Crisis Series - Part 4



In our last article, we looked at new opportunities arising within emerging markets and where to take action should you want to reposition your brand or launch a new startup.

Today we focus on how this repositioning works best when it’s through purposeful collaboration that gives you credibility in a market you are new to.

The need to Reposition

Markets are not static and can shift and change consumer needs and demands. This is quite normal, be it a global pandemic, recession, emergence of new tech or new social issues. We went into this in-depth in our last article. It is normal to reposition your business to a brand new market if the current market has dwindled or no longer exists, in order to stay in business.


Now before you rush into repositioning your brand to a new market, you may want to consider whether you have credibility in that area. You don’t want to be called out as the software tycoon dabbling in vaccines. Credibility matters. So how do you attain credibility in an emerging and promising market?

Collaboration is the answer. Look to collaborate and partner with brands established in the market you wish to enter. You will need to look for experts who share your audience but offer a different service, so they are not a competitor but a complementary collaborator. You can leverage their reputation in that industry and vice versa. This will help you reach a new or under-served market. New audiences means new followers, more customers and therefore more money. It’s a great way to recession-proof your business.

Are there pitfalls? Yes. Collaborating can bring huge success but if the partnership is not chosen wisely it can damage your brand.

For example, if a friend of mine recommends a hairdryer that is not very good, and they knew it was not very good, it will ruin my opinion of them and damage the relationship. I won’t trust their judgment and will not go to them for any further product recommendations. The same is true with brands collaborations.

So how do you collaborate correctly?

Brand Conscious Collaborations

This is where branding plays an influential role. The purpose and values that your brand is built upon helps you make the right decisions when selecting a collaborative partner. And creates a sustainable relationship going forward.

You want to make sure you collaborate with people who align with your brand. They have a similar position in the market as you so that they too resonate with your customers. Shared brand qualities, purpose and values, personality and beliefs are where you need to look for the overlap.

Another brand’s reputation can strengthen what you do, but they will only align with you if you are an equal. Your brand should be built in a robust way so that other credible brands want to share your journey with you. They will want to bring you into new markets and vice versa which will be mutually beneficial. You can both grow your brands respectively and collectively whilst establishing a relationship that can be repeatedly monetised in the future.

Here are three fantastically lucrative examples of brands collaborating with one another to reach different audiences.

1. Fitness Coach Joe Wicks & Fresh Home Delivered Recipe Box Gousto

Joe’s is known for his short intense High-Intensity Interval Training workouts. He started off by posting 15-second recipe videos on social media, Wicks grew his brand to become one of the most followed fitness accounts on Instagram and YouTube.

They both pride themselves on being healthy and have created healthy meals for their respective audiences by teaming up.

Their Instagram collaboration can be seen here.

2. The Body Shop & Social Media Influencers

“We have very strict criteria when it comes to working with influencers to promote our brands or social causes. We always say it’s not just about another pretty face it’s about finding someone who stands for something.

We undertake a lot of due diligence on potential influencers. We’ll always check they haven’t worn fur in the past, for example. That’s a huge thing. We also want to know whether they’re vegetarian or vegan. If they’re not that’s okay as long as they have a strong ethical reputation and they’re completely legitimate. We take influencer marketing very seriously. We’re so discerning about who we work with.

…Dare to Mask program which was all about promoting our face masks, we used a lot of vegan influencers.”


One of which was Soph from Skinny Dip London

Their Instagram collaboration can be seen here.

By building an association with The Body Shop Soph has elevated the credibility of her brand and likewise, The Body Shop has reached a new market.

Equally for their Forever Against Animal Testing campaign they collaborated with Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones. When she shared a post on her Instagram account using the hashtag #foreveragainstanimaltesting, it generated 479,000 likes.

Similarly, Ariel Winter from US sitcom, Modern Family, used the hashtag when she posted an image for their cause. Ariel’s photo prompted 240,000 likes along with thousands of positive comments.

3. The Bygglek by LEGO & IKEA

Their collaboration on a creative solution to messy play can be seen here.

LEGO invited IKEA to help them with their problem of children playing with LEGO in their homes but equally leaving a mess for the grownups. They jointly created Bygglek a ‘LEGO tidy’ box which didn’t hinder the imagination of the children but was also easy to pack away.

The collaboration worked so well because they were aligned on the same values

LEGO: “We soon realised that IKEA would be the perfect partner”
IKEA: “Of course we wanted to play. It was a yes from the beginning. It‘s the perfect match because we work with small space living at home and Lego is all about play.”

LEGO’s brand purpose, ‘Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow’ fit within IKEA’s brand purpose ‘To create a better everyday life for the many people’ and so the partnership made sense.

Learning from Each Others Expertise
As LEGO and IKEA have different knowledge bases, they both brought their different perspectives to solve the conflict between how children and adults look at play; mess & imagination, to cater to both audiences.

The challenge of the task made the partnership more valuable. If LEGO had worked independent of home living design expertise, they may have created a solution not catering to homes and adult needs correctly.

“…having people from IKEA with fresh eyes meant we were working together, asking all the stupid questions…It meant we were able to achieve something we haven’t done before”

You can hear more about the collaboration in the video below.


A crisis creates a chain reaction, it changes consumers behaviour because their needs have changed, this impacts and changes the market as a whole creates the need for businesses to reposition. There are many new emerging markets and opportunities to reposition into.

To successfully reposition, in preparation for the recession is to adopt a purpose-driven collaboration approach. It won’t be a short-lived project, but sow the seeds for long term returns both financially and by solidifying your brand’s reputation and cause. It will be seen as authentic as it aligns with both of your values and beliefs and not a short term superficial reposition.

If you need help repositioning your business to a new market with the perfect collaborator based on your core values and brand purpose book a strategy session today. Brand strategy will help you figure out your brand purpose, values and so much more.

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