When actor Clint Eastwood referred to marriages being made in heaven and added, “….but so are thunder and lightning” he certainly wasn’t referring to partnerships between brands. Some, like Doritos and Taco Bell or GoPro and Red Bull have leveraged brand marriages to great success for years. But as Eastwood might say, there’s now a new sheriff in town.
The new sheriffs are brands that have some marketers scratching their heads. Earlier collaborative efforts made sense. Brands shared much of the same target audiences and were compatible with each other, though probably not in direct competition. More recently, some brands have forged a new path down the aisle in brand marriages that could greatly extend their reach. The pandemic was cited as the trigger for starting this and may give other marketers reason to consider the same.
Unusual Business Bedfellows
Tripadvisor, for example, recently teamed up with Lysol. The global travel agency’s reasoning was that travel will likely be opening up soon as more people are vaccinated and travel restrictions eased or lifted. But as an earlier article mentioned, many consumers are expected to be cautious even if officials declare that it’s okay to travel and gather. A survey this year by Tripadvisor reinforced this cautiousness and found that good sanitation will be important to 64% of travelers in deciding where they plan to stay.
For its part, Tripadvisor began promoting five different Lysol kits in the U.S. this April. The same promotion will be expanded globally over the next few months. Both brands are also offering free scientific and evidence-based information on their websites to hoteliers and restaurateurs on best practice sanitation tips and measures.
Another less than likely marriage happened between Tinder, a mobile dating app, and Lyft. Tinder users are now greeted with a message suggesting the gift of a Lyft ride to one’s date directly from the app. The thinking of both brands is that people are getting more and more anxious to resume socializing. The timing may be ideal. Tinder reported that “go on a date” in user bios hit an all-time high in February while Lyft recently experienced its highest weekly ridership since the pandemic began in March 2020.
International auto racing brand Formula One (F1) announced a marriage with Zoom this March. This collaboration is more than simply televising race cars zipping around a course on what had solely been a video conferencing platform. The races will be seen on Zoom’s newly-created Virtual Paddock Club. Here, guests will not only be able to attend onsite events and get updates from former F1 drivers but also make new potential business acquaintances.
The rationale behind the club was based on earlier research. That information showed that more than half (53%) F1 fans hold some form of senior management positions where they work. That, coupled with the knowledge that a majority of their target audience was already comfortable with Zoom, made for an easy and quick courtship.
Brands Take Note
These three success stories reveal that innovation and collaboration between brands on matters of mutual interest or concern can open new doorways or paths down the road. This can be ever so important as consumers attempt to begin resuming their lives in the new normal.
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