The secret to successful brand collaborations
Successful collaborations are a win-win for everyone involved. In this Q&A, influencer Patricia Reiners explains how brands can get it right.
“The potential is huge.”
That’s what any expert will tell you about brand collaborations. But don’t just take it from us — the numbers don’t lie:
- 58% of brands attribute 20% of their total revenue to partnerships.
- 61% of consumers trust influencers — only 38% trust branded social media content.
- USD 5.78 — that’s how much brands earn for every dollar spent on influencer marketing.
And the list goes on.
But knowing there’s value in brand collaborations and extracting that value are two very different things.
We caught up with influencer Patricia Reiners, innovation and UX design guru, to uncover the secrets of successful brand collaborations. Here’s what we found out.
Patricia, what can you tell us about yourself and how you work with brands?
My background is in UX design, digital products, and user experience. My audience is interested in topics around UX and using new technologies like AI, Apple Vision Pro, or VR.
When working with brands, the first thing I look for are partners that are aligned with the content I’m already making. For me, it’s very important for collaborations to really feel authentic.
And it’s all about making the right kind of content. That could be reviewing a product or sharing a productivity hack I’ve found while using it. Or I could be sharing a promo code with my community. Sometimes, I’ll go to the brand’s events to talk about them and their products.
How can brands make sure collaborations are successful?
There are a few important rules brands should follow to make sure their campaigns work.
1. Pick the right partners Step one is finding the perfect influencer. Everyone has their own style, their own mission, and their own ways of presenting themselves.
Brands need to ask themselves what sort of personality would suit the campaign and whether it aligns with their vision.
2. Clarity It’s really helpful if the brand knows what they want. From that point on, I’m super happy to help them get that message across and come up with a storyboard and content ideas. If they don’t know what they want from the collaboration, that process is so much harder.
For a good briefing, I need to know what brand assets I’ll be using — and where to find them. It’s even little details that can help — like knowing if I’m supposed to tag any other brands or use any hashtags.
3. Communication I worked with a brand where the person handling the campaign changed, and the new person spent so long approving a video that the deadline was missed.
So, before you start a project, make sure you’re aligned on things like the design elements, the branding guidelines, the style of the content, as well as things like deadlines and feedback processes.
Good communication is essential for making these parts easier.
4. Feedback When it comes to giving feedback on videos, brands need to identify where they’d like changes and clearly explain what’s needed. But, some companies aren’t familiar with giving this kind of feedback, so the message doesn’t get across. And if you do it over email, it can be even more challenging.
For me, it’s often easier to jump on a call and go through the feedback or use tools where you can leave live feedback in a video.
What level of creative control do you expect when working with brands?
I once declined to participate in a campaign after the brand asked me to read out a full script they’d written for a video, and it felt horrible. That’s not the way I want to work or the right approach for the client. If I shared that, everyone in my community would think, “Okay, Patricia’s crazy. This feels super unauthentic.”
Creative freedom is key to success. When brands know what they want to achieve with the campaign and have a clear idea of their identity, I can have the freedom to suggest ideas and collaborate.
How can brands build long-lasting relationships with creators?
I think of it like dating. Firstly, you’re attracted to someone based on their looks — their profile, content, etc. Then, you begin to understand and appreciate their character — how they work, who they are. After this, you need to build trust and loyalty. Finally, you shouldn’t be scared to give feedback to help the relationship grow.
Again, it just comes down to communication and honesty. And the benefits of long-term relationships are huge. You’ll have a dedicated brand ambassador who truly believes in your products. They’ll want to share everything your company does.
Enter a new dimension of brand guidelines
For brands to enjoy successful influencer collaborations and partnerships, two things are clear:
- The brand needs to have a clear, consistent identity and mission.
- Brand builders need to be able to share that vision with influencers and creators in an effective way.
At Frontify, we help brands tell their stories in a more connected way and ensure everyone on their team shares a single vision. With the right platform, brands get the tools to create, share, and manage all their assets in one place.
Discover how we can help your brand express its unique identity right here.