The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and toy company Mattel have partnered up for a joint marketing push featuring Barbie, in what at first sight seems an unlikely combination, but brand partnerships are increasingly being used by marketers across the region seeking to boost their own brand experience, says R3’s Greg Paull.

The logic of the STB/Barbie tie-up emerged from the similarities between the former’s STB’s ‘Passion Made Possible’ global campaign, built around supporting and celebrating home-grown talents, personality and brands, and Barbie’s ‘You Can Be Anything’ positioning.

The partnership spans three areas, Marketing reported: a showcase of 60 Barbie dolls in customised outfits created by 18 local creatives and design brands; a brand video designed to empower young girls; and a social media contest.

How successful this will be remains to be seen but, as Paull notes in the current issue of Admap (topic: Partnering for growth), 85% of APAC CMOs want to improve customer experience – and brand partnerships can be an effective and economical strategy.

“New gets old very quickly in Asia where the lifecycle of new products is substantially more intense and category incumbents are being overthrown by start-ups brandishing new marketing playbooks,” he notes.

“Leveraging the products and services of other brands might not be the first thing that marketers consider investing in as they look to boost their own brand experience,” he adds, “but if done right, it can be an effective and economical way to develop competitive advantage, grow awareness and solidify preference.” (For more, read the full article: Five ways to chase growth with strategic brand partnerships in APAC.)

To this send he offers the following advice for brands in the region considering establishing partnerships:

• Know what your customers really care about. Is it timesaving? Is it sustainability?

• Look for partners who are already embedded in your customer’s daily life.

• Understand the business model of potential partners and identify where they are on their brand journey.

• Look for opportunities to be engaging, entertaining and educational; don’t be intrusive.

• Determine how you will measure the success of the brand partnership.

“In today’s marketing reality, connected thinking is critical,” he states. “Brands need to find common ground with other companies outside their categories to develop solutions that will enhance the consumer experience across the brand, the product usage and the overall consumer journey.”

The current issue of Admap on partnering for growth features a series of nine articles. WARC subscribers can access a deck which summarises the expert advice from contributors and key considerations on the topic.

Sourced from Marketing Interactive, Admap; additional content by WARC staff