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  • Writer's pictureTatiana Swedek

3 Brands Owning Digital Through Partnerships

To pivot or to transition? THAT is the question. It has been 2 months of brands brainstorming and experimenting with new ways of conducting business. Do we over do it with daily digital events? When can we stop with the free offerings? How do we grow our following?

I recently had a conversation with someone I really respect in the realm of cultural programming. Shout out HumbleRiot. I mentioned my detest of the word pivot. “I grew up playing basketball so I kind of see it this way: when you have the ball and someone is coming at you, you either have to pivot or transition,” he said. Being an avid basketball fan, I love this analogy.

There are brands out there who have the flexibility - or structure, depending on how you look at it - to transition during this time. They may already have a strong digital presence. There may be partners to lean on, too. Then there are the brands who must pivot. Your product or service cannot keep generating revenue in the same way during a time of uncertainty. That means BIG change.

Whether you pivot or transition, there's another step that follows: look for help. Is there a teammate to pass to during crunch time? A partner to play off of? One in alignment with your goal? Scout out that new partner to help on your next play.

Here are 3 brands that are owning the digital space in unique ways through one common thread: Collaboration.

Lean on What You’re Known For

Hotel Figueroa x Society6

I’ve already written about how the brands with a strong brand purpose will be the ones to come out of a crisis stronger. You can read that here. A recent move by Hotel Figueroa has only reinforced that belief.

The hotel industry is suffering big time right now. When you can’t put heads in beds, how do you survive? Hotel Figueroa, a 93-year-old historic hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, tapped into one core element it has always been known for: Art.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Hotel Figueroa entered a yearlong partnership with Society6 to produce quarterly onsite art exhibits and event programming. The partnership has quickly adjusted in the time of COVID and the pieces of work, created by Amber Vittoria, are now being sold online. Prices range from $52 - $292.

With many forced to stay home, curating a more comfortable living space has become a priority. What’s better than upping your art game while supporting a local artist and independent hotel?

Curating Online Experiences…WELL.

The Infatuation x Dell

The Infatuation is one of those digitally native companies with arms in restaurant scenes in various cities. The restaurant recommendation website and messaging service was founded in 2009 by two former music industry executives. In 2017, the brand launched their food and music festival EEEEEATSCON. By 2018 the company acquired Zagat from Google. The brand has owned the digital realm through food-specific accounts like @pizza and @burger and grew a community through it’s hashtag #EEEEEATS.

Unfortunately, EEEEEATSCON won’t be happening this year. But that didn’t stop The Infatuation and partner Dell from curating creative at home experiences during this time. Let’s call it a transitional pivot.

Sure, they’re still serving up guides to hungry readers looking where to go for take-out & delivery. But the brand has also turned their experiential partnership with Dell digitally via The Infatuation Academy. And these aren’t just cooking classes. The Infatuation Academy accommodates a creative community struggling to stay inspired through workshops like “Creativity in Quarantine 101” and “Choreography 101.” It’s fun and thoughtful – just like their in-person experiences.

Keep Growing

ACE Hotel x DropBox

Another independent hotel brand leaning on collaboration and brand purpose is Ace Hotel. The hotel brand linked up with DropBox to release digital care packages of exclusive digital content created by friends and past collaborators.

Ace Hotel is known for bringing local artists into their spaces so the execution is seamless. The need for DropBox? It gets the package more eyes. Ace’s DropBox Folder includes an activity book, affirmations, recipes from culinary partners and virtual backgrounds of various Ace Hotel locations. The folder also has a letter which offers gift cards (at a 20% discount) for future stays. 100% of the proceeds benefit the Ace Family Fund which directly supports the company’s team members.

It's game time. The clock is still counting down and you're out of timeouts. The pressure is on. Will you transition or pivot? And is there a partner to assist?

All of these companies have one strong common denominator. They’ve embraced partnerships with digitally native companies while staying true to their brand promise. What are your strengths? Where could you use a hand? Who are you ready to partner with?

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