Collaborative Marketing and how it recently got all 'Friendly'

Collaborative marketing has long been the best kept secret of start-up and entrepreneurial brands – as it is a super way to reach new customers when budgets are tight (or none existent!). But we are increasingly seeing big brands look at how to use the power of the sharing economy to make their marketing budgets stretch too, and recently Warner Brothers did a great job with CafePod.
Collaborative Marketing is not another marketing channel or tactic. It is an approach. A way of thinking about all your marketing activities throughout the year to see if you can reach new customers by doing an activity with a partner brand, or make an existing activity have more reach by involving another brand. Brands are running events together, running special offers and competitions for each other in order to reach each others’ customers via newsletters and social media, they are creating products together, and even doing sales referrals. In each case, they work collaboratively with the marketing they’re planning and seek out what they can offer and what they want in return so that there is mutual gain, and mutual gain is exactly what Warner Brothers and CafePod got.
Warner Brothers were due to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the beloved TV series Friends first hitting our screens and they wanted the big 2-0 to go with a bang, with lots of activity to celebrate the birthday and lots of Friends box-sets sold as a result. Not sold with the same old marketing approaches available they got all collaborative and approached the entrepreneurial team at British coffee capsules brand CaféPod (www.cafepod.com) to partner up with.
CaféPod creates high quality Nespresso-compatible capsules using responsibly sourced coffee which perfectly recreates coffee shop quality coffee, and since Friends has been synonymous with coffee shop Central Perk since it first landed in 1994 it seems like the perfect campaign hook-up.
Together CaféPod and Warner Brothers got the creative juices flowing and developed a campaign that focused around the legendary orange sofa from Central Perk, which truly brought coffee culture to the UK. The campaign included,
–      a UK tour of the iconic Central Perk sofa where passersby, in shopping centers like Westfield and at festivals like Leeds and Edinburgh Fringe, could enjoy a cup of CaféPod coffee and snap a selfie on the sofa;
–      a social media campaign to follow the tour so that fans could do a shout out on the sofa via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #Friends20th;
–      an amazing on-pack promotion for the CaféPod range so that it really stands out in store. It has the New York skyline adorning all five varieties and announces the chance to win a fantastic trip to the home city of Friends, New York – that not only includes flights and accommodation but also comprises of a guided tour of Friends’ filming locations;
–      a Special Edition 20th Anniversary Friends box set released by Warner Brothers for the campaign that includes 400,000 inserts in the DVD boxes that share the competition and offer a special 50p off packs of any CaféPod blend from Tesco, Waitrose or Whole Foods until the 31st March 2015.
This is such a superb example of a collaborative marketing campaign where every marketing channels available to the team has been considered and coordinated to create lots of buzz around this key anniversary. Both brands are using their assets to make the campaign into something much bigger than if they had embarked on it alone and both get to create engagement and reach new customers as a result.
That only leaves us with one question though, are you getting your Collaborative Marketing share on your brand? Get started by joining BrandGathering.com the platform that enables you to find a partner and browse up-coming marketing opportunities.
Take a look at what CaféPod do here www.cafepod.com, get all social with them @cafepodtweets and at www.facebook.com/CafePod and don’t forget to enter the competition – which is running until 31st January 2015 at cafepod.com/friends.