Leveraging Brand Collaborations To Scale Your Business With Andrew Heddle

Andrew Heddle is the Head of New Business Development at Colaboratory, a SaaS company that uses data, science, and software to boost brand collaborations. As an entrepreneurial business leader, he has a track record of scaling e-commerce, D2C, and retail businesses. Andrew is also the author of D2C DNA, which examines in-depth case studies of the world's most innovative D2C brands. Before Colaboratory, Andrew was the Managing Director of D2C Commerce at VMLY&R and has held executive positions at top brands like Best Buy and Vista Outdoor Inc.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Andrew Heddle shares the inspiration behind Colaboratory
  • What is the difference between brand collaborations and licensing deals? 
  • Case study of a strong brand partnership
  • The power of storytelling
  • How can brands cultivate outstanding collaborations?
  • Andrew's top tip for resonating with your audience: show the story, don't tell it

In this episode…

While companies might reach primary targets independently, combining marketing resources and creating joint campaigns with other non-competing brands could help reach new audiences. Brand collaborations create new and exciting reasons for consumers to shop, enabling businesses to develop credibility and authority. However, brands encounter challenges acquiring suitable partners and establishing and launching campaigns.

Business strategy guru Andrew Heddle emphasizes the value of leveraging data and software to identify potential brand partnerships. He describes a successful brand collaboration as two businesses leveraging each other’s strengths to offer value. But to have a successful campaign, a brand must remain authentic and create a strategy that connects with the audience organically. Is your partnership giving consumers value?

In this episode of the Up Arrow Podcast, William Harris welcomes Andrew Heddle, the Head of New Business Development at Colaboratory, to discuss the elements of effective brand collaboration. Andrew shares tips for creating a campaign that cuts through the noise, the importance of synergy in a partnership, and the potential pitfalls of brand collaborations. He also highlights the inspiration behind Colaboratory, the firm's services, and case studies of successful partnerships. Tune in!

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Elumynt is a performance driven e-commerce marketing agency focused on finding the best opportunities for you to grow and scale your business.

Our paid search, social, and programmatic services have proven to increase traffic and ROAS, allowing you to make more money efficiently.

To learn more, visit

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:03  

Welcome to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris, featuring top business leaders sharing strategies and resources to get to the next level. Now, let's get started with the Show.

William Harris  0:15  

Hey everybody, William Harris here. I'm the founder and CEO of Elumynt. And the host of this podcast where I feature experts in the e-commerce Industry sharing strategies on how to scale your business and achieve your goals. My guest today is Andy Heddle. And you go like Andy or Andrew, I'd never never asked you that.

Andrew Heddle  0:32  

And it's funny here in the US, I go by Andy while in the UK I go by Andrew. So okay, personality,

William Harris  0:39  

Split personality, Andy Andrew Heddle. Here, he heads up new business for Colaboratory. He's had a pretty varied career in e-commerce and digital Strategy leading up to this. He was previously the head of D2C at VMLY&R and wrote the book D2C DNA. He's an absolute industry vet that I'm excited to learn more from him here as well. Somebody that I consider a friend, we've actually known each other for maybe six years or so and just so much that we're excited to dig into. Andy, thanks for coming on the show.

Andrew Heddle  1:08

Thank you for having me.

William Harris  1:10  

Before we get into the official questions here, I do want to at least announce that our sponsorship here. This episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Elumynt is an award-winning advertising agency optimizing e-commerce campaigns around profit. In fact, we've helped 13 of our customers get acquired with the largest one selling for nearly 800 million. And we were ranked as the 12th fastest growing agency in the world by Adweek. That said, let's get into you Andy and collaboratory tell me, for those who don't know, what is Collaboratory? And what's the backstory? Why did this start in the first place? Where's the passion behind it? Yeah,

Andrew Heddle  1:46  

sure. So yeah, thank you. So the very main story short is Colaboratory is a Software as a Service startup, which aims to make it easy for brands to find other brands to collaborate with. And particularly, these are marketing collaborations that we're thinking about. So things that the customer sees, feels, experiences, and here's the goal of those collaborations is to get attention for the brand, in ways that isn't necessarily that easy to get attention. And obviously, that means an awful lot of earned media. And also just to raise the eyebrow of the customer. And when we raise the eyebrow, the customer, then we we develop a more emotional, deeper connection. That's really the thought behind it. The challenge for brands or brand collaborations is, is more than anything finding partners to work with. And then getting the CoLab kind of established and and off the ground. That's really what we do we help people deliver those things.

