It’s a Barbie World:

A few weeks ago the long-awaited Barbie movie hit the big screen. 

With an estimated budget of $100 million, we would be amazed if you haven’t seen at least one form of the brand’s bubble-gum pink marketing collateral that has been appearing absolutely everywhere.

Within their marketing strategy, Barbie has collaborated with a plethora of well-known brands, from NYX (cosmetics), Gap (clothing) and Aldo (shoes), to Airbnb (holiday properties), Xbox (computer gaming) and Ruggable (rugs). 

These collaborations have helped the Barbie brand reach new audiences, increase brand awareness and boost sales.

Many of these collaborations have also sparked major talking points within the media and the general public.

I mean, who wouldn’t want to win a trip to Barbie’s REAL Dreamhouse courtesy of Airbnb?

It would appear Barbie collaborated with a brand from every major sector under the sun.

But what if you don’t have a marketing budget in the millions?


The Power Of Partnerships – Barbie Edition


If you have kept up with our latest newsletters you will be aware that at Twenty One Twelve, we are passionate about harnessing the power of partnerships. 

So we wanted to take this opportunity to shed on the best ways to create mutually beneficial brand/business partnerships – even if you don’t have a ridiculous budget. 


  • Having Complementary Services 


Partnering with businesses in different industries that share the same target market can be highly effective.

For example, wealth managers, solicitors and accountants can be great strategic partners.

Just as less obvious partnerships can be highly effective, such as our collaboration between FOMO Mortgages and!

A bit like how Barbie has collaborated with NYX and OPI, both are from different industries (cosmetics rather than toys), but both share a young, female demographic. 


  • Having Different Target Markets 


Collaborating with businesses that offer the same service but target different markets can create a reciprocal non-financial relationship that benefits both parties.

For example, SME corporate lawyers can collaborate with big business corporate lawyers, generating referrals and expanding their clientele.

Despite not collaborating with any direct competitors (toy brands), Barbie’s partnerships with lifestyle such as Ruggable, have targeted an older and more professional demographic.


  • Being Non-Competitors 


Partnering with businesses in the same industry but with specialised and non-competitive services can open up a plethora of new opportunities.

For instance, connecting an international HR expert with UK-only HR experts can enhance the value proposition and provide comprehensive solutions for clients.

For Barbie, Airbnb is a perfect example of this. With completely different target markets and products/services, this unique campaign was effective at increasing brand awareness for both parties.

Want to harness the power of collaborations for your business, but with less pink plastic? Then feel free to contact us



The Three Types of Collaboration and How they Can Elevate your Business

That’s because they’re always a flexible arrangement, custom designed to provide both partners with the greatest possible benefit.

However, we still wanted to give a quick rundown of the three main types of collaborations – and of the benefits they can bring to your business.


Value Exchange Collaborations


The classic win/win scenario: two businesses work together, without any money changing hands, to mutually boost each other’s offering.

This takes two main forms:

Co-creating content


The latter are based on an exchange of expertise, which enables one (or both) parties to provide their clients with a better, more holistic service.

For example, an IFA hosts a CPD session for a merry band of accountants, a setup which provides both groups with a range of opportunities:

✔️ By helping the accountants hit their ICAEW-mandated CPD goals, the IFA is front of mind when it comes to referrals

✔️The IFA is positioned as an accessible and personable expert in their field, meaning that they can easily be approached when the accountants have a problem

✔️ The accountants can offer a more far-reaching service to their clients

In the end, both parties leave happy, paving the way to more collaborations in the future.


Sponsored Collaborations


Sometimes, you have to pay to play – especially with the big boys…

In these kinds of collaborations, one company pays to leverage the assets of another (typically larger and more established) business.

For instance, we brokered a deal between FOMO Mortgages and

By pairing their name with the more well-known brand, FOMO were able to build a trusting relationship with their audience from the start.

This meant that the fledgling brand could generate 10,000 subscribers only a month after its launch.


Incentivised Collaborations

With these collaborations you don’t pay upfront, but as commission once a lead has been converted.

For example, we helped Maxim Financial Services set up formal introducer partnerships with a number of complementary businesses.

Now, their top two partners pass Maxim over 30 leads a month apiece – in only one month, generating £18,000 in written business between them.


If you would like to learn more about how collaborations can elevate your business, please contact

Collaboration: a Powerful Tool for Reaching Your Target Audience

You’ve got a strong product, or a service people really need. You’ve ironed out (most of) the kinks in your business model. You’re ready to take your company to the next level.

The problem?

Getting your brand in front of the right audience.

You may have tried all the classic techniques – ads on google, or social media platforms, or even in your local paper – but, while these strategies can form part of a successful outreach campaign, they don’t work in a silo.

But there’s another, even more powerful, route to your target audience:



How does it work?


It’s simple.

You establish a mutually beneficial relationship with a company that has access to your target market, but that cannot provide the same services that you do.

For instance, a real estate agent pairs well with a mortgage broker, or a solicitor with an IFA.

Then, when their clients come looking for a particular service, they can refer them to you – and possibly earn a little bit of commission for their trouble.

The benefits of the relationship are easy to see: you enhance their services, they feed you a steady stream of clients – everybody wins!


Here’s an example:


Over the last three years, 2112 has worked with Maxim Financial Services to reach out to a variety of complementary businesses.

We helped them construct an attractive introducer agreement, and wrote up case studies based on previous introducer relationships, which we then used to outreach to decision makers at potential strategic partnership businesses.

Since then, they’ve formed formal introducer agreements with nine estate agencies and three IFAs.

These partners deliver a constant stream of leads into the business, with the top two partners providing, on average, over 30 leads apiece per month.


If you would like to learn more about how collaborations can help your business reach its target audience, please contact