Ban.do went from flower crowns to full-on lifestyle brand, and next week launches its third collaboration with Starbucks for the Asia-Pacific region as it readies for its 10th anniversary in August.
The Starbucks deal follows two launches last summer for the same market. The upcoming collection goes on sale Monday and totals 12 stockkeeping units, including drinkware and accessories.
“It’s interesting. That was one of the first really large companies that came to us and they let us be us,” said Ban.do founder and chief creative officer Jen Gotch. “A lot of times you get into discussions and then in the end the idea of what they want is so counter to who you are as a brand, product or people. This [partnership] has never been like that.”
Ban.do to date has also worked with Lolli Swim, BC Shoes and Everybody.World on product collaborations.
The actual designs for Starbucks are a nod to Ban.do’s themes of fun and the Los Angeles lifestyle, creative director of art and design Ali Labelle said.
“Being an L.A. brand and creating these products for a part of the world that we haven’t been able to reach is really exciting because they’re really receptive,” Labelle said.
Partnering with other brands has become an interesting and key part of Ban.do’s growth.
“Collaborations are great for not only working with other brands that we respect and love, but there also needs to be a why toward why we partner,” said Lana Hansen, Ban.do chief growth officer. “It’s not about the number you do. It’s about the intention behind each one, so less is sometimes more. For us, it’s a way to expand customer reach. We do very little advertising. We rely on word of mouth so collaborations create this unique moment that aren’t going to be replicated again. This has been an interesting exercise because it’s a regional collaboration. We’ve done collaborations in the U.S. so this is a really good way to target a very fast-growing area of the world so that we can start to become more global versus local.”
Even though last year’s product was for Asia-Pacific, the company offered the opportunity for followers in the U.S. to win the collection, which generated some 30,000 applicants clamoring for a chance to nab the limited edition pieces.
“We have this community of fans who look for when Ban.do and Starbucks are collaborating so I think there is an audience that is interested in who we collaborate with and that’s a big part of the strategy as we move into the end of 2018 and into 2019,” Hansen said. “Our community loves anything limited edition and exclusive that feels special and unique.”