EP73 –  The Secrets to Effective Brand Collaborations with Jess Rhufus


EP73 –  The Secrets to Effective Brand Collaborations with Jess Rhufus

Sustainable Ecommerce Episode 73

Back in the first show of the year, I proposed the brand collaborations were going to be one of the most important marketing strategies for 2023, so I though it was well and truly time we explored what that actually means, and how to do it effectively.

Over the years I’ve had many conversations with brand owners about doing brand collaborations. Some, like Maxim Gellman we heard from in last week’s show, viewed them as pivotal to their success, but most have expressed at best a mediocre result, often describing them as a complete waste of time. 

So to explore this topic and give you the critical understanding and insights you need to turn your collaborations from Meh to Marvellous, I asked the wonderful Jess Rhufus, founder of Collabosaurus to join us today.  If you’re not familiar with it already, Collabosaurus is one of the world’s leading collaborations platforms, kind of like match-making for brands.  

With experience from seeing just about every type of collaboration across the 10,000+ brands on her platform, as well as seeing how the strategy has evolved over the past decade, Jess brings some refreshing clarity to this topic.

Get ready to take notes as you listen to today’s show, because the actionable tips come thick and fast!


Top Takeouts

  1. First of all, before you even start looking for potential partners, take some time to be really clear on your goals from a collaboration.  That might seem completely obvious, but it can all too easily get overlooked in the excitement of finding someone you really want to work with – and when all is said and done leave you feeling deflated instead of elated about the results. Whether you’re going for awareness, email subscribers or sales determines both the collaboration strategy as well as the attributes of the partner you want to look for.
  2. So, when it comes to partners, it’s so tempting to think that netting that big fish brand is all you need for a roaring success. Sure miracles do happen, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Jess’ advice was to aim for 6 collaborations for year, of which one of them might be a big fish, and even so, those are trophy collabs – amazing for credibility and PR, but statistically they are much less likely to deliver high value audience or sales than more collegiate opportunities.  The number one rule – pick a partner based on how the partnership adds value to your combined customers.  If the customers win from the collab – both brands will also win. If the collab doesn’t make sense to the customers, you’re really shooting into the breeze.
  3. Lastly, I loved what Jess had to say about how to woo a potential brand partner.  Most brand founders think its all about audience size. Nope, according to Jess, that’s basically irrelevant.  What do you bring to the table in terms of product, service, skills and time?  How engaged is your audience, and do you have the skills available to created great content?  All of these things are of value.  Bigger brands in particular are audience rich and time poor, so don’t sell yourself short on the value you can bring to the relationship just because you don’t have a massive following.

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