Why are Collaborations Important for Brands? January 11, 2018

We are living in a collaboration culture – sharing our daily lives, getting advice and recommendations online, and being constantly virtually connected over multiple platforms. We have access to incredible software such as Google Drive and Trello which allow us to keep up-to-date with our peers in real time and work on group projects. Even the process of tagging someone in a picture on Facebook is a means of informally ‘sharing ownership’ of it on each other’s timeline.

It is therefore not surprising that for the past few years, brands have been collaborating with artists and technologists to create influential and engaging experiences for their consumers.

Here is why we think the brand x artist approach is very important for companies wanting to stay relevant today…

Relating to the millennial consumer

Let’s make one thing clear: consumers are smart people. They aren’t sheep you can herd towards your product using a well-placed Facebook ad and email campaign. Millennial consumers in particular are more critical, far more educated, and the most financially powerful of all the demographics. This is supported by Hubspot’s statistic that 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising.

With growing cynicism towards the hard sell and disruptive advertising, millennial consumers would rather be given a marketing experience, experiencing content in a creative and personal form.

Utilising artists in your marketing campaigns appeals to the new critical consumer and shows them what your brand really means – sharing an aspirational message, identity, or lifestyle in an authentic and light-touch way that they can relate to and emotionally invest in.

Audience captivated by PMM VR experience created by Emily Godden, using artwork from Pop My

Engage your following in a critical passion point

There will be a segment of your target customer who has an existing love for a certain type of art, music, or broader culture. By collaborating with a certain artist you can associate your brand with the excitement and resonance that the artist brings to your shared consumers. You’re effectively tapping into a goldmine of emotional connection relevant to your consumers’ lives that would take years of very intelligent marketing for you to build yourselves.

I mean, has anyone screamed when a H&M dress came into view? No, but associate H&M with Beyonce and there you have a different story.

An added bonus to this is that you will reach new audiences who will share the same values and interests as your targeted demographic, expanding consumers of your content. If your collaboration produces great results, then naturally your consumers will share away on social media etc., meaning your potential reach is limitless.

Kate Jackson and the Wrong Moves, performing at our First Birthday Exhibition, with visuals by Jim Horsefield

Initiate projects using effective marketing techniques

Collaborating with creatives also means that you can potentially broadcast into multiple rising areas of marketing at once, including cause marketing, influencer marketing, personalised content and PR stunts, all of which are on the up in 2018.

For example, you can tap into cause marketing by supporting emerging artists to find their voice and be publicised, showing your consumers your ethical side and powers of curation too.

Working with artists means you can tell emotive and interesting stories surrounding the artist themselves or the people who may use your products. You can work these stories into video content or image-based artwork, or even pop-up inner-city experiences, leading clever and memorable campaigns that relate to your consumers.

“In today’s age of brand experience, it seems that emotional engagement is proving to be more and more critical to achieving winning results and effective storytelling and digital marketing are at the heart of this movement.” – Billee Howard, Forbes

And of course everything you do will follow into your brand marketing, building on your company’s reputation as one that is open, appreciative of the world around you, on trend and also aware of what is meaningful to your customers right now.

Conflict by Michelle Bowden, showing the eternal human struggle between head and heart

Art leads the way in culture

“Creating at the frontline of culture and anticipating what will be next, these creative minds lead the conversation in many ways.” – Catrina Morbidelli, Emotive Brand

“If you’re a market leader, you should try to lead the market, rather than just follow it.” – Marcus Engman, Head of Design for IKEA

“Good brands create culture, bad brands buy it.” – Rachel Somers Miles, Huffington Post

The consensus is clear – to be a high-quality brand, you need to set the pace of culture and spark creativity.

The landscape of brands is evolving, and as well as being expected to produce consistent, high-quality products, have an ethical arm to your company, and market in personal, relatable ways, brands have the additional pressure of being expected to leading trends and wider culture.

You don’t have to progress culture on your own however. Enlisting help with the right artist can means together you can showcase your brand, all whilst standing up for things that you truly believe in and being part of the avant garde.

PMM artist Matlakas performing his piece Melting Bordersread this article for more information

Utilise the power of art

“For centuries, art has been a way for people to create meaningful, resonant, and engaging experiences — telling stories in new ways, bringing authentic emotions to life, changing the conversation, and drawing people in.” – Catrina Morbidelli, Emotive Brand

Art contains power, history, sophistication that brands could take a lifetime building – however, you can cut corners and years of brand-building by associating with artists who carry all of this cultural weight already.

Art naturally develops strong relationships between the creator, their product and its consumer. People emotionally relate to the artwork or the artists themselves (just look at Banksy – he has been semi-anonymous for years but held the attention and admiration of millions of people) and your collaboration can help you establish this connection too.

Plus artists bring key skills to the collab – such as how to use cutting-edge technology in a creative way – which is expertise your in-house team may not necessarily have already. This will bring real excitement and a unique flair to your project. Don’t forget: “a product’s financial value can also increase when associated with art,” – Anya Firestone, High Snobiety.

Art Brain by Dyanna on Pop My Mind

Both parties win

Including the above points, collaboration is great for your brand’s image, since 75% millennials say it’s fairly or very important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit.

Of course, working with brands, charities and PR companies is also a really useful for the artist too. Whether established or emerging, getting commissioned by such companies is an invaluable opportunity for artists to gain recognition and traction for their work, and be part of something meaningful and exciting. They can bring greater awareness towards issues that are important to them and connect to more people.

In summary, collaborating with artists helps you:

  • Cut down time of building your brand
  • Connect emotionally to your consumer
  • Reach a wider pool of consumers
  • Show your brand is trustworthy and ethical
  • Show that your brand is clued-up, on trend and carving culture
  • Support emerging artists


Want to know more about how artists can help your brand? We’re happy to give you some advice and ideas. Feel free to contact Oliver on or 01473 550411.

Check out our other article on finding the right talent for your project!

Written by Karis Lambert


Collaboration Validation: The Brand, the Artists and Generation Authentic by Rachel Somers Miles on Huffington Post

41 Revealing Statistics About Millennials Every Marketer Should Know by Zofia Antonow on Agency Ascend

9 Must-Know Millennial Shopping Trends & Marketing Strategies of 2017 by Daniel James on Rakuten Marketing

10 Marketing Trends to act on in 2018 by Dave Chaffey on Smart Insights

Top 5 Trends For Marketers And Entrepreneurs In 2018 by Billee Howard on Forbes

Why Brand/Artist Collaborations Are Taking Center Stage by Catrina Morbidelli on Emotive Brand

How IKEA mastered the art of the A-list collaboration by Charlotte Lytton on The Telegraph

From High Art to High Tops by Anya Firestone on High Snobiety