It officially feels like summer, and we at Third Wave Fashion love to take advantage of the warm weather by partnering up with awesome brands and personalities in the industry any chance we get! So, we did just that, and you get to learn from it.
On behalf of BaubleBar and their striking new venue, guests were treated to GODIVA Spirits for some delicious chocolate cocktails, gourmet cupcakes, and plenty of interactive entertainment such as PERCH, a ready-to-print photo booth, and iPad apps that turn your name into monogram accessories, courtesy of Gin Lane Media. (It’s an impressive pop-up; you should go check it out if you have a chance.)
As the crowd settled in our founder Liza Kindred prepared our panel for what we were sure was going to be a night of insight, collaboration, and data. (And of course, insanely cute accessories–check out the event pics here.)
First thing’s first, Liza said as she kicked things off, “Keep it smart!”
// Julia Straus, Baublebar
// Liz Keen, DETAILS
// Ashlene Nand, Lacquerous / GAP / MTV / Disney
// Meghan Cross, StyleCaster
Each panelist brought some serious knowledge of how to partner with brands from all industries, as well as insight into executing seamless online and offline collaborative experiences without ignoring real data and conversion. One thing was clear throughout the night: Customers are always kept front and center.
BaubleBar expressed that not all partnerships need to be predictable, but it must be one that resonates with their base. “Whatever brand we partner with has to be respectful of Baublebar’s brand”, said Julia.
That’s Liz Keen from Details Magazine.
DETAILS shared that every business move it makes is about service. DETAILS’ audience is one that advertisers often want to be positioned in front of. There is plenty of opportunity in their young and well-off male base, but men typically tend to adopt technology (in fashion) slower than woman do, according to Liz. So, the magazine aims to expand the knowledge of their clients with an affiliate-style tech program for tastemakers and bloggers that their audience will traditionally care for and therefore want to read about.
StyleCaster believes that co-creating content is key for its brand. Its “Most Stylish” feature is one of their most popular because in it, they celebrate the tastemaker. Also, their Hamptons parties — during which beauty and fashion bloggers are invited to meet by the pool and organically experience products to share feedback with readers — has become an icon in the StyleCaster summer partnerships programs because of its fundamental good-time feeling and its networking playground core.
Ashlene shared that in her experiences working with entertainers and with the entertainment industry in general, those partnerships take on a life of their own, and that while they’re often the most exciting experiences, they’re also the ones that, by nature, brands need the most patience with. She noted that entertainment partnerships are often hard to measure because they can take on the life of a media partnership yet, in the entertainment industry, they’re success is measured in “cultural currency” and audience engagement, less attention is paid to measuring in hard numbers.
That smile is courtesy of Meghan Cross from StyleCaster.
Other golden nuggets to keep in your arsenal as you pursue partnerships this summer are…
- When you’re working with little to no budget: Be sure to leverage what you do have. For Ashlene and her experience at startup Lacquerous that meant press. Lacquerous received a ton of press early on and has helped them grow a waitlist of nearly 5,000. Big brands like Sephora have acknowledged Lacquerous and told them that when it’s ready to partner, they’ll be there. (Lacquerous is a Third Wave Fashion client.)
- When working with bloggers: Make sure the experience (and conversation) is organic. The head of social media at BaubleBar was a blogger; it made sense for their brand to bring her on and they’re thankful they did just that. At DETAILS, bloggers are embraced; they’re shaping their worlds and that has an effect on readership and interests.
- When pitching: Take it step by step and know the brand you’re pitching to. Liza shared that at Third Wave it makes all the difference in the world when a pitch is personalized – research will take you far!
- With everything else: It boils down to brand experience and low-impact on team. One of the things BaubleBar asks itself is: “What can we do that’s going to make this low-impact on our team but not jeopardize our brand?” StyleCaster believes that partnerships are a win when brands are elevated.
It’s a beautiful balancing act, and we hope that this information helps as you plan your next partnership!
Leticia Domenech is a Third Wave Fashion Contributor. She is a freelance writer, journalist, digital content strategist, and lover of business – big and small, profit and non. You can tweet at her here.
Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.
Images via TWF.