I recently gave a talk at The Global Restaurant investment forum in Amsterdam on the effectiveness of collaborations for restaurants. Working with businesses that share the values & ambitions of my restaurants has helped me grow their respective brands exponentially, and been a valuable tactic we've been able to deploy time & time again since. In this time, we've worked as effectively with large international brands such as Tesla, as well as we've been able to work with start-ups & new businesses.
1) Be authentic
In the desire to be seen to be working with a "big brand," one can often make the mistake of pushing forward with a collaboration purely for the perceived value of association. Its important to first establish what you both care about, and then make sure your values are aligned. Make clear what your ideal outcome will be & how you'll measure the success of the campaign, thinking first about how to add value to your audience together, and secondly how it will benefit both businesses.
2) Choose wisely
Carefully vet the companies you're looking to work with. How do they communicate? Do your audience share core interests with theirs? Do they have value to offer your community? It's important, particularly for brands that are not yet established, to align themselves with companies who speak their language. Often, you'll find value in working with companies who offer a different product or service to a similar audience, enabling you to share each other's communities, without diluting your own business.
3) Add long-term value
Consider how you might compound the effect of working together so that the effort can be enjoyed for a while after, as opposed to spending hours pouring over a task, only for it to run for 1 day. This could be down to the content you generate that's released in a series, or a video that's repurposed across multiple channels in the run up to a particular day. In a practical sense, more is better - meaning to invest heavily in the relationship by generating a high volume of content that can be used as part of an ongoing narrative.
An example of how we've been able to work effectively with a brand is Pure Clean Earth, a global charity that specialises in beach & city clean-ups. We initially filmed a beach clean-up event and both shared the Vlog, interviews & individual tips videos we pulled from the day, and have since shared smaller portions of the content from this day to support our audiences interest in sustainability. Our community understand & value our relationship, and we regularly share each other's content on an ongoing basis.