Traditional retail mechanics are fast running out of steam. The once attractive 30% discount has grown to an impossibly sharp 70% price drop in order to appeal to a price sensitive market.

By the time we reach July the situation dropped to unfathomable depths with countless ‘End Of Financial Year Sale’ events making retail even more crowded and chaotic. Every brand, product and service from pretty much every category are spruiking sharp deals.

How can brands possibly cut through this clutter?




Standing out from the crowd is not easy. For a brand to be bold and remarkable takes considerable effort, opportunity and a healthy dollop of good fortune. The ability to be seen, however, can sometimes be achieved via the novelty factor of being presented in a new and unexpected manner.

Sometimes – forging a partnership with another brand can achieve exactly that.

Choosing a suitable partner is however, a precarious undertaking. The mere idea can provoke bouts of cold sweat and anxiety – double the brand objectives, double the marketing manager management, double the involvement of Sales Director oversight – and heavens above, double the legal requirements to navigate. Shudder.

Who in their right mind would consider such an audacious strategy?

Well, those that do, recognise there are inherent benefits to be enjoyed. Benefits as bountiful as:

• Increased brand awareness
• Presence in new markets
• Access to new audiences
• Diversified relevance and appeal
• Evolved brand positioning
• Enhanced brand perception

A pretty impressive array of benefits – certainly worth the additional time and effort required to execute – especially when done in a mutually beneficial manner.

Brands wanting to capitalise on this tactic and wish to buddy up and forge powerful partnerships need to first take stock of how complementary each brand is to the other.

A useful checklist to consider would be something along these lines.

1. How closely are your marketing ambitions aligned?
2. How closely are your customers aligned?
3. Does your brand positioning fit with each other?
4. Do both brands share non conflicting values?
5. Do both brands offer comparable scale? Is the partnership balanced?

If the answer is mostly ‘yes’ then chances are the partnership will thrive. The result? Bold, confident, complementary brands that never blend in.



An example that illustrates this benefit beautifully would be the recent campaign created for Subaru that partnered with NBC Universals “The Secret Life of Pets 2” movie release.

The idea here was to make Subaru stand out from this crowd by integrating the hugely popular theatrical family movie “The Secret Life of Pets 2” into a Subaru showroom. The resulting campaign featured the friendly Pet characters from the movie – providing Subaru an instant distinction from the herd of EOFY clutter.

NBC Universal also benefited by extending their awareness in spaces previously unobtainable. Brands can’t buy placement in car showrooms filled with family buyers – unless of course they partner with them. Being a hero character in the full Subaru campaign on TV, online, eDM as well as Radio provided incremental reach and exposure ahead of the theatrical release of the movie.



Whereas the market was saturated with EOFY sale messages – Subaru achieved a stand out result by opting to partner with a brand that represented the same core values allowing them to jointly appeal to Australian families.

Equally, the theatrical market was highly competitive with the release of the new Toy Story.

Such was the need for each to work together in a mutually beneficial way.

Subaru performed exceptionally well holding sales in an automotive market that experienced -8% decline in overall sales.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 blitzed the Box Office grossing $18.6M.

A fantastic occurance of a mutually beneficial brand partnership yielding stand out results for both parties.

David Flanagan, Director of Content & Strategy, P2.

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