Don’t Discount Collabs this Holiday!
Are you planning to make the most of the Black Friday buying frenzy? Keep in mind that Thanksgiving leftovers aren’t the only thing your customers are stuffed with: many have been marinating in marketing messaging since early November. You'll also have to break through the Amazon noise, which is no mean feat: Black Friday is so profitable for the internet shopping giant that it literally engineered Prime Day to incite the same behavior in the middle of the summer.
No matter how or where you sell, it’s essential to have your Black Friday strategy in place well ahead of time. But if your strategy is “discount it, and they will come," your turkey is cooked. To really capture your customers’ attention and imagination, consider a collab (come on, you knew we’d get there).
Social media influencer campaigns are one way to make it happen: 71% of consumers are more likely to be persuaded by positive reviews on social media. You can also leverage influencer videos to make it easier for customers to see the “how-to” behind your product. If you’re collab-ing on Insta, you can shorten the buying journey for your shared audience to a single upward swipe.
A brand collaboration enjoys the same benefits, as many companies have begun to build distinct online personalities that can often drive the same behavior as human influencers.
Here are five Black Friday brand partnerships that went beyond the discount and left us hungry for seconds.
GOAT x Nike x Travis Scott
Back in 2018, sneaker and luxury apparel marketplace GOAT partnered with rapper and influencer Travis Scott to offer their target audience a unique prize: a bundle of Scott’s Air Force 1 “Sail” and Air Jordan 4 “Cactus Jack” shoes.
Although the sneakers, created through a recent Scott collab with Nike, were among 2018’s most desirable shoe drops, GOAT’s primary motive wasn’t sales: it was getting new users into its app. GOAT rewarded people who downloaded or updated the app with free entries into the shoe bundle drawing, betting that getting people to install the app would make it easier to nudge them toward conversion over time.
This imaginative way to engage with customers paid off big: today, the GOAT marketplace is one of the best-known and most-trusted places for sneakerheads to expand their collection.
KITH x nonnative (x adidas, kinda)
Although this Black Friday collab had a traditional sales focus, it’s an important reminder that even luxury and boutique brands can benefit from Black Friday buying patterns.
For Black Friday 2017, Ronnie Fieg’s KITH brand partnered with Japanese brand nonnative in a relationship based on mutual admiration and a relentless focus on quality.
The two brands re-imagined nonnative’s iconic work-and-military-wear style through the KITH design lens. Fieg also leveraged his existing relationship with adidas into a partnership with brands within this collab, bringing two of the shoewear brand’s models in on the Black Friday collab energy.
Gilette x HYPEBEAST
The great thing about a gift set is that you can gift it to yourself, and no one will be the wiser.
Personal care and grooming brand Gilette cashed in on that dynamic by re-releasing their limited edition disposable razor collab with HYPEBEAST from earlier in 2021 as a Black Friday gift set that generously included six extra blade refills.
Creating a branded bundle that allows customers to gift themselves or others is an excellent Black Friday collaboration strategy.
Ronnie Fieg x New Balance
Ronnie Fieg’s KITH brand is no stranger to collaboration branding, so we’re happy to lavish the designer with a second spot on our list. In 2015, the avid sneaker fan wrangled a Black Friday collab with New Balance, one of the most trusted brands in fitness footwear.
New Balance also enjoys massive brand reach, with its products occupying a unique intersection between quality and affordability. Leveraging this special Black Friday shoe release put Fieg’s name in front of a broader audience, helping grow his brand’s recognition.
TCL Electronics x Shyla Heal
This exciting collab between consumer electronics brand TCL Electronics and Australian pro basketball player and influencer Shyla Heal isn’t a Black Friday brand partnership in the traditional sense: it was announced in October 2022 and isn’t directly focused on selling products.
Instead, this partnership aims to build a platform where women can “inspire and encourage [other] women to redefine greatness.” This admirable goal will help the brand gain positive exposure ahead of the holiday messaging rush, which translates into Black Friday sales - where 28% of purchases made are (you guessed it) consumer electronics.
While planning your Black Friday strategy, keep these co-branding examples in mind. Customers expect specials on Black Friday, so discounts are just gravy: make sure you're serving up something fresh and memorable with thoughtful collaboration.