the desire of consumers?
Sharing Skills and Knowledge
A collaboration between two established brands creates an experiment where each participant’s skills, interests, and experiences are blended, combining to create a big and ambitious project. Creativity, team building, intertwining visions and hard skills can all be gained when two brands come together.
Increasing their market share
Collaboration means creating new products or services that meet the needs and requirements of existing as well as new customers. When a collaboration between brands happens, the power of the respective brands increases, and they, therefore, assume a greater competitive advantage than brands that continue to walk alone. While of course it's beneficial for a smaller brand to partner with a more established company, big companies can also gain the favor of a particular community by collaborating with a smaller brand that already holds strong interest/identification from a specific community.
There is no business without profit. The goal is to increase the profits of both brands by diversifying in terms of products offered. When launching a product collaboration between two luxury brands, the price range can vary greatly. Uniqueness and rarity of the product, in addition to the status symbol carried by luxury brands, lead to higher price points resulting in increased earnings.
Increased reach and awareness.
Fans of a brand participating in a collaboration are offered a product that not only mirrors the brand to which they are loyal, but also a second brand they might not be as familiar with. This second brand thus has the advantage of reaching new customers. With two brands merging through a single product, both reach a greater audience, increasing a brand’s market share and profits by association, right down to word-of-mouth advertising.
Do brand collaborations matter? Yes. Especially when collaborations are part of a greater branding strategy. At Octonano we believe in merging visions and ideas. Our clients and potential clients can take advantage of collaborations when working together with us!