Do you know the latest trend in Retail cobranding? It goes without saying that in order to “sell” (a product, a service, an idea…), to a large extent, you have to make the potential target fall in love with you. A strategic alliance with the right company/organization can be a vital revulsive for a brand to take off, multiply its sales or leave behind oblivion.
But what happens if, as a commercial brand, we propose this alliance to a museum?
A couple of decades ago, Mariah Carey (yes, “All I want for Christmas is youuuu”) shot a video clip in Bilbao to coincide with the opening of the Guggenheim Museum. The glittering pop star wiggled through the sinuous titanium forms that Frank Gehry designed to crown the capital of Biscay. And not so long ago Beyoncé, along with her “faithful” squire and husband Jay Z, did the same at the Louvre Museum, filming a clip in front of the enigmatic gaze of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa or at the feet of the Victory of Samothrace in the capital of the Seine.
What was behind it? A myriad of things. To boost the international image of a recently opened museum, to bring the “cultural fact” closer to mass audiences, to become a world reference, to attract younger profiles to somewhat rusty and distant institutions such as museums, to sell (image, tickets and merchandising)….
Of course, sell! And to show you the multiple advantages of a well-done cobranding, let’s go with…
Successful examples of cobranding between Retail brands
It’s not new that established artists (living or resting in peace) get involved with commercial brands to create a capsule collection. That was the case of Andy Warhol with Pepe Jeans or the current partnership of Yayoi Kusama with Louis Vuitton. We can remember and think of countless cases in which a firm seeks the “positive contamination”, the uniqueness or the status generated by going hand in hand with the creator of the moment.
And Zara, obviously, was not going to be less.
But in the case of the giant from A Coruña, the alliance has gone a step further. Inditex’s favorite daughter has had, so far, two great alliances with first-rate museum institutions in our country.
The fact that Zara and the Prado Museum are in the same sentence sounds like a Christmas joke or a suspicious scoop. But it was 2019 when the news was all over the media; the famous retail brand signed a collaboration with the art gallery so that “Las Meninas” by Velázquez or “The Three Graces” by Rubens would flood sweatshirts and T-shirts with prices between 18 and 36 euros. But there were more works among those chosen (canvases by Titian or Paul Bril) that helped to celebrate in a radical (and viral) way the 200th anniversary of the museum. A brilliant idea, but…
Can you imagine the face of Emperor Charles V when he saw himself silkscreened on fast-fashion garments? An (epic) poem, for sure.
A year later, and after the success of the previous proposal, Zara did it again. In this second case it was an approach to contemporary art and the special and spatial vision of the Basque artist Eduardo Chillida. A simple collection of T-shirts and sweatshirts in neutral colors and minimalist cuts served as a canvas for the unique representations that came from his museum and foundation in ChillidaLeku (museum and international reference space in 2019 according to Time magazine). Total sales success.
Once again, the transgressive and inspiring power of alliances has allowed two elements of the Retail and cultural ecosystem to join forces through a groundbreaking vision that comes to demonstrate something we firmly believe in. A strategic alliance, as crazy as it may seem at first, can be the best coup.
Do you accept the challenge?