Brand Crush: Collaboration

SEQ has produced collaborative events for brands like Thrillist and Campbell's, The Dodo and Resolve, and more.


The Beatles famously sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends”—a sentiment that rings particularly true in the realm of brand partnerships. 

In today’s interconnected world, brands are always on the hunt for fresh ways to expand their reach and hit it off with a broader audience—particularly when it comes to events. One smart move? Hooking up with other brands for event partnerships. This isn’t just a tactical approach to marketing; it can be a way to seriously ramp up your reach and leave a lasting impression on consumers.

So this month, we’ve got a Brand Crush on not just one brand, but at least two—or maybe more! It’s the concept of collaboration

Benefits of Event Partnerships
At the heart of successful brand collabs lies the unique value each company brings. By leveraging these combined strengths, particularly at events, these partners can achieve collective goals that might be too big to tackle alone. This can all lead to… 

Enhanced Brand Awareness and Access to New Audiences
Collaborations let brands strut their stuff in front of each other’s fans, boosting their visibility with new markets and demographics that might have previously been out of reach.

Shared Costs and Resources
Let’s face it: Marketing and events can be expensive. Sharing the load—including budget, staffing, advertising costs, and other financial and logistical burdens—can make high-impact campaigns more accessible for everyone involved.

Greater Buzz and Increased Revenue
By pooling resources and ideas, brands can create buzzworthy events that draw bigger crowds, make headlines, and pump up sales through exciting new engagement.

More Innovation and Creativity
When brands come together, the fusion of diverse ideas and perspectives can lead to innovative concepts and creative solutions that stand out in the competitive marketplace.

How to Craft a Successful Collaboration
Sounds great, right? But how exactly do you forge a successful event partnership? Consider the following strategies:

  1. Identify complementary brands. Or don’t!
    Scope out potential partners who share a similar audience or whose products and services complement your own. Or, on the flip side, why not lean into an unexpected collaboration—Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg, anyone? Either way, a deep understanding of each other’s customer base is crucial for tailoring event experiences that resonate well with all attendees.

  2. Make sure there’s an alignment of values.
    Ensure that the brands you partner with share similar values and ethics—and, if you’re working on an event together, make sure they understand the value of the event itself! This common ground lays the groundwork for smooth teamwork and a unified message.

  3. Establish a clear vision and shared goals.
    Before jumping in, be clear about what you both want to achieve. Agree on the outcomes you’re after and how you’ll track success. And remember, communication is everything!

  4. Make sure each brand has time to shine!
    Balance the spotlight to maintain authenticity. A mismatched brand presence can turn off loyal customers or confuse potential new ones.

Examples of Successful Collaborations
A brand known for pioneering this concept is Target, which debuted its first headline-grabbing collaboration—with star architect Michael Graves—25 years ago. (We’ll confess that Target’s newest collab with iconic fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg had us up and ready to shop at 3 a.m.!)

We love seeing this type of collaboration at big events, too. Take an industry stalwart like Coachella, which draws activations, mini-festivals, and after-parties from a huge amount of brands. While many of these companies are competitors, their combined efforts help increase awareness and sales during the festival’s weekends. 

And sometimes, the collaboration is even more intentional, like in the high-profile, Coachella-adjacent Neon Carnival party; the event’s founder recently told industry publication BizBash that the sponsors intentionally pool resources, recognizing that the event’s success is ultimately a group effort around a shared vision.  

A similar concept applies to events like Cannes Lions, where countless iconic brands come together to create the ultimate creative experience, and SXSW, which is jointly sponsored by diverse brands like Volkswagen, The Austin Chronicle, Porsche, C4 Energy, Delta, the U.S. Army, and Itau Bank. 

These sponsors help make new connections with registrants and attendees by contributing directly to the SXSW or Cannes Lions communities across all sectors—and ultimately, enhance the overall festival experience through custom activations, uniquely branded engagements, and product integrations.

And sometimes, the most fun collabs come out of left field: Cheetos x Forever 21, anyone? Or how about Ralph Lauren’s collab with Fortnite? Or Doritos' limited-edition nacho cheese-flavored spirit, created in partnership with Empirical, which kicked off with a classy, nightclub-like event fit for the alcohol brand—but that also cleverly featured decor inspired by the chips? 

It’s clear that when brands unite, the potential for innovation and impact is immense. Whether it's forging paths into new markets or delivering enhanced experiences that captivate and engage, the magic of collaboration isn't just in the combining of resources—but in the creation of something truly greater than the sum of its parts. 

Got an idea for an exciting brand partnership? Let’s connect!