How Reebok Inspires Powerful Brand Collaborations
Meet the team behind Reebok’s most successful brand collaborations and hear how their collective spirit is driving partnerships to the next level.
As anticipated ‘collab drops’ fill Instagram feeds and editorial pages. Have you ever wondered about the teams behind brand collaborations? What makes a successful collaboration? Here’s what we learned about collaboration when we sat down with members of Reebok’s Fashion and Streetwear teams:
Trust is the key to any relationship
The team behind the Reebok X Victoria Beckham brand collaboration emphasized trust and diplomacy as the foundation to its success. Reebok lead, Erica Tappin, underscored successful team dynamics rely on building trust beyond titles, “each team member can rely upon one another.” This trust extends to the partner.
“To maximize a partnership’s potential, trust and open communication are paramount.”Eric Tappin, Director, Global Fashion Partnerships at Reebok
The team’s development lead, Pamela Senese-Cooke adds, “it’s crucial to be diplomatic, while understanding the needs and constraints of the partner and Reebok, managing the outcomes, logistics, and always respecting the input. We built trust through confidence. We have confidence in range design, technical innovations, and the product creation. Marry this with Victoria’s creative direction and design teams, together we expedited the relationship building part and got to a place of a shared creation quicker and easier – with amazing results.”
Diplomacy is activated through the trust you build. “Fashion and sportswear creation are different processes, in order to maintain an effective working relationship, we communicate consistently, and inherently value our different experiences and points of view.”
Collaboration drives results
The Reebok Streetwear team’s cultural fluency comes from a deep sense of inclusion, the valuation of diverse perspectives, authenticity in partnership and storytelling, as well as their ferocious work ethic.
The team’s lead, Carmen Hardaway, is a mindful leader. She holds space for a diverse roster of talent, who throughout our conversation voiced their sense of value and inclusion. James Chan, the team’s storyteller asserted, “we’re a group of self-aware individuals whose diversity complements each other.” This dynamic means more energy can be expended on the work, the partnerships, and their desired outcomes, and less energy is spent on clarifying among the internal team.
As a result of this candid, complementary culture, the team’s past 18 months have afforded them the opportunity to work with up-and-coming visionary talents and produce sought-after products so desired by the market they often sell out in minutes. JJJJound is an exceptional example of one of their visionary partners.
The team upholds authenticity as a benchmark for streetwear partners and collaborators. Leo Gamboa, product lead, emphasized its importance, especially during a time when so many consumers are experiencing hype fatigue.
“When so many consumers are experiencing hype fatigue, it’s even more important to bring an authentic perspective, an idea to love from the start.”Leo Gamboa, Senior Global Product Marketing Manager – Collaborations at Reebok
In describing his approach to a partner like JJJJound, he said, “three years ago when we first started talking about JJJJound, few colleagues at HQ were versed. Now, we can look at how they’ve grown and how we’ve grown as a result, and we can see the relevance and the strength in the partnership. If a partnership doesn’t make sense, we won’t work on it.”
“There’s no better example of this authenticity than through our storytelling,” Chan remarked, “when a brand is relatively new to consumers and has a unique story to tell, managing a product story that relates to their memory of Reebok while maintaining the partnership’s vision is essential.”
In the case of JJJJound, their established aesthetic and organic approach to the creative process, led to the natural flow of ideas between teams which led to some amazing results, with both brands shining through.
Effort can be underrated when a team is so passionate, but it’s that tenacity, their ‘above and beyond’ commitment, and their collaborative approach to excellence that is most evident by their partnership and their outcomes.
But the way Erin cover the topic professionally.