A DM on LinkedIn led to the creation of a unique and thoughtful gift set for parents and their little ones that promotes nutrition and sleep for everyone in the family.
“At Once Upon a Farm, we know nutrition and sleep go together like fruits and veggies. Research suggests that the importance of sleep is right up there with nutrition and exercise to optimize your child’s health—and any parent knows that sleep, exercise, and nutrition go hand in hand. We believe healthy habits and cozy night times can be fun and exciting which is why we partnered with Little Sleepies and their signature jammies (the softest ever)—decorated with Once Upon a Farm’s celebrated farm fresh goodness. Little Sleepies shares our goal of giving kids the best and sharing the goodness with others in the process. We are so excited to launch this collection with them!” - Jennifer Garner, Once Upon a Farm Cofounder and Chief Brand Officer.
With both brands being a part of the Disco Network, we had the opportunity to chat with the team that brought this partnership to life. Read on for exclusive insights into how Little Sleepies and Once Upon a Farm planned and executed their capsule collection.
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What are the “green flags” you look for when deciding if a partnership is going to be successful?
Little Sleepies: We always like to test the waters before jumping in headfirst! With Once Upon a Farm we had a proven track record with Disco where we could see the clear synergy between our brands. As an added layer, worked with them on a couple of social giveaways before moving forward with a full-funnel, co-branded partnership.
Additional green flags that were important to our team before committing to a partnership were brand values — the giveback aspect of the partnership being one of the biggest drivers, content strategy, and alignment in our marketing/launch approach. The last piece of the puzzle that truly sealed the deal was the adorable illustrations that were already core to the Once Upon a Farm brand. We could envision them on our pajamas (especially given our proven track record with food prints!) and were excited about the opportunity to use the print & brand illustrations as an educational tool for our community during National Nutrition + National Sleep Month.
Once Upon a Farm: Here are some initial ‘green flags’ we look for to ensure we’re going down the right path for a collaboration!
Shared mission and values – we believe that when brands have similar missions and values, then each brand will be invested in making sure the partnership is a success. With Little Sleepies, we were both on a mission to help parents on their parenting journey while making sleep and nutrition fun for their families. Our team also naturally gravitates towards brands we love as parents ourselves and are tried and true – our team members were already major fans of Little Sleepies before we even got started. We also tested brand engagement on our social channels by hosting giveaways before we dived into a full partnership.
Complimentary offerings – it’s not a partnership unless you are able to elevate each other’s offerings. Our partnership with Little Sleepies launched during National Sleep Awareness and Nutrition Month and knowing that sleep and nutrition go hand in hand to support a child’s health, we took the opportunity to create a moment for parents to celebrate and embrace mealtime and nighttime routines together!
Which data points do you consider when de-risking a partnership?
Little Sleepies: The biggest thing for us is making sure that a partnership is going to be mutually beneficial. This was the first co-branded print we’ve created with a brand so we wanted to make sure it was a home run for both brands. A few of the data points we considered were:
Performance on Disco - particularly CTR (click-through rate)
Social footprint/reach - taking into account past giveaway performance
Quality, quantity & alignment of influencer network
# of DTC packages sent out (as we also integrated a print postcard swap)
Since this was a print collaboration, we also looked at the past performances of food prints
Once Upon a Farm: Like Little Sleepies, we wanted to make sure this partnership was going to benefit both brands and give back to the causes we are passionate about. We also considered the same data points as Little Sleepies in addition to leaning into consumer surveys which provided insight into what other brands our consumers were purchasing (brand affinity), and offer future brand partners the opportunity to reach more of our engaged audience.
What are the KPIs you’re looking at to determine if this partnership was successful?
Revenue from the print/collection
# of new customers as a result of the partnership
Traffic referrals from onceuponafarm.com
Brand awareness metrics - # of press placements, influencer posts (reach), reach of organic social posts
Performance of paid ads - ROAS, CPA (in comparison to non-collab collections)
Once Upon a Farm: We shared the same KPIs as Little Sleepies (go figure! 😊). Brand Awareness was our biggest KPI. We knew going into this partnership we were going to create media/influencer buzz and increase brand awareness for both brands while unlocking new consumers along the way. We also created expert content that was shared across channels that continues to position both brands as leading experts in their space.
What did you learn while planning and executing this partnership that you would advise other brands to keep in mind?
Little Sleepies: Open communication is key! We had a bi-weekly meeting on the calendar to touch base on progress and ensure everything was tracking forward. We also shared our marketing calendar and individual team members from social to PR to growth marketing all had individual meetings to make sure we were aligned and ready to roll for a successful launch!
The one thing we didn’t do that was a big bummer was take a group photo at our photoshoot! Sometimes when you’re so wrapped up in the project itself you forget to capture the memories of the people that made it happen. I’d definitely advise other brands to remember to document the behind-the-scenes!
Once Upon a Farm: Collaboration is so important! In addition to our regular check-ins to ensure we were both on track to launch, we leaned into each other’s expertise—it’s not a true partnership if you don’t trust each other. We learned a ton from the Little Sleepies team and are so proud of what we were able to create together. We’re truly inspiring kids with a lifetime of healthy sleep and nutrition!
How do you leverage Disco Network’s collective reach, community, and insights to shape your partnerships?
Little Sleepies: Disco has been really helpful for us to understand where there is crossover and where there is opportunity. In the baby/toddler space in particular, there are so many parallels between brands and new parents are hungry (no pun intended!) for recommendations. Outside of partnerships like ours with Once Upon a Farm, we’ve also been able to leverage Disco to identify partners for content collaborations on our blog as well as email partnerships. Our brand is so focused on community so being able to recommend brands we love to our customers using data and insights from Disco is aligned with our goals.
Once Upon a Farm: Disco has been a great tool for us to identify and unlock new partnership opportunities, including our partnership with Little Sleepies. While we could assume there’s overlap between our target consumers, Disco helped provide validation to support that assumption. Little Sleepies happens to be one of the brands driving the most conversions for us in the post-purchase cross-selling offer supported by Disco. On the other side, it’s great for us to understand what brands we are driving engagement toward. Not only does this help us find partners for content and giveaway collaborations, but it also helps us understand our customers better.