William Harris  2:43  

Yeah. And so let's talk about some of these collabs. Because I feel like you know, we hear colabs. And maybe it gets confused with other things like influencers or whatever. But what's an example of a great brand kolab?

Andrew Heddle  2:58

Yeah. Well, that's absolutely right. I mean, that the funny thing, obviously, about the term collab or collaboration is it's a very fungible term. And everyone, to some extent, will use prolab as a euphemism for us working together, even if you're paying me to work with you. So one of the things we say about collabs is a collab doesn't come with a rate card. Okay, you cannot buy a collab; you have to make a collab. And it's two parties at least, and more making one together. Which isn't to say that they're all different levels of application in different levels of establishing the cola ad, but more or less, that's what distinguishes it from being a sponsorship, or a licensing deal, or, you know, advertising or whatever it may be. It's enhanced by how we think about it. In terms of brands that have done, you know, great collabs I mean, I think, you know, people are always aware of the fashion brands that that established them. And they're often actually licensing deals, kind of in disguise. But it makes a lot of sense if you have seasonality in your range. collabs just a great way of doing and saying something a bit more interesting. You don't typically find tro labs and brand co labs in areas that are consumer-led and and somewhat fashion-forward. So we see them a lot in sports. We see them a lot in entertainment, we see them in food, and what we see we see them in fashion is typically where you'll you'll see them and they very much lead the consumer by turning over product relatively quickly. So in terms of a great place to go and look, one of the people that we direct one of the brands I should say we direct people to is a brand called athletic brewing, non-athletic brewing with a non-alcoholic beer brand. It's about five years old as a brand, and they have systematically and steadily developed colabs over the years to really pump above their weight in the marketplace. And beer is a pretty challenging marketplace to be in because the distribution led business. Sure. And several main breweries own the distribution. So to appear above the fold, you really got to be doing something a little bit more interesting. And I think what's clever about what athletic brewing have done is they've done something that maybe the bigger breweries struggle to do. So in NA, the bigger brewing, the bigger breweries have devoted most of their energy and investment in what is a dramatically growing market. So really creating analogs of their already popular beers. So a classic example is Guinness zero, the Heineken zero. These are players that look and taste and smell a lot like the standard Heineken or standard Guinness, but they're non-alcoholic. So they're just creating facsimiles, on an adventure little sense. But for athletic to stand out as a non-alcoholic only brewery, they really are about turning over a lot of products and making the product seem really interesting. And so they've co lab with people like led superfoods super coffee, to create the world's first ever pre-workout beer. We Yeah, yeah, they've grown up with really anyone, everyone that has a really solid positioning in the outdoors. Because the term athletic brewing, at first blush seems like a bit of an oxymoron. But they really have been able to establish for themselves a positioning that no one else really has. And predominantly, they've done it through coax because they can't really do it through advertising.

William Harris  6:39  

Sure. And I think one of the things that I remember when I started getting into some of these brand collabs, with you was maybe thinking that this was just something relegated to bigger brands, that it's like, you know, you see the the Nikes and the Adidas of the world and all of these other brands that you like you said, it's like, what makes sense that they're doing. I mean, McDonald's has done, you know, let's just say influencer collabs. But those are like at that level of an influencer, that's their brand. And so those are, you know, they're doing some brand collabs and even musicians doing collabs, I'm thinking of, you know, let's say you see somebody like Justin Bieber, and, you know, Fonzie, whatever, doing the Despo Seto, right. And so, you know, there's like these collabs. And it's the idea of bringing people together, then you're exposing people to different markets and different audiences than what they normally would have. But this isn't just something that big players can play in, you are explaining to me that sometimes big players are looking for some of these smaller, more niche companies. Why? Tell me a little bit more about that.

Andrew Heddle  7:43

So I think the reason they work really well, especially these kinds of big, small kinds of partnerships is the bigger brands have less, typically less room for maneuver, you know, they've established a positioning over a over a very long period of time. And that positioning is very much ingrained in the in the audience's mind. And you know, rather like a supertanker, once you've once you've kind of got that way to work, in a moving you forward, it can be quite hard to play around the edges and the margins. But they always want to be saying something interesting, or showing a different light to the brand are shedding a different light on the brand. And smaller brands tend to have to develop credibility and authority in a niche. And so larger brands sometimes like to borrow some of that credibility from the relationship. And of course, smaller brands have nothing but upside for working with some of these bigger brands. So one of the things that we counsel the brands who work with is, you know, there is no such thing, as you know, a size match. You know, just because you're bigger, or you're smaller, doesn't mean you can't work with the other partner, because what you're actually developing is a story. And stories don't require, you know, you know, everyone has a number of followers on Instagram or whatever, they just need a narrative arc and an N Max, what smaller brands can sometimes really bring is a developing story that just really enhances the larger brand.

