Using brand collaborations to give your hospitality business a boost

Advertising used to be focused on a simple, self-promoting message but the current saturation in the market means hospitality venues need to get more creative when promoting their offering.

With high quality content the key to organic reach and consumer engagement, creating content that stands out from the competitive noise is essential.

A great way to give your content a boost is to collaborate with other businesses.

Collaborations should aim to create content that enhances and strengthens both brand images, while growing the potential for organic reach.

Stackla’s recent study showed that genuine user-generated-content (e.g content posted by your customers) is much more successful than content created by brands themselves and unfortunately, over 70 percent of brand-created-content is easily recognised as such by consumers.

Luckily, it’s not all bad news.

Brand collaborations have proven incredibly successful in creating content-cut-through in the competitive hospitality industry.

There’s only a few simple guidelines to follow which will make sure your collaboration has the best chance of success.

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Audience targeting


It’s essential to decide on an audience you wish to target with your collaboration before you think about teaming up with another brand.

It may be one you are already engaging with, or an entirely new audience you’ve not yet tapped into.

Either way, the audience must be appropriate to your offering.

To work out your offering, try to think of the most positive aspect of your business, whether that’s your location, your menu, or the produce you use, and then consider the type of person who’d best appreciate these aspects of your business.

A great way to further understand your target consumer is to write a profile of that person.

What age are they, where do they live, what is their income, how often do they dine out, etc.

Once you have a clear image of your target consumer, it’s essential your potential collaborator can also demonstrate that they are relevant to that group.

READ: How to think like your customer


Relevance


Many collaborations fail because the brands haven’t properly considered the relevance of the partnership to their target demographic.

Ask yourself, what do both brands want to communicate?  Does the partnership communicate this message without the need to explain it?  Is the message clear or confused?

A good example of relevant content can be seen in the Qantas/Rockpool collaboration.

Both brands were keen to impress the ‘business class’ demographic. Qantas wanted to offer something to combat the ‘airline food’ stigma and providing a ‘fine dining’ experience backed by a high-end chef was a great way of doing that.

Neil Perry wanted to promote the Rockpool brand to the high-net-worth consumer and no doubt encourage high-spend reservations.

This collaboration gained a lot of traction with consumers as it offered something they wanted, without strictly trying to ‘sell’ to them.

Passengers were offered a higher quality meal, promoting Qantas’ unique service, and Neil Perry and the Rockpool brand were now seen in every business class flight.

This, of course, is a ‘top tier’ example and engaging a celebrity chef is not possible for most brands.

But it does highlight the synergy that is required between two brands who choose to collaborate – be that a café and a coffee supplier, a restaurant and a charity or a hotel and a tour operator.

The rules always remain the same.

After the collaboration is decided upon, it is important to understand the timeline, and how to measure the success of the campaign.


KPIs and measurement


Any campaign conducted within a business should be measured and reported.  This allows for the results to be audited and ongoing optimisation for future campaigns.

Make sure a collaboration charter is constructed and agreed upon by both parties before commencement.

Your charter should include topics such as the purpose of the collaboration, the leadership and decision-making process, the timeline for delivery of items needed, company values and ethics as well as how the collaboration’s success will be measured.

For example, are you looking for video views, link clicks, newsletter sign ups or simply a positive sentiment amongst your consumer?

Deciding and agreeing on this information up front ensures that both parties are aware of each other’s expectations and gives the collaboration the highest chance of success.

With collaborations on the rise, it is important to remember that just because everyone is doing them, it doesn’t mean that everyone is doing them well.

Plan your collaboration right, though, and you’ll be connecting with new customers in no time.