Adidas puts an end to its collaboration with rapper Ye
Brand alliances can add an enormous amount of value to Brands. Consumers will remember the impact of those alliances, even years after its cessations. However, there are also risks involved, and Adidas is an example. The sports brand ended its partnership with Kanye West, who now calls himself YE, because of the negative reactions to his anti-Semitic statements.
The end of Yeezy
Adidas and the rapper joined forces in the sportswear industry for years. This is how Ye started his own sneakers line for Adidas, under the Brand Yeezy. Unfortunately for the fans, no new Yeezy collections will be released.
“YE's recent statements and actions are unacceptable, hateful and dangerous.”
That is why the sports brand is discontinuing its successful Yeezy shoe line, even though the sales of the latest collection are a great success. A part of the yield will be used by the Brand to fight anti-Semitism. Adidas doesn't want to be linked to the rapper's current image and fears that it will bring damage to their own Brand.
The power of Brand Alliances
Nevertheless, Brand alliances add significant and long-lasting value to Brands, if done right. Think of George Clooney, who started working with Nespresso about 15 years ago. With humorous campaigns, Clooney emphasises his preference for quality coffee. This collaboration boosts the sales of Nespresso and also keeps Clooney prominently in the media. It also gives the Brand a more human touch, allowing consumers to identify themselves more with the Brand.
Another example is the collaboration of Milka and Oreo, whose alliance allows them to market stronger products and to enjoy each other's Brand equity. Or think of Barbie partnering with numerous other Brands after the release of the new movie, including ZARA as an example for clothing lines.
Some collaborations, like Burger King's Barbie Bacon Cheeseburger with pink sauce, seem less well-thought-out. After all, how many times do we see a Barbie in a fast-food chain? Although there is a Barbie food truck and a Barbie in a burger outfit, it remains below the radar.
Shared brand equity
It is essential to evaluate any Brand alliance to ensure an effective collaboration. This starts with assessing the Brand value of both parties. It is important to choose popular, reliable and high-quality Brands that will appeal to the people within your target audience. In addition, the Brand should meet the requirements of your own Brand. The degree of shared Brand value, the connection between Brands and its influence on consumer behaviour such as expectations and decisions, or 'shared Brand equity' are crucial factors to examine before entering into an alliance.
For example, Barbie’s future looks rosy because of its many successful Brand alliances.
The key to successful alliances
To summarise, it is crucial to do a research beforehand on the shared Brand value, which helps you to discover similarities. In addition, you also identify possible future issues. It is also important to closely follow the Brand value and the collaboration to ensure sustainable added value for both parties. This way, you avoid that your collaboration fails, like what happened to Adidas with Ye.
The same goes for collaborations with top athletes. For instance, Liantis has been working with top athlete Bashir Abdi for years. It is important that the athlete fits within the values and image of Liantis so that he does not endanger the image of the Brand. This way, both parties in the alliance can build their Brand value.
So, smart collaborations can put your Brand in the spotlight. When analysing and determining Brand alliances, it is advisable to consult a Brand expert.