Beth Nilssen
October 13, 2022 / Great Advice

Does your franchisor have BRAND COLLABORATION power?

LEGO and Stranger Things. Uber and Spotify. Doritos and Taco Bell. Great Clips and the NHL. Each of these brands is a powerful name in and of itself. When partnered with another strong brand, the marketing potential is impressive.


The best business partnership is when two or more companies can leverage the strength of each brand to present a service or product that’s irresistible to the customer, and yet still protect the DNA of each individual brand.


There are several examples of successful collaborations: LEGO created a 2,287-piece set that replicates iconic scenes from the hit T.V. series Stranger Things. Several years ago, Uber collaborated with Spotify so riders can listen to their own playlists in a music-enabled vehicle. Several industry analysts say the Doritos Locos Taco saved Taco Bell.


Great Clips is no exception, using major sponsorships and partnerships as a key marketing strategy to reach existing and potential customers of its no-appointment, walk-in hair salons.


For example, by affiliating with the NHL on our #hockeyhair campaign, the Great Clips brand gets a lot of exposure to NHL fans who are one of our primary target customers—men ages 18–26. Ditto for the multi-year marketing campaign we launched in 2021 with the NCAA for March Madness and this past year’s Gameday Greatness Sweepstakes.


When Great Clips forms partnerships with other major brands that are already in front of our target audiences, it means our advertising reach is much deeper than doing it alone.


And that can make a difference to Great Clips’ 700-plus owners of more than 4,400 hair salons. More potential customers seeing the Great Clips brand alongside something they’re already passionate about (usually sports) leads to positive connections—which can drive customers to those Great Clips salons.


Collaborations have become so critical to a successful marketing strategy that Great Clips recently signed on with Colaboratory, a company that acts as a kind of matchmaker by identifying, validating, and executing brand partnerships.


“We all know we should be doing more collabs, but in the current state, so much of it is instinct and guesswork,” said Lisa Hake, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Great Clips, Inc. “Colaboratory unlocks a huge opportunity for us to increase the velocity of our collabs and make them strategic imperatives.”


It’s important for those considering investing in a franchise business to look closely at the marketing power of that brand: Is this franchisor at a level in the market and industry to have leverage with other major brands? Is this franchisor smart about using that leverage to spend its marketing dollars wisely? The answers to those questions could be an important factor in the success of a franchise company’s franchisees.


Contact me if you want to know more about how Great Clips supports franchisees with marketing that reaches the right target audience for every Great Clips salon.


Beth Nilssen

Director of Franchise Development | Great Clips, Inc.
800-947-1143 | [email protected]


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