We researched every make and model, created – but never ordered – at least a dozen custom variations, watched YouTube videos published by glove influencers (yup, that’s a thing), and then boom – we found it, right in my Instagram feed. A premium baseball brand announced a “collab” with one of the world’s top streetwear designers to produce a numbered, limited-edition glove. It sold out in hours.
The qualities that attracted us to this glove (cooler design than our customizations, nobody else would have one, and great conversation piece in the dugout) are exactly the qualities (exclusivity, scarcity, word-of-mouth) that are driving the rage in brand/brand and brand/influencer collaborations in consumer marketing. Certainly cross-brand collaboration isn’t new, per se. The phenomenon is surging on the back of young buyer preference for limited, special-edition products.
But what about business-to-business brands? Well if you want to know what’ll be hot in corporate marketing in five years, look at consumer marketing today. That’s about how long it takes for us business marketers to imagine how consumer trends may apply to our programs and then muster the courage to try something that jostles our fragile dashboards. To be fair, business marketers have dabbled at the margins of this trend. Tactics like joint webinars and guest posts have been around for a while. But breakout collabs are counter-intuitive, or at least unexpected – Kraft Mac & Cheese ice cream, Oscar Mayer skin care isn’t exactly the same thing as “let’s speak on a panel together and invite our mutual prospects.”
This is why we’re rolling out “Pendo Collabs,” a new brand initiative in which we pair our enterprise technology brand with individuals or companies that showcase a passion for creativity and product innovation. Our first collaboration is with MattB Customs, a UK-based streetwear designer that’s developed custom sneakers for musicians like Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeren, and athletes such as Manchester United star Marcus Rashford. We let Matt run wild with Pendo’s brand colors and shapes, and he created a custom, hand-painted Nike Dunk inspired by the vibe of our user conference, Pendomonium.
Here’s six-time Grammy winner Big Boi showing off a pair at the event.
We’ll still run your conventional joint marketing. But we’re also looking for more partners like MattB to help show that just because you may be a corporation doesn’t mean you have to be corporate. If you are passionate about creativity or taking a left-of-center approach to product, let us know. We already have some ideas for our next collab, but we’re always open to teaming up with young game-changers.
Oh, and if you want a pair of the Pendo / MattB special-edition sneaker, they’re for sale here.