the action or process of working together to the same end. A situation in which people work together to do something. : the actions of someone who is being helpful by doing what is wanted or asked for. Voluntarily arrangement in which two or more entities engage in a mutually beneficial exchange instead of competing.
For the past few season’s the watchword has been collaboration. This has been a really important movement, but we think it has evolved in to cooperation. While collaborators of course work together, the switch from that to cooperation represents a more mutual, supportive endeavour where both parties have an equal benefit.
Within the fashion world this has given us some great innovations in retailing, enhancing the physical retail environment with space given over to pop up events from businesses that share your mission, identity, aesthetic and customer type while delivering something other to what you yourself sell. It is a collation of related beliefs while the products themselves stay separate. It enhances both parties brand identity, exposes them to new customers and shares hard won kudos.
These partnerships should be entered into with great care however. Your choice of partnership reflects who you are as a brand in a very powerful way. Oasis creating space for Rockett St George in the Argyll Street store over the Christmas trading period is a great example of clever cooperation. Rockett St George enjoyed their first physical retail venture, and in the heart of London too. Oasis gained extra ‘respec’t points, lifting them up just a touch from their very close competitors. It was a win/win.
In the year ahead we look forward to seeing more of these innovative, and also altruistic cooperative relationships showing up across the fashion map. There will be more from our fashion forecasting series tomorrow. In the meantime, for more forecasting posts, take a look here.