In 1986, Boston rockers Aerosmith went into the studio with hip-hop pioneers Run-DMC and re-recorded the 1975 hit, Walk This Way. That collaboration literally broke down walls and altered pop, rock, and rap music forever. It changed the career trajectory of Aerosmith and introduced Run-DMC to new audiences. Fast forward a few years and Public Enemy and Anthrax did the same thing with Bring the Noise, blending aggressive thrash metal and politically charged rap—and solidifying the rock/rap combination as not just viable, but as a way to expand reach and engage new audiences.
There’s a lot today’s brands can learn from these bands.
Collaboration can be a useful form of evolution. And brands that don’t evolve—or at least adjust marketing practices—are in trouble in today’s b2b and b2c environments.
Customers are looking for different ways to shop and experience products and services. Collaboration is a good place for brands to start.