Life is Good Brand Collab Strategy Breakdown

The Main Takeaways:

  • Collabs are a strategic marketing differentiator
  • Give generously to build your "collab muscle"
  • "Good things come from good partnerships." (Life is Good's motto)

How optimism pays off

We traveled to Boston to meet companies, agencies, and investors and have been surprised (and re-assured) by how many brands are "collabing-as-a-strategy" already, and how everyone intuitively understands the value collabs bring to their business.

It confirms to us that we are on to something.

Of all the businesses we've seen, Life is Good stands out as a brand that everyone can learn from. Here are three lessons you can take from them to use today.

Life is Good. Embody the spirit of generosity

Life is Good's "Partners in Optimism" program hosts 28 brands they've collabed with to create innovative products. Take a trip through their website and you come across collab after collab, interesting product after interesting product.

None of which you knew you needed, and all of which you feel a pull to buy...and gift.

These collabs embody a sense of generosity that fits the brand and makes its spirit real. Not just a slogan.

Partnering with smaller brands to raise them up

It's noticeable working through the collabs how many of them are with much smaller, often local brands, such as Eastern Standard Provisions (pictured).

Life is Good lives out its values through collabs. Lending the brand equity it has built over the years to lift other brands up.

Their strategy goes beyond what the collab will do for them, and asks what this collab can do for the other brand...and for their shared customers.

Proving there's nothing more customer-centric than a collab.

Life is Good partners with brands as diverse as games maker Buffalo Games, eyewear from McGee Group, sandals from Reef, books from National Geographic, the aforementioned snacks, and candle maker Cheerful Giver (which says it all).

An eclectic mix for sure, all rolling up to a brand expression customers love and an experience that brings smaller brands alongside globally recognized names.

Each collab makes sense of the others creating a compounding effect over time.

What lessons can you learn for your collab?

First, collabs are compound interest. When collabs are a strategy, each collab adds equity to the next one. Collabs gain momentum and strength when repeated and expanded. 

Second, no one is in business on their own. Ask "who can benefit from our equity, who can we help build up, to build a better market for all?" The market will reward you for it.

Third, each collab is a chapter, not the whole book. Create collabs consistently and be open to partners regardless of size to build "collab muscle." Focus on fit, not immediate impact. Soon enough the whole story will come together.

If it's time for your brand to begin its journey into collabs, then Colaboratory can get you off the sidelines and into the game with confidence and commitment of a master.

If you’d like to experience the magic of collabs for yourself, reach out to me @

Andy Heddle
Andy, heads up our business development work here at Colaboratory. Originally from England, he married a Scot and now lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two American-born daughters.