William Harris  9:10  

Sure. Well, and so, you know, what, you mentioned that this is kind of similar to licensing, but it's different than licensing. What, what separates the two of these if somebody's thinking, oh, you know, we already do this, because we do licensing with, you know, these Star Wars products or whatever, what really makes this separate from just a typical licensing deal?

Andrew Heddle  9:31  

That's it's a really good question, because I think there is overlap. And it would be wrong to say that there isn't that the challenge a little bit with licensing, especially brands that are really a very established in the licensing arena, is you end up with a bit of a me to kind of product at the end of the day. Licensing tends to be well funnily enough, licensing deals are normally moderated and mediated by the legal team, not by the marketing team. And so Well, the legal team is looking to accomplish is a good spread of the brand, it appears in a lot of places. But it also takes an awful lot of boxes around the brand present, how the brand shows up. And so you tend to find that within pure licensing deals, they'll just look very simple as basically just badging. And maybe, you know, a very, very seasonal come up around the launch of a film, in the case of Star Wars, or whatever it may be. And there isn't, there isn't really a sense of creativity, it's really just leveraging, you know, you know, a name or a brand. But of course, they can look exactly like a normal colab. You know, in the purest sense of the word. So, ultimately, I think what will distinguish a co lab is the is the work of the marketing teams, to try some messaging, some story and maybe a product that really changes a little bit the direction that both brands are going to,

William Harris  10:56

in you brought up story, which is you reminded me you, you've got a lot of good eight prisms that I really appreciate one of those was, what does it, show the story, don't tell the story, right?

Andrew Heddle  11:06  

Or, yeah, or mess it up. And that's really, that's, that's really a great point. So here's the thing that Troy labs do better than anything else is they show the story rather than tell the story. And sometimes it is much easier to tell a more nuanced story, if you're showing it, rather than just saying it and telling it. And there's, there's two reasons for that. The first is, when you tell a story, the customer has to be receptive. And that means that they have to divest themselves of preconceptions they may have about your brand. Or they may have told this story so many times and no longer really hearing it. And so when you go and show it, you kind of demonstrate in a visual way, you actually create a problem, the psychologically the customer source. And none of us really appreciate this about ourselves. But basically, we're problem-solving machines. That's what that's all human beings should basically do all day, every day. And when we see something that doesn't initially make sense, because those dissonance or those two things have been put together in a slightly odd pairing. When we see the thing that doesn't make sense, we automatically try and make sense of it. And in the act of making sense of it, we actually write ourselves into the story, because we've made sense of it. And now we create a bond or an affinity with the brand that wasn't there necessarily otherwise. And, and that if when the current labs are really working, that's, that's when you get this heightened sense of attraction to the brand. But if you don't, if it doesn't make sense, then then the CoLab has probably failed.

William Harris  12:47  

Well, there's power in that story aspect of it, it reminds me of there was a speaker that I saw man decades ago now. And he feels weird even say that I can say something was decades ago, I'm I'm at that stage. But there was a speaker and I don't remember if it was either Ray Vanderlaan or Ken Ham. But he had us close our eyes and he was describing God and he said, You know, there's a difference in the way that sometimes the Western world describes God versus the Eastern way of thought and, and he said, you know, okay, as Westerners, we typically would say, Oh, God is omniscient, omnipresent. And we we describe God that way. And he said, I want you to close your eyes and picture omniscience. And it's like, you can't picture that. He said, an Eastern way of thinking is very much like God is bread. That is water. And so you can close your eyes, you can instantly picture bread. And there's something about, you know, that idea of show the story don't tell the story where, you know, he even described where Jesus, I'm going off on a big tangent here. But Jesus, you know, says, Hey, are you guys blind, you have eyes, but don't see. And this was right after he fed the 5000 with two loaves of bread and five fish and and then they get on the boat, and they're worried about the storm and he says, you're blind, or you have eyes, but you can't see. And they're like, What, and rather than explaining it, they get off the boat in the very next passage is he gives a blind guy eyes and he says, I see people walking about his trees, who they're like, oh, eyes, but can't see God. And he's so he shows instead of tells, and there's power. And then I think that we missed that sometimes in all of our long form copy or things along those lines.

