Brand collaborations have always been a popular marketing tactic, especially in the beverage industry. Whether it’s a brand partnering with a celebrity, a brand partnering with a movie on a new release, or two brands from the food and beverage industry collaborating together to offer consumers new taste profiles, these collaborations are a powerful way for brands to generate buzz and sales.
Seeking Star Power
The most impactful brand collaborations are the ones that feel authentic. The two brands must fit – they must share values, mission and goals – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have to have the same audience. One key benefit of a brand collaboration is that both brands get to expand their audiences and reach new consumers.
Brand collaborations with celebrities are a tactic often used by brands to generate news around a new product and tap into a larger audience. Take for example Coca Cola’s recent collaboration with singer Rosalia to release a limited edition flavor called “Move.” Collaborations such as these give brands an opportunity to reach a new audience, while giving the celebrity a chance to promote something that aligns with their values and image. These types of collaborations also provide overwhelmed consumers with a trusted link to a product.
Some brands take their celebrity partnerships beyond surface-level marketing collaborations – such as DAH! – an Indian inspired yogurt smoothie brand, who this year partnered with author, TV host and food expert Padma Lakshmi. Padma’s role as DAH! Goes far beyond brand spokesperson, with the brand stating on their website that Padma has joined the company as a board advisor and brand partner. According to DAH!, “Padma will help shape the company’s overall direction and lend her expertise in crafting and testing new products and flavors.”
Tapping into Cultural Moments
Another popular collaboration tactic used by brands is the release of a product line that coincides with the release of a new movie, music album or a major national or international event.
A brand that’s done this type of collaboration recently is Athletic Brewing. They relaunched their Trailblazer non-alcoholic beer last month in partnership with the nonprofit Ladies Who Launch in celebration of women’s history month. Athletic Brewing donated 100% of the profits from the Trailblazer brew in March to Ladies Who Launch, whose mission is to help women and non-binary small business owners and entrepreneurs sustain and grow their own businesses.
Another example of two brands capitalizing on an international event is the Pepsi x Peeps collaboration that launched earlier this year ahead of the Easter holiday. These two brands collaborated to create a limited-release marshmallow flavored soda in bright yellow packaging. The brands also used Snapchat to engage consumers in a virtual reality scavenger hunt, where they could win Pepsi x Peeps merchandise as prizes.
According to PEEPS Brand Manager Caitlin Servian, “The PEEPS brand is always looking for new and exciting ways to bring our delicious Marshmallow flavor to fans, and the partnership with Pepsi is truly a groundbreaking way for them to express their ‘PEEPSONALITY.’”
Two Brands are Better Than One
Probably the most common type of brand collaboration is brands collaborating with other brands. We see this in the market all the time – recently with the collaboration between beverage brand Kin Euphorics and Boy Smells candle company. This limited release includes three different drink flavors, each paired with a candle whose smell is designed to complement the taste of the beverage that it is paired with – giving consumers a full sensory experience. This collaboration allowed both brands to reach audiences that they might not typically be able to access.
One beverage brand best known for their fun and creative flavor collaborations is Ghost Energy. This brand has collaborated with nearly every candy brand – from Sour Patch Kids to Swedish Fish – to provide a zero-sugar energy drink that provides consumers with the candy flavors that they love.
Brand collaborations can help brands tap into new audiences, generate excitement about a new product or limited edition flavor, or even help a brand pivot to a new area of the market. And as the beverage market becomes increasingly competitive, brand collaborations will be an essential marketing tactic to help companies stand out from the competition.