It's time to start thinking abut business, and branding, differently.
We're tumultuously finding ourselves in a new era, which began with the invention of the Internet* and is continuing in interesting twists and turns with the scary 'collapse' of the economy. This means that our methods of communicating with audiences and each other, and indeed even how we do business itself, must adapt in order to survive and thrive.
While competition will always exist, we at Capsule are finding it increasingly important for brands to build collaborative relationships with each other. It's vital to think creatively about who else markets to similar audiences as you, and how you can leverage this stake in your success. Those organizations that have similar brand attributes to yours usually form the most harmonious partnerships.
So ask yourself - who else serves our audience? How do they sell themselves, and how can we work together in a mutually beneficial relationship?
Capsule has teamed up with Blue Earth Interactive, a firm of extremely talented web geeks also based in Minneapolis, in order to perform some of the more, well, geeky, aspects of our projects. They do some amazing stuff - in fact, a game of theirs was just featured on WallStreetJournal.com.
Capsule has also joined Magnet 360 which is a collaboration between a number of firms that each see the benefit in sharing our individual expertise with each other, effectively providing both comprehensive and specialized services to our clients.
We're surrounded by many examples of highly successful partnerships. Take Starbucks for instance - providing customers with free co-branded iTunes cards to unlock new songs is a pretty smart idea. Music and coffee seem to come together in a natural way. The Starbucks brand instantly becomes associated itself with the cool attributes of the Apple iTunes brand. Clever!
Want more? Take Target's relationships with hip designers who produce low-cost, limited edition ranges that typically sell out in mere weeks. It began in 2003 with Isaac Mizrahi, and was followed with others such as Proenza Schouler and Richard Chai. Macy's has Martha, H+M had Stella, and Payless had Alice+Olivia.
Who will you team up with?
*Internet: only, like, the greatest invention EVER.