Want to skip the waitlist? 🤫
Book a 15-minute demo with the founders and get access immediately.
April 4, 2024

Why Unexpected Marketing Works

In the ever-evolving landscape of marketing, we've witnessed a surge of unique and unexpected brand collaborations that challenge conventional norms. From Fenty Beauty's "Ketchup or Makeup?" campaign, where customers could receive either a packet of vibrant red lip gloss or a sachet of ketchup, to the limited-edition, sold-out coffin-shaped beauty kit born from the collaboration between E.L.F. BEAUTY and Liquid Death, these seemingly random partnerships have captivated consumers with their audacious creativity.

While these unconventional collaborations may initially appear counterintuitive, some have proven to be bizarrely brilliant, capturing the imagination and wallets of consumers.

The success of these unexpected partnerships can be attributed to a few key principles:

1. Authentic Brand Alignment Is Everything

For brand collaborations to truly resonate, authenticity and genuine brand alignment are paramount. Both parties must find common ground in their brand values and allow their unique personalities to shine through organically. An elegant perfume brand and an edgy streetwear label could align on their shared appreciation for artistic expression. However, straying too far from their roots solely to chase a fleeting trend could quickly erode consumer trust. Staying true to themselves and celebrating their shared ethos is the key to creating authentic collaborations that deeply resonate with audiences. Prioritize genuine brand alignment above all else.

2. Expanding Audience Reach and Cross-Promotion

Companies can reach previously untapped customer territories by partnering with brands from different industries or niches. Cross-promotion becomes crucial in making the most of this audience swap. Brands will go all-out, showcasing golf polos at skate competitions or including gaming system coupons with healthy meal offerings – a blitz to convert these newly discovered segments.

Ex. The partnership between Uber and Spotify, allowing riders to seamlessly connect their Spotify accounts and enjoy personalized music during their rides, exemplifies an unexpected yet well-aligned collaboration that enhanced the user experience while driving user acquisition and engagement for both brands.

3. Building Brand Equity and Generating Buzz

Unexpected collaborations have an innate ability to generate excitement and buzz among consumers. Whether it's a surprising product launch, a quirky marketing campaign, or an offbeat event, these partnerships capture people's imaginations and spark conversations. By associating themselves with brands from different industries or backgrounds, companies can enhance their own reputation, credibility, and brand equity. The resulting buzz generates media coverage, social media engagement, and word-of-mouth recommendations, amplifying the reach and impact of the collaboration for all brands involved.

IKEA x Virgil Abloh

Embracing unconventional partnerships and unexpected collaborations can be a potent strategy for brands seeking to captivate audiences, expand their reach, and fortify their brand equity. By prioritizing authentic brand alignment, leveraging cross-promotion opportunities, and harnessing the power of buzz, these audacious collaborations have the potential to not only defy expectations but also redefine the boundaries of marketing success.