Historically brands looking to grow their follower base have focused on partnerships with influencers and celebrities. However up-coming, nimble social brands are increasingly recognising the potential of cross-category partnerships with complimentary brands.
Cross category brand partnerships are often simple to orchestrate and mutually beneficial – so why don’t they happen more often? Everyday we see countless missed opportunities for non-competing, complimentary brands to be working together on social.
Our Newsfeeds show that even in a fairly advanced social category like hair care, brands were largely only mentioning partnering salons, hair magazines & retailers or events like @coachella. There was limited cross-category partnership activity, despite the fact that visually there appears to be ample opportunities to work with make-up, nail, and jewellery brands.
Looking at cross category partnerships reveals that it is often the newer, nimble and disruptive brands that are effectively using this strategy. This highly ‘social’ approach to social media enables them to reach new followers in different categories, and helps form positive-relationships with other, non-competing brands with similar goals.
We know that nimble insider brands are able to disrupt the dominance of big brands from an engagement perspective (see our recent blog post) – and it is now apparent that they are incorporating this disruptive approach in to their partnership strategies too! It will be interesting to see whether the big brands start to play on mutually beneficial cross-category partnerships in response, or whether they continue to pay large fees to a hand-full of powerful category influencers.