Typhoon Hospitality

- July 2023

​The power of co-branding

McDonald's and Travis Scott, Ticketswap and Stëlz, Poké Perfect and Ron Blaauw, Tanqueray and Marley Spoon; these are all examples of successful collaborations that not only improved brand awareness, but also increased sales and booming PR. And it's not just for large companies. It's also for you – with your small neighbourhood café, charming boutique hotel or artisanal gin. A perfect match is walking around somewhere, perhaps closer than you think.

While collaborations between brands or brands and individuals aren’t new, they've really taken off in the last decade. With the rise of social media, news spreads quickly, and hypes are created within a blink of an eye. By co-branding, you’ll reach new audiences and connect with them through your brand. Increasingly, entrepreneurs embrace the power of collaborations and exclusive launches (product drops) for short-lived hypes that benefit everyone.

5 tips for starting a collaboration

Not only is retail doing well on co-branding, but the hospitality industry and related industries are also finding each other or parties outside their own field. Entrepreneurs pull out all the stops to create unique experiences with luxury shops, travel companies, fitness experts and festivals. In other words, they stand out. Curious? Here's how to find your perfect co-brand:

  1. A good neighbour
    Start small or close by. You might want to look down your street or in the neighborhood. Which other businesses are there? Who do you personally find interesting and why? Think about what a co-operation could look like. Visit that one plant or beer shop in your street, or consider your options in the city or region where you're located. A great example comes from Sydney, Australia, where Icebergs Dining Room and Bar and bakery Sonoma found each other in creating a Christmas panettone. Sonoma's executive pastry chef and bakers and Icebergs' head chef and pastry chef worked closely together for nine months to create the ultimate Italian-Australian panettone using indigenous ingredients. It was only sold up to Christmas in a select number of shops and featured on the Icebergs Dining Room and Bar menu.

  2. On the same page
    It's essential to match the right partner when starting a partnership. That both companies share the same norms and core values. It should be interesting for both parties to co-brand. For instance, our clients NENI and Poké Perfect found each other as family-owned multi-branch companies that always strive for the highest standards. We initiated a collaboration out of which The Famous Falafel emerged, a premium poke bowl from Poké Perfect, featuring the famous falafel and hummus from the eastern Mediterranean restaurant NENI. The launch made headlines and is featured regularly on social media.

  3. The target group
    Your co-brand partner should match your target audience's aspirations and desires. This doesn't mean your target groups have to be precisely the same. However, it does mean that they want the same in life and have the same requirements for a brand or company. For example, Kimpton Hotel Vintage Seattle partnered with PacWesty, an RV rental company in the Pacific Northwest. They put together a travel package, the 'van-to-glam Seattle vacation package'. First, travellers could explore the area in one of PacWesty's fully equipped Volkswagen vans before relaxing in the luxury of the Kimpton. The promotional webpage was linked to a blog with road trip tips. Closer to home, Ticketswap's collaboration with Stëlz is a great excample. By taking a festival selfie with Stëlz, people could win 100 euros of Ticketswap credit. The collaboration was preceded by a successful social campaign.

  4. To collaborate
    Collaboration means doing things together. Search for entrepreneurs who can really act as a partner in crime, so you can reach great heights together. Equivalence and commitment from both sides are fundamental. We helped our client Poké Perfect find the right match in culinary entrepreneur and celebrity chef Ron Blaauw. They put their heads together and developed three warm, Indonesian-inspired poke bowls with rendang, tempeh and tempura shrimp. It turned out to be a huge hit. Another success was a co-branding between Tanqueray, Marley Spoon and renowned culinary journalist and reviewer Matt Preston. Together, they created two special dinner boxes that contained everything for a delicious three-course meal, including Tanqueray London Dry Gin cocktails.

  5. Dare to be different
    The most successful collaborations are often those that offer consumers a unique experience. For this, you must dare to step off the beaten track and be different. Doing something that might not be so obvious. Making hummus ice cream, for example, as our clients NENI Amsterdam and Miuz did. Together, the gelateria's ice cream master and the restaurant's chef created a hummus gelato that was available in Miuz's shop and used in a NENI dessert. Despite ice cream and hummus not commonly being mentioned in the same breath, this initiative from Typhoon Hospitality was an enormous success. Risks usually pay off in publicity and reaching new customers or guests. Hotel Hilton London Bankside must have thought the same when they asked design studio Bompas & Parr to furnish a vegan suite. The room was completely vegan-friendly, from the furniture to the curtains and bedding.

Start small, think big

A co-branding or collaboration goes hand in hand with increased brand awareness, cross-selling and PR. Preferably all three, but that's not always the case. So start small and keep it fun for you too. Collaborations increase your creativity and ambitions. Want to go all in right away? Then start collaborating with celebrities. For example, McDonald's launched the Travis Scott Meal together with the musician. The collaboration was so successful that many McDonald's had to deal with product shortages.

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