Andrew Heddle  14:20

Yeah, that's right, because it reaches beyond the rational. And but it's funny. The big key to it is this, this idea of resolving the tension, you know, unless you're right in the middle of them, the more I've looked at prolapse and I've been in collab game, you know for a professionally at least for over a year. Now, the more I realize that, that all creativity, all creativity is just a person or a brand or whoever it may be making sense of the world. In an outwardly merchandise with the do that through art, when they do that, through writing, when they do that through film, whatever it may be in a friend directory is actually just whilst they're telling a story, they're actually making sense of the world, you know, or at least a quarter of the world. And I think none of the things that we see with with colabs, it makes the machine really exciting for brand marketers is a brand marketers should fall more in love with as possible with their brand through doing your brand and colab than not, and the reason for that is they get you their brand, through a different set of eyes, with a set of eyes that they would never see that ran through other ones, because, you know, it's separate and different, and just sits off to the side of what they do day to day. And so actually, we have a, we have a kind of a Collab Strategy session that we use with our bigger clients. And more or less, what we inviting them to do is to re-experience the brand that may work day in and day out. With that completely, we try and five, five different sets of perspectives. You know, some it may be the perspective of the nonprofit, or maybe the perspective of when take one of our gym clients that we had, you know, we actually went down about a beverage track with the the gym plan, but we also went down a basketball track with them. Those are very, very different things, but you get to look in at the brand in a you know, with these different perspectives. And when those armed those different perspectives, creativity comes up, because you're trying again, to just make sense of, of the world, you know. So one of our aphorisms is, you know, when you're when you're looking to see whether collab is going to excite people, instance, is to basically show that, you know, the current ad will make more sense of the brand, not less. So, if someone goes, I don't get it, then they'll end up being a bad cola. But if someone just now I get it, then it will end up being a good Cola, but you need it. If someone gets it immediately. Oh, yeah. And whatever, you know, like a licensing deal, then, then Nicola hasn't done its work. It's too there's too much synergy in it. And there's no energy, no dissonance is where the energy, like they watch dissonance, then there's no energy either, you know, like it's like, without, I don't know enough about visits. You know, to know really what I'm talking about. But for things to kind of generate energy, there has to be some dissonance. But not too much, not too little. So will you another one of ours is, you know, synergy and energy are not the same thing. And yet, quite often marketers will come into the meeting looking for synergies. And those synergies may be comparable size, or it may be that we're exactly aligned on our values are exactly aligned on who our ideal customer profile is, or whatever it may be. And what we'll go looking for is actually some dissonance. not extreme, but enough.

William Harris  18:01  

Yeah, it's like, it's like a tangle, right? Like, there needs to be this, this dance that takes place that makes you say, Oh, this is exciting. This is intriguing. I need to see more about what's going on here. You know, I can see the value of that. And maybe that's a good way for us to lean into. You've got a lot of great examples of collabs on your website, things like that. There's got to be at least one that you feel like just inspires you. And you're like this one is a work of art. Is there is there a, you know, a collab that you feel like this one spoke to me very well?

Andrew Heddle  18:38  

I don't think good question. And I should have probably go to my website and go. Detail, funnily enough, one of the simplest ones. And it's honestly not really a colab, which is kind of a funny thing about it. But many mobile and Arizona iced tea made out of a cola ad. And the mobile store Shore was meant mobile was trying to express the fact that they were never going to change the price of their monthly. The monthly contract I think was 1499. And turns out, Arizona iced tea has never ever over 30 years put up the price of its of its main 60. Now it's realized that simple iced tea, it was 99 cents in the early 90s. And it's in 1992. It's 99 cents today, which mark which makes the salad there must have been pretty expensive in 1992, but fine for me and change the price in that whole time. And so, you know, Ryan Reynolds in his inimitable stylelint

William Harris  19:36  

Oh, he's brilliant.

