Every company wants to sell more, whether it’s more parts, accessories, service, or more vehicles. While direct messages to consumers are often viewed as the most effective method, it only works when customers know and trust you. Brand awareness is the crucial first step in achieving consistently positive results for your dealership or business.

HubSpot provides tips on how to build a brand, and much of the process centers on fostering trust, creating an association, and developing a perceived value. The initial goal isn’t to make sales initially, but to create name recognition and become trendy or popular.

Related: Why it’s important to build a personal brand in the automotive industry

It’s a type of marketing that isn’t necessarily going to show immediate results with generated revenue, but it creates an opportunity to establish a legacy through creative collaboration simply by becoming a household name. Contrary to popular belief, collaborations to build brand visibility don’t even have to be in the same industry.

Here are two recent cases to demonstrate how collaborations can be done creatively to boost a brand.

Jeep’s collab with Wallace Detroit Guitars

On Friday, Jeep announced a collaboration with Wallace Detroit Guitars and Cherrytree Music Company to launch a custom electric guitar. While music companies and guitar makers seem well outside of Jeep’s scope, there’s a Detroit connection that brings it all together.

Wallace Detroit Guitars reclaims wood from historic Detroit buildings for their guitar builds. For the Jeep-branded telecaster-style bodies, wood is sourced from the former Packard Plant in Detroit. Wallace Guitars says that the old-growth wood achieves a sound found only from older instruments. Guitar straps are included and are made from recycled seatbelts.

Olivier Francois, Global Chief Marketing Officer for Stellantis, said, “Music, architecture, and the automotive industry are revered in the city of Detroit. This initiative with Wallace Detroit Guitars and the Detroit Dreamers to launch a

Jeep® brand and Wallace Detroit Guitars launch custom guitar sourced from old-growth wood from historic Detroit buildings. (Photo Credit: Jesse David Green)

custom Jeep-branded guitar and custom track give fans the opportunity to own a unique and authentic work of art that both acknowledge their passion for the Jeep brand and celebrates the city’s history of music and its automotive roots.”

Collaborations for Jeep-branded gear isn’t new for the carmaker, but bridging into a guitar build certainly steps a little further out from under the normal car industry umbrella, helping to further reinforce brand recognition.

Mercury Marine’s boat show and art collab with Maurizio Baccili

The Genova Boat Show in Italy is one of the world’s most premier boat shows, and Mercury Marine is arguably the most recognized brand. However, it’s still important for a major brand to work on brand visibility, and this year’s boat show features art created by renowned painter Maurizio Baccili.

Baccili sourced ‘canvases’ from Mercury Marine, using cardboard and crate sides rather than canvas for his paintings. In many of the pieces, the Mercury logo and shipping labels are integrated into the designs. Baccili calls it “Riciclartisticamente”, or Recycled Art, a trend that’s cohesive with Mercury’s focus on sustainability and environmentally conscious business practices.

Several pieces painted by Maurizio Baccili are installed at the Mercury Marine booth at the Genova Boat Show, running from September 16 to September 21, and are available for show attendees to purchase as well.

Get creative with collaborations

From these two examples, it’s evident that collaborations don’t have to be within the auto industry. While resources from carmakers may be a little freer-flowing for these types of things, dealerships can still be effective with smaller budgets and more local connections.

It can be as simple as a limited-edition model featuring gear from a local outfitter. Sponsoring a music festival or buying a display at a farmer’s market or craft show can be small-scale ideas. Or, go as big as you would like and as creative as you can think – the sky is the limit. The goal is the same. Build brand visibility.

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