The Power of Research During Collaboration: Why You Need Consumer Insights to Fuel Successful Brand Partnerships

Filed Under: Market Research, CPG, Food & Beverage, Grocery, Retail


Kat Figatner

Senior Vice President, In-Person Qualitative Research

In today’s dynamic food and beverage landscape, “collaboration” has become a cornerstone of innovation. Brands are increasingly teaming up to leverage their unique strengths and develop exciting new products that capture consumer attention. From Dr Pepper and Coffee Mate’s “Dirty Soda” concoction to Häagen-Dazs and Oreo’s ice cream collaboration, these partnerships have resulted in some of the most buzz-worthy products on the market.

Before diving headfirst into a new product launch, successful companies know the importance of conducting thorough consumer research. While the idea of two trendy brands teaming up might seem like a surefire recipe for success, the key to a genuinely impactful partnership is a deep understanding of the target audience and perceptions of the synergy between the two brands.

In-context consumer research is often the missing ingredient in many brand collabs. You must gain valuable insights into consumer preferences, purchase drivers, and brand perceptions through qualitative and quantitative research. This data can then be used to inform and optimize your collaboration strategy to ensure that your co-branded product resonates with your target market.

Let’s consider the following questions that consumer research can help answer:

  • Brand Alignment: Do the brands involved in the collaboration complement each other’s strengths and fill gaps in their respective portfolios?
  • A Natural Connection: Is there a logical connection between the two brands that consumers will understand and appreciate?  If not, how do they feel about this juxtaposition?
  • Consumer Needs: Does the potential co-branded product address a gap in the market and fulfill a need for consumers? What are their expectations for this type of collaboration?
  • Product Ideation: What kind of co-branded product would resonate most with your target audience? What flavors, ingredients, or functionalities would pique their interest and create buzz to drive sales?
  • Pricing: How should the co-branded product be priced to appeal to consumers and generate healthy margins for both brands?
  • Positioning: How should the product and collaboration be positioned in the market to maximize its impact? What’s the balance of the brands in the naming convention to bring credibility to the product and appropriately set expectations?

Consumer research provides valuable guidance on everything from selecting the right collab partner to developing a product that consumers will love. By investing in this research up front, brands can greatly increase their chances of success when collaborating on a new product launch.

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