Andrew Heddle  19:39  

He brought in the CEO of of Arizona iced tea. It's a kind of a grizzled veteran of the beverage world, and basically said that he wants to inherit some of his inflation-busting DNA and this is how they're going to do it. And then they so they talked about basically the fact that it is possible never to raise a price Here's the proof. Now, you can make a make the promise, but you also need to show the proof Well, in making the promise, you know, they showed the proof. And the proof was Arizona iced tea. And so they try to put the two together on the art card at the end. Oh, what's funny about it was they put the two prices of their products together. So these can be bought as a chair lab, but they're in different aisles of target, you know, one on one, you know, and with the railing mushed. Together, they made it they were talking like it was a colab Yeah, you know, but it was really, it wasn't really religious lever. And again, that was I think, one of those moments where for me, I feel ah, you know, showing it enables you to prove it, like you can promise but can you prove, and Metro lab in a funny kind of way, you've delivered the proof? Well,

William Harris  20:49  

and I love it, because that's to me, one of the brilliant things about a co lab is reaching an entirely different, you know, group of people unnecessarily, whereas, like you said, if it's if it's too much synergy, then it's just like, Well, yeah, sure, duh. But I would not have thought to take Arizona iced tea, and a phone company, a mobile phone company, mint mobile, I wouldn't have thought that it's like, hey, we need to like collaborate and do some kind of like, you know, marketing together. That's the furthest thing from my mind. But I think that's that idea of where you just talked about, like, there's energy, though, maybe not synergy where it's like, Duh, of course, they're going to do that. But there's some energy. What about an example of a bad collab? Where what's an example of one that you're like, this is one where it did not have the intended effect of what it was supposed to do? It kind of flopped? Or maybe maybe we don't know if it flowers, but you would assume that it would have based on what you saw? Yeah,

Andrew Heddle  21:43  

I think, funnily enough, most clouds are successful. Across the bay, I mentioned that the cola needs to be successful in which is really just getting attention. And typically, some sort of, you know, unpaid earned attention, you know, we're talking about it's, it's been successful, it isn't necessarily successful in terms of sales is not necessarily successful in terms of a brand necessarily even, you know, generating more, more affection, but it has, it has it has it broke it out and made some attention. So we're also looking at colab. And thing, it didn't really reach out and get any attention than that. It didn't succeed. The good thing is, of course, if it didn't get any attention, no one notice. So you can just do the next one. And, you know, we carry on numerous occasions, you get bad attention, but most most Carolann succeed, at least, you know, along with some sort of dimension. So milestone that didn't, I think is maybe become a little bit notorious for not succeeding is the prologue that we're all beings did with Arby's going back, I was 2017. Going back a few years, there will be obviously kind of an, you know, millennial, upper level, you know, classes brand, Arby's is the opposite of that. Ensure they weren't looking for synergy at that point. And the, the, the goal of the kolab was actually quite it was quite, it was quite a thoughtful goal is to raise money to provide glasses for underprivileged people. And so that was really the whole goal of the COAB. And so they actually created a range of food items that were bees that were were were fashioned around glasses and glass items that were fashioned around Arby's Arby's food products, the most notable of which was a monocle that was in the shape of a, an onion ring. That's one of the Yeah, Gardendale where then you can embed it. What I think was interesting was this kind of patronizing, and it came out first patronizing. The term, Moby's really took a lead on it and and it was kind of a joke sir Arby's and, and Walgreens is making the joke. And, and you could do that the other way around, but you can't you can't joke down but you can joke up you know, I said when they tried to decode everything they put out around this cola was really like, oh, you know, we'll be zombies. It's kind of funny because the names quite you know, similar. Oh, and Arby's is a little bit you know, crap. And rubies is a little bit cool. So well, business blessing Arby's with its cool messages from all way around. And sure. And so it didn't really get the traction that maybe it would have deserved. Because on Twitter done, or they also didn't because they also didn't put the money right at the charitable aspect front and center. It was really I only had this clever marketing idea that no one you know, we probably probably should never have had And we ran with it. But it was always it was articulated very much from the warbeast point of view. And it just it, it didn't feel like the right tension, it felt like the wrong tension, come back to this thing, as a customer, you're trying to resolve these tensions, if you resolve anything, it's kinda like, Oh, that was a bit patronizing towards Arby's and their customers, then you just don't feel that good about it, you know? Sure. So that needs a bit of a watch out. Because if they're going to engage in this activity, you have to, ultimately the customer has to feel good about that resolution, they have to feel like they're on the right side of the resolution.

