Collaborations are one of My Icon Story’s core beliefs and we’re lucky that the foundation of what our brand is built on – icons and visual storytelling -make us a suitable partner for so many wonderful brands and businesses.
Since My Icon Story launched, we strategically seek collaboration and partnership opportunities as a way to build our brand presence and reach new audiences by borrowing another brand’s equity. Whether teaming up with other startups, cross-promoting with other brand’s social accounts or partnering with more established businesses, we’ve successfully worked with lots of brands in many different capacities.
What is a collaboration?
To us, the word collaboration encompasses all of the above because there is no one size fits all and no single way to ‘collaborate’. A collaboration can be anything that involves doing something with another partner to reach a mutually beneficial outcome.
DID YOU KNOW: Collaborations were instilled in our way of working even before My Icon Story launched as a company. In fact, we used our original London icons to develop a contemporary homeware and stationery range as well as a jewellery collection in collaboration with Jewellery Designer Esa Evans.
Esa is fantastic example of a brand who does collaborations really well and has partnered with multiple brands, businesses and artists to develop jewellery collections.
What is the key to a successful collaboration?
- Find a complimentary brand or business that LOVES your brand and shares your own company values. Your audience and customers will see through any collaborations that don’t appear to be a natural fit or ‘make sense’.
- Create common goals at the start of any collaboration so that you begin with a solid foundation and can work towards the goals you set out. For My Icon Story, a common goal shared with many of our brand partners is reaching new audiences.
- A collaboration should benefit all parties in partnership otherwise it’s won’t make for a very fair collaboration. Ask yourself, what’s in it for your company and what’s in it for the company you’re collaborating with.
- The most successful collaborations are when both/all partners share marketing efforts to support and promote each other before and during the collaboration. Align your social media and PR to maximise exposure and volume of media presence to increase the impact and reach of your collaboration. Share and re-share each other’s content, tag all partners in posts on social, and add links to supporting emails and blogs.
How do you find brands or people to collaborate with?
- Look at your network of contacts and associates – Who is it that you want to collaborate with and is there anyone in your network who might have a contact at that brand or company. LinkedIn is a great resource for finding this out. Search for a suitable contact in the company you want to collaborate with – for example someone with Partnerships or Marketing in their job title. LinkedIn will show you if you have any connections in common. You can then approach the contact you know and ask for an introduction to the person you want to approach.
- Networking events and panel talks – These events are great for meeting other start-ups and founders. A simple conversation could be the start of a great relationship, leading to the discussion of potential ways to work together, helping each other’s business and ideas for collaborating.
- Social Media – follow the brands, influencers, businesses and people you want to collaborate with and approach them through their social channels (yes, this includes slipping into their DM’s but in a professional and authentic manner). It sounds super simple but remember that these people might be inundated with messages. Your first introduction should be well through through and personalised, but be mindful not to bombard them with a long message. Give a short intro and summary of your collaboration idea, why you think they would be a great partner and end by asking if they would be happy for you to send more information via email.
Some of My Icon Story’s favourite collaborations:
Licensing deals are special kind of collaboration. For example, a brand like Mr Men will give a brand like My Icon Story special permission to create and sell a range of products using the Mr Men characters and logos.
Check out our licensed range of Mr Men and Little Miss products here
- Sock Product Collaboration – My Icon Story x Roy’s Boys
We partnered with leading British sock manufacturer Roy Lowe & Sons to produce a special edition London icon sock for their Roy’s Boys owned sock brand. Having the Roy’s Boys name attached to our London Sock was a huge honour, giving our socks prestige and credibility.
- Event Sponsorship – Club Melanin
Last year, My Icon Story made it through to Bootcamp at The Pitch and there we met Ricki Lawal, Founder of Club Melanin. Naturally we got chatting about each other’s businesses and we both loved what each other was striving to achieve. Ricki loved our icon style and was keen that we collaborate in the future. Well that future came much sooner and My Icon Story were invited to be a part in Club Melanin’s first panel and workshop event – The Good Hair Experience. We jumped at the opportunity and designed a collection of icons to reflect different afro-caribbean hair styles.
We designed a bespoke poster print for a prize giveaway, event postcards and Club Melanin used the icons on their event collateral and panel backdrop. Since the event, the icons are now proudly being used on Club Melanin’s website and we can’t wait to develop our collaboration throughout the year! Watch this space…
- Gift Supplier – The Light Fund
For two consective years, My Icon Story have been invited to collaborate with The Light Fund‘s annual charity fundraiser and create a bespoke My Icon Story print to represent the challenge and gift to the organisers. The Light Fund get a beautiful personalised keepsake and My Icon Story get money can’t buy exposure at the licensing industry’s biggest awards night – the Licensing Awards – attended by the likes of Nickelodeon, Universal Pictures and ITV!
Collaborate with My Icon Story
A huge THANK YOU to all of the brands, companies, bloggers and people we’ve collaborated in our first couple of years in business. You’ve helped My Icon Story grow organically, reach new audience and most importantly LEARN! Collaboration is and always will play a huge role in our company and we’re excited to see what 2020 will throw at us.
If you’ve got a partnership idea and would like to collaborate with My Icon Story, drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org