The next trend for branding

By Angela Penfold

One of our earliest gigs

One of my earliest jobs was to manage Harmony Day. For those of you who don’t know, Harmony Day is our national day to celebrate diversity and say no to racism. The team was small and we had to run the entire event and awareness campaign nationally. And there was practically no budget.

The biggest brands in Australia

What made this project remarkable was the backing of our Corporate Sponsors. They were the biggest names in Australia. Coca-cola, Woolworths, Ford, Channel 10, Austereo, AFL, AMP, Tennis Australia, Telstra, Surf Lifesaving Australia, just to name a few. There was no money donated, it was all based on in-kind activities. In previous years, our Corporate Partners did what they could in terms of doing what they could using their own brand and resources to mark Harmony Day. However in preparation for our 2004 Harmony Day, we did something that had never been done before. And it was something that I’ll probably never witness again.

We held a Corporate Partner collaboration opportunity at the top of the AMP building in Sydney. We had the biggest corporate names in the one room, working out opportunities to collaborate and leverage their brands driven by a higher purpose – to support racial unity.

Harmony Day was in its sixth year, yet 2004 smashed all records. We had the most media coverage and the highest level of community awareness and participation. This would never have been achieved without brand collaboration.

The next big trend in branding

We believe it’s collaboration. Collaboration isn’t a new trend. But we believe that it’s a very untapped brand strategy. Collaboration provides exciting opportunities for brands who want to get noticed. Through Harmony Day, we saw first-hand the impact that can be created when amazing brands collaborate. More recently we saw a great PR campaign during the F1 Australian Grand Prix from Uber and Porsche, combining the power of their brands to maximise national PR. Something that neither would have likely achieved on a stand-alone basis.

In today’s world, there’s so much noise and so little opportunity to be heard. But if we get our closest allies together, we can make big things happen. Brand collaboration provides an opportunity for the lesser-known brands in the category to take on the leading brand. This not only applies to the little guys but the big guys as well.

Apply it to your own business. Get thinking. Start collaborating. Creating alliances. Making waves. It’s worth thinking about….

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