I’m a self confessed sneaker fan.
Over recent years, I’ve noticed the rise and rise of the Cross Collaboration, or ‘X‘.
In fact, a look at just today’s top stories on SneakerFreaker reveals that 7 of the 21 new releases are X collabs.
What’s with all these X‘s?
X collaborations are a win-win-win and happen when a brand works with a celebrity/influencer (or even another brand) to release a special edition, limited run of a product – Quick Strikes, in the case of sneakers.
X collabs are a sneaker version of an internet product launch – with massive buzz before the launch, long queues on launch day and, invariably, jacked up prices on ebay, post-launch.
X collabs are a win for brands because they get to build massive buzz around something that for them, is just another sneaker. More importantly, brands borrow the Halo effect of the current ‘it’ celebrity/influencer of the month. Lastly, brands can reach a whole new audience – those who are fans of the Collaborator but who may never have had their product (in this case, sneakers) on their radar.
Likewise, X collabs are a win for the Collaborator. Aside from the fact they’re getting paid for the collab, they too can also borrow the Halo effect of the brand – the more street cred the brand has, the better. The big plus, being X collabs also introduce the brand’s audience to their work.
Ultimately, X collabs are a big win for obsessed, niche of niche fans. These are the ones who will follow everything and will buy anything (either of the brand or of the collaborator/artist) no matter the cost.
X collabs aren’t restricted to sneakers of course – they occur in any niche of niche, and are another sign of the changing of the guard as the world transitions from Industrial business models to Connection.
Fill this next sentence with your imagination:
<your brand> X <influencer>