These boots were made for walking

. . . and that is true of the Kinky Boots boots as they were apparently made for walking off the stage and into the hands of some lucky (and rich) customers after Kinky Boots have formed a partnership with fashion designer Kenneth Cole.

kinky boots boots

Brand partnerships are not uncommon. In fact, you see them every time you visit a McDonalds and glance at the Happy Meal board and are confronted by a barrage of plastic toys from the latest Disney/Pixar movie. And they serve an important place in marketing. By combining two brands, not only does the consumer’s loyalty increase to include the partnered brand, but the consumer is also provided extra incentive to engage.

For example, McDonalds are currently flogging Despicable Me 2 toys in their Happy Meal. McDonalds will pick up new customers whose children desperately wanted the toys, because they loved the movie, so their parents caved and bought them the Happy Meal. Despicable Me 2 will pick up more fans because kids who already get Happy Meals will receive the toy and want to see the movie.

Sounds effective, doesn’t it? So you have to wonder why the latest Wicked or Book of Mormon toys aren’t the toy of the month at McDonalds.

Ok, you don’t really have to wonder as Disney/Pixar probably pay a whole heap of cash more than the theatres can afford to spend and the target market of these shows aren’t really Happy Meal eating children. But you get my point – brand partnerships should be part of a marketing plan!

And guess what? It is for Kinky Boots.

Kinky Boots has just announced that it is pairing up with fashion designer Kenneth Cole to create a limited edition range of boots inspired by the footwear of the musical. So what will happen in this situation? Fans of Kenneth Cole who like his new line of boots will probably end up seeing the musical and hopefully become a fan of the Broadway brand and fans of Kinky Boots will probably end up buying the boots and ideally become a fan of Kenneth Cole. A win-win situation!

In fact, I haven’t been completely truthful. There is a third party involved in this partnership – the Human Rights Campaign.

100% of the profits from the boots go towards the Human Rights Campaign which already has a partnership with Kenneth Cole. Yet another incentive for people to engage with the partnership – and possibly a way to slightly decrease the guilt associated with spending up to $400 on a pair of boots!

Have you seen any recent brand partnerships anywhere during shopping centre or supermarket visits? Do you think they are effective? And, most importantly, have they changed your opinion on the partnering brand?