Chrysler’s “Imported From Detroit” used Eminem. Now brother-brand Jeep is co-branding with a rock star, turning their latest ads for the Jeep Wrangler into a promotion for the new Lenny Kravitz album due out in August.
While the creative behind the Jeep/Kravitz campaign isn’t quiet as stirring as the Chrysler ads, it is a perfect match between brand and band.
Lenny is a self-proclaimed Jeep addict, having driven the same Wrangler for 16 years. He believes in the brand. And like Jeep, his music is gritty and uncompromising yet carries a certain sense of refinement.
Opportunities for partnerships like this are everywhere, and they don’t need to involve worldwide brands and big-league rock stars. It could be a simple partnership between an aspiring singer-songwriter and a new neighborhood coffee shop. It could be a taxi company teaming up with a popular nightclub. It could be a local restaurant cooperating with a nearby movie theater.
Watch out though. Martin Lindstrom wrote a great book a few years ago called BRAND Sense in which he claimed that 90% of brand partnerships fail. Why? Over half of them fail for three main reasons:
1. There isn’t equal value for each partner. One partner has more to gain (or lose) than the other, or one partner is putting more on the line than the other.
2. Brand values don’t match. While it is true that more and more women are buying motorbikes, Harley-Davidson should probably avoid doing a partnership with Victoria’s Secret. The brand values don’t match.
3. The strategy is unclear to the customer. The most important person in the partnership is the one with nothing invested in it… the customer. If they don’t get it, the partnership failed.
Explore opportunities to create partnerships that benefit your brand, but keep those three points from Martin Lindstrom in mind.
Barry Silverstein at BrandChannel wrote a solid piece on brand partnerships that you might find useful.
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