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Stop, Collaborate & Listen
By: Janet Kalandranis
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That’s right, today is the day brand inspiration comes from '90s rap artists. But hey, whatever works. With brands, there is a constant commitment to competition. Identifying who they are, creating strategies to be on top, and always playing the brand game to win. But what if brands took some time away from the competition and worked together? Would brands benefit? Would customers benefit? One thing’s for sure: there have never been any negatives that come out of teamwork — so as the song says, “collaborate.”

Many brands are afraid of collaboration or at least too timid to even try. But collaboration isn’t about being besties (that’s a 21st-century term for best friends) or quite honestly even friends; it’s about putting all pre-conceived notions aside and working together. For a common goal; for a purpose to create something stronger or better than what could have happened without checking egos at the door. Because collaboration is about taking the best part of each brand, each collaborator and working together instead of against.

This collaboration thing isn’t exactly easy for brands to swallow. How do brands compete with one another one day and then turn around and brainstorm with them the next? Seems a bit counterintuitive, and it kinda is, but it also works really well. It’s like taking the best ingredients from various retailers to make the most amazing dinner possible. That’s food collaboration. And some of the best ideas have come through collaboration — the iPhone, Pinterest, Kit-Kat bars. Seriously, imagine a world without Kit-Kat bars. Okay, maybe the iPhone, too.

And collaboration isn’t about putting individual success aside. It’s actually quite the opposite — bringing the best the brand has to offer and letting it shine within a collaborative environment. That’s actually how the whole thing works. If every brand was the same and brought the same ingredients to the table, collaboration wouldn’t work. That’s why it’s important to know what a brand brings to the table. Collaborate away and in the end each brand will shine.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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