William Harris  25:41  

So let's talk about that. Let's talk about brainstorming some of these ideas. Because there's one thing that you said that I liked is, you know, it's it's an unpaid thing. It's not like you're doing, you know, paid ads, where you say, let's just scale or our advertising by another, you know, 25% to grow, or whatever this is, you know, there's costs involved in let's say, producing the items or things like that. But it's, it's not a it's not a paid acquisition tactic necessarily. And and I think there's some excitement about that, because as we get into this year, 2023, it's been interesting, demand is down for a lot of people and a lot of products and segments right now. buyer demand is down a bit. There's, there's this allure of this could be a really good way for brands who have maybe been struggling, maybe stale, like you said, maybe need reinvigorated to go down this path. And you don't want me being the one coming up with your brand. collabs. If you're not familiar, and I'll probably link to this here, I came up with an absolutely ridiculous idea for a brand collab, which was, if you're familiar with loom, there's the video capture tool loom video. And I said, Hey, okay, so if you capture this loom, and we use it in business all the time, right? If you capture this loom, and somebody on your team does something with the loom, and they produce something as a result of that, that would be the Fruit of the Loom. So let's have a collaboration with Loom video and Fruit of the Loom pants, underpants, and I'm completely joking about it, it got a lot of attention on LinkedIn, which was pretty funny. But that's a bad idea of of a collab. But how would people go about coming up with good ideas? You know, ideally, they can come and reach out to you, but But aside from that, how do they even begin to think like, hey, there's some ideas that we could do? What does that look like?

Andrew Heddle  27:24

Yeah, it's really good. It's a really good question. And I think what we endeavour to do with brands that anyone can do, is don't start with the brand. Like, unless they literally the number one that people go for is they'll, you know, they'll say, Okay, I want to we want to, let's say we want to colab in they want to come out with people that have got a great reputation for sports, athletics. So we want to try it out with abroad. Okay, because of course you do, you know, sure. And then And then, and then they are and you're going to collab with adidas or whatever.

William Harris  28:06  

I like LeBron, let's stick with that. I'm from Canton, Ohio, from he's from Akron, Ohio, we're the same age, we're basically best friends. So let's stick with LeBron. I like that.

