Understanding the key to a good collaboration

There are more options than ever before when it comes to collaborating in business, with brands from every sector keen to show they can work in harmony with others. But how do you go about selecting the right partner? We got some tips from Virgin Active Australia...

The team at Virgin Active Australia recently collaborated with Lululemon, with the brand becoming their official uniform supplier. As well as ensuring that their people looked and felt great in the new uniforms, the team had to take a number of other factors into consideration when searching for the right partner.

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"Collaborations and partnerships are about shared value and combining different business strengths to have a better outcome for all customers. When assessing collaborations or partnerships, we look at shared values and brand alignment," explains Anton Brown, Head of Brand and Marketing.

"In the case of Lululemon, we both have a strong local community focus and we are both located in each other’s primary customer catchments. We also have a similar staff culture driven by innovation and customer centricity. If you read their brand book, it¹s very similar to the way we approach our brand positioning and proposition."

A demonstration of how well the two brands were aligned came on the recent World Yoga Day, which saw Lululemon shout Virgin Active Australia non-members to complimentary yoga classes at the Virgin Active health clubs. Working together to get more people participating in classes like this is a passion for both businesses, with shared values always crucial to the success of a partnership.

However when it comes to the secret of a really great collaboration, Anton believes that success lies in ensuring that both parties get maximum value from the agreement that they’re entering into.

"The secret to a good partnership or collaboration is that both parties go into the relationship looking to make the customer value proposition stronger for both parties equally - never going in one-sided.

"In order to be innovative and constantly be RED HOT, collaborations and partnerships are key to our future success. We encourage it throughout the business as a necessary and significant means of doing business."

What tips do you have from brands or entrepreneurs looking to crack the art of collaboration? Let us know below.

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