Collaborating with other brands can be a great way to achieve pop-up shop success. It can help you reach new audiences and pull off campaigns that may not have been possible on your own.

There’s no arguing that brand collaborations can help retailers grow, but how do you choose the right partner? It comes down to setting goals, identifying audiences, and finding partners that bring added value.

Set a Goal

There are many benefits to brand collaborations, but those perks can be difficult to obtain if you don’t set out with a goal in mind. Identifying what you hope to accomplish can help you work together more cohesively.

Here are some examples to get your gears turning:

  • Grow your email list: Make sure that both you and your partner are prepared to collect emails from customers, whether it’s with your point-of-sale (POS) system, customer registration to attend your pop-up, or a tablet set up at your pop-up with the intent to collect email addresses. Post-collab, you both should be prepared to share the emails you have collected with one another.
  • Launch a new product: Are you hoping to find a partner to create an exclusive product with, or are you hoping to build buzz around a product you’ve created on your own? Either way, your goal of introducing your new product to the world must somehow complement your partner’s goals.
  • Strengthen your brand image: If your partnership is more of a PR move, you might want to consider a partner in the nonprofit sector, or one that’s already making a big splash.

Know Your Audiences

One of the appeals of collaborating with another brand is exposure to a new audience. But when embarking on a partnership, you want to make sure your brand is exposed to the right audience.

When the brands Parachute and Cuyana teamed up for an NYC pop-up, they knew their values and therefore target audiences aligned. “We both admire each other’s brands,” explained Parachute founder Ariel Kaye to Architectural Digest, “both of our core tenets are about quality and bringing the best possible things to the consumer.

If you haven’t already, identify your own target audience. You may have several personas you’re targeting, but with a brand partnership, it’s a good idea to narrow it down. That way, you can pick a partnership that will pack a punch. Find partners that your audience will enjoy and consider which brands they already love.

Once you know your audience, identify that of your potential partners — not only who comprises their audience, but also how big that audience is.


Find Added Value

Some of the best partnerships are the ones where each brand brings something different to the table.

What does your collaborator have or do that you don’t? Maybe it’s access to manufacturing, new sales channels or bigger budgets. This can also be a great way to test new ideas and leverage your partner’s relationships and industry status to gain access to new resources.

Pro tip: Be prepared to offer added value to your partner, too. The most successful collaborations are win-win.

Japanese label fragment design partnered with Louis Vuitton for a series of pop-ups last year to launch a collection inspired by Japan’s infatuation with Americana. Launching in four cities, the collaboration indulged new creative avenues for both brands and created a ton of buzz.


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