Andrew Heddle  28:16  

And what is the problem with that? Is that now you instantly constrained you're thinking? Sure, you put it put an absolute name on it. And when they haven't done is analog, I she opened up your thinking to Okay, but what is what is LeBron signifying? What is he doing? And so where we start with clients is we start with this and we go looking for territories. And so what we what we're what we're endeavoring to do is is is have the client go back to brass tacks with their brand, and kind of think about the feelings that they want their brand to evoke. And the things that brand has stood for, and they want it to stand for in the future. So open up those those those territories. And so in the case of one of the, you know, the one of the gym chains we work with, you know, what is the feeling they want to vote with this particular chain, then many seniors and youth group exercise, and they want to evoke a feeling of community and togetherness and doing it together. Because that's really what they do. Yeah, yeah. Okay, so now we've got our territories. Okay, so what are you doing it together involve? And, you know, what is the the end to end continuum of doing it together? Well, part of doing it together is there's obviously, you know, before there's during, and there's after, there's these different parts of the experience. So, how do people come together at the start, how do they, you know, prep for, you know, there's session, one they do on this session, and then, you know, how do they, you know, how do they recover and come down afterwards, and you kind of start to really feel into the territories of where that makes the most difference. And funnily enough, we came up with a number of territories for them, one of which was housing. And another one was actually non alcoholic beverages. Now housing and non alcoholic beverages could not be further apart. But why did we come up with housing? Well, we came up with housing for two reasons. Number one, an insight that they had about their brand, is that they were there. People who live in apartment blocks tend to have a more collegial approach to life, just generally dad, because they ride up and down elevators together. Sure, you know, they're often at a similar stage of life. And this particular chain, their core customer is like ating term, you know, 30, there are similar stage of life, but kind of single but but loving community, unlike when we pretend to be living community, but but, you know, relatively, you know, they don't expand out of that community necessarily. So they're signals that they're living community, well, then, people were a single living community, what kind of places do they live, and you know, how you sleep and the quality of your accommodation has a direct impact on your health. And so you began to explore these territories, when you find your way into a place you just would not have found your way into otherwise, and then start looking for, you know, brands in that space that that that can communicate that story that that health begins Healthy Living is a 24/7 activity. And what's the name of our gym? 24 hour, you know, so like, you know, a way we go, you know, there's, there's a little you can do that. But we haven't started with a brand. We started with the, the, you know, the ethos of the chair. And then on the non-alcoholic beer side is like all non-alcoholic beverage sides like, Well, how do you wind down after the activity? Yeah, well, na, na beer is a really, really growing market. And why not call Now Jim? And have a beer, you know? And then the other thing is courses if it's non-alcoholic beer, yes. Well, you can drink get 24 hours a day. Yeah, because you can have a beer for breakfast if it's not out. Yeah. You know, on an in Europe, you know, where I come from non-alcoholic beer has been a big thing for forever, I mean, literally forever. And the German biathlon team is sponsored by a non-alcoholic beer brand. And they use it as a recovery while it didn't really matter. So you know, and in the Berlin marathon is sponsored by a non-alcoholic beer brand. And every finisher gets a liter of a non alcoholic beer, because it puts in electrolytes after you finish the wreck, you know, so we, you know, so, so we're able to play with these when the absolute key thing is just go and have fun with the brand and see more of the territory, and see what the scene what the the range of emotions and feelings you can have around the famous that you're trying to express. Then bound to end up with, as you can see wildly divergent ideas. And you worry about the Browns later. You know, the problem is if you start if you find a brand new, I want to partner with that brand, then you instantly constrained it down. And now it's actually about do they fancy me as much as we fancy them, it's a swipe right swipe left thing. And sure, that will bail, that'll end up being disappointing in most cases, you know, and I could go on fun enough, we were talking to another firm recently. And they they want to say security without being scary. They believe their product line deliver security where how do you how do you what is what is, you know, a comfortable sense of security, and a friendly murmur, you kind of end up with a blankets and you know, smells and various other things or certain things smells, you know, what a evoke that feeling. You know, and, you know, blood warm, you know, blankets, and things evoke that feeling of security when you're young. And even though you know, they don't protect in the same way they offer a sense of protection. So it's funny, this particular brand had come to us with you know, could we do a colab with a security company, like, one of the experiences a lot of people have with security companies is that they make them stand because they sure they are they ready for loss? Absolutely. You know, said anatomy I try to come back to the point I know I've rattled on a bit but I love it. Thinking about colab should be the most fun thing you do. Sure on any given day. You know, and no because you might get you know, you know, you know hit a home run, then, you know, you know set the fireworks off because you've got this really big brand. In fact that can be almost the worst thing that can happen to you. It's actually because you've been able to review and relook at your brand and waste Make you feel a much deeper understanding of it, I'm more affection for it as well.

William Harris  35:05

You know, this reminds me I've got young kids while they're getting older 1310 and seven, but it reminds me like playdates, you know, essentially what you're doing is it's like, you know, as little brand, it's like picture your brand is like this kid and you're just like, Hey, who do I want my brand hanging out with them playing with insight, you know, they had all of my brand playing with this kid, but you know, this kid, you know, they're a good kid, this gets thrown sand in people's eyes. Let's not hang out with that kid. And they like you said it's it should be the most fun. It's like playdates set up some good playdates, and let's have some fun. And that's a good way to look at it.

Andrew Heddle  35:34  

I know, I'll give you this is an absolute top tip that everyone is like, seek first to serve and not to be served. Okay, as a principle, when it comes to brand colabs, who wouldn't benefit from collabing with you, that you would love to benefit in the marketplace? Think about that. And then when you thought about that approach, that brand has shifted credibly, I guarantee you, they're going to be interested, you know, because you have done him a favor that they wouldn't have ever asked. Sure. And then you will develop your colab chops just from working with these other brands. And believe you me, if you develop those, you know, in kind of create a Strategy, I'm doing them kind of consistently, the brands you want to work with will come calling, because they'll see what you've done for others, right. And, and so many people start with, I want to, I want to code with the biggest part I can to get the biggest Sugar Rush I possibly can to advance your career. Right? Yeah, exactly. But if you try to come in any other way, you'll find a lot easier to find career partners will develop that muscle and then let let the people you want to collab with come to you isn't that so they, that's a promise that that will work.

William Harris  36:54  

I like that. Andy, this is fun to go on that I know that we're getting close on our time here. And I want to make sure that I get in, I like a little bit about like, who is Andy Hetal. There's something about getting into, like the backstory of you as well. And one of the things that I think we were talking about was just what makes you tick. Obviously, you've found a way of being able to take like, very disparate things and and come and join them and merge them together. You know, why? How what, is there something in your childhood that made you that type of person who is able to do this type of work?

Andrew Heddle  37:31  

Yeah, it's a good question. I, I you know, to some extent, you never really know. But I'm one of the things I know is distinctive, I know. Because I would even notice this when I was quite young, my, my mother was a journalist. And I'd say she was quite liberal. My father was a politician, and a member of the British Parliament. So that's the equivalent of being a senator slash net in the House of Representative. Certain, I'd say he was quite conservative with a small c. And so I grew up around a pitching table. That was there was always a hot debate, forever. sure about the winner. Another political issue of the day was, and there was never agreement. But there was never arguing and shouting, there was only ever discussion and reason. And it's really funny, because I look back on it. And it is actually quite remarkable. It's been my experience that my family, it was just the normal to debate everything. And never, never fought out over it. And I'm numb wasn't even wouldn't even occur to you. And it's funny because even as a young child, I would go to other people's houses and wonder whether the parents would say their piece, and that was it. That was that was the law on the topic. Or people would rail for it out, or they wouldn't even discuss it at all, like, you know, they were just discussed, whatever, you know, something very, very uncontroversial. Where I grew up in a place where there was almost an it's almost impossible to have a non-controversial conversation because no one would let you and yet it was it was quite mean, we're trying to work out what's, what's it, what are we like, what's the truth? You know? Sure. So I suppose that has conditioned a lot because I do seem to be able, I ended up doing philosophy at university and I think in part, I was able to sit there and evaluate and understand and kind of go down rabbit holes, without feeling that my identity was on the line. You know, I think that's the challenge. We're, you know, a challenge that we see especially now in absolutely, you're out is people feel their identities on the line just to explore a topic, you know, and that's, you know, and I think with us help from a, you know, from a marketing perspective, is I can, I can hold disparate points of view all the time, but any style to see don't Stick enjoying dogs as well, you know, but also don't feel a particular compulsion to be right. Because to some extent, you're never actually right. Sure. You know, you're just one version of wrong. And, you know, and which hopefully is a better option than the other the other available options, you know what

William Harris  40:18  

I like, even just how you worded that, and I think that's an important thing to make sure that we call out was, there was an emphasis on being able to explore opposite points of view, without calling out your identity. I think that's, that's a really huge thing that you just said, that I don't want to, I don't want to pass over that. Because I feel like to your point, that is a thing that is a really hard thing to do right now, where people are afraid to express what's what's in maybe their heart or their mind. And sometimes that's how we have to work through things to get to a better understanding is to have these conversations and in those conversations are arguably harder to have in many ways than they have been in a while. And so I think that there's something to what you're saying there being able to have these conversations without falling out, but being able to have those conversations.

Andrew Heddle  41:07

Well, it's, it's funny, because I think in part, one of the struggles that we all have, and we see it kind of play out in our careers, and everywhere really is, is, you know, really have the freedom to be wrong, without suffering condemnation. And at the same time, we're living in an era where there are so many different ideas and thoughts and perspectives are actually available to us at any one time. And I know if you go on platforms that people think, you know, there's a lot of thought control on actually, when you look at the variety of ideas, it's, it's astonishing, but you have to then be able to, indeed be able to wrestle with them, and not called out for being wrong, just because he'll one point or other on your journey, you know, sure. You know, and so, and that's, that's, that's hard to, it's kind of hard to escape. But you have to get you have to give yourself I think we we ought to do ourselves the favor of not having to be declarative about absolutely everything and not having to be right and realizing that you know, that we have some inherent biases, and we're probably going to be wrong about a lot of, you know, and and, and you can forgive yourself for that.

William Harris  42:20  

Have a passion for yourself, and compassion for your fellow human beings, who are maybe not as far along on, you know, this journey as you are and haven't had the time or chance to explore the different things that you have. And so yeah, have compassion on yourself, that you will learn and grow and get better and have compassion for the people around you as well. And yeah, I think that's a really good point.

Andrew Heddle  42:47  

And federal, may be much further along in their journey you just haven't caught up yet. And yeah, you know, that's the other thing. I'll tell you one thing. I mean, I'm not really, you know, my predominant background is sales one way or another, and particularly digital sales, e-commerce. And I wouldn't, I wouldn't describe myself as being like a full stack marketer, and someone with a great deep marketing background. But one thing I think everyone should, everyone