As we to prepare for a future beyond the pandemic, we’re continuing to study how brands are creating new avenues of growth. Below, we take a look at companies leveraging strategic partnerships in order to stay relevant and to find new ways into inundated markets.
Future-proofing growth with an in-store focus:
After a year of astronomical growth, Target is continuing to transform their in-store shopping experience in order to stay relevant through two upcoming partnerships with other retail winners: beauty retailer Ulta and tech giant Apple. As Target bets on continued traffic to its stores, it’s linking arms and lending space to other shopper experience-centered brands.
“In partnership with Ulta Beauty, a company that shares our deep guest focus, we are able to expand our growing beauty business with new, exciting brands, an immersive experience, and loyalty benefits to transform how our guests shop for all their beauty needs.” – Brian Cornell, Chairman & CEO, Target
“Apple products are popular with Target’s guests, and this new, dedicated shopping experience offers enhanced service and expanded offerings, building on our strength as a go-to destination for electronics,” Christina Hennington, Executive Vice President and Chief Growth Officer, Target
Through the Ulta partnership, Target will suddenly have access to the 25,000 products Ulta carries, and Ulta will have an opportunity to grow their omnichannel strategy, while the mini Apple stores will provide shoppers with the product expertise and browsing experience they are familiar with in the larger stores.
Food & Beverage alliances:
With an interesting start to the new year via the “Wow, no cow” Super bowl ad, that caused quite a stir in conversation, Oatly also announced its presence in Starbucks cafes across the country starting this month. As the golden child of oat milk brands, known for its creamy texture and ability to froth well for cafe drinks, the partnership with Starbucks is poised to provide a new area of growth for the company– and a way to win over new consumers to the brand as they get a “trial” of the product before committing to buying a carton of it.
Earlier in the year, PepsiCo and Beyond Meat announced plans for a partnership to create plant-based snacks and drinks, as a sustainability focus is still top-of-mind to consumers:
“Plant-based proteins represent an exciting growth opportunity for us, a new frontier in our efforts to build more sustainable food system,” -Ram Krishnan, PepsiCo’s global chief commercial officer
Other companies in food and beverage are jumping over to entirely different industries, with Chipotle announcing a partnership with E.L.F. Cosmetics to launch a Chipotle inspired make-up palette, tapping into the brand’s strong presence in pop culture, and expanding into an entirely new category of growth for the restaurant chain, all while catering to a younger generation of consumers.
Finally, some retailers are matching up with organizations that help to emphasize high order benefits. This was the idea behind the pairing of grocery chain Whole foods and the meditation app, Headspace. The two brands are releasing a series of videos on IGTV to promote mindful eating, shopping, and cooking– a campaign that comes at a time when customers are looking for brands to provide more than just a product during this time of uncertainty.
The bottom line:
In order to stay relevant, brands should be thinking about courageous new ways into markets that continue to be filled to the brim with choice to consumers. These brands show that remaining agile in their approaches to growth and leveraging strategic partnerships is one way to create new revenue streams as companies looking ahead to an uncertain future.
How is your branding thinking about showing up in new ways through strategic partnerships and beyond? What pivots are you making to stay relevant in uncertain environments? At The Garage Group, we equip corporates with the agile mindset and approach to de-risk ideas and build innovation pipelines to grow amidst uncertainty. Drop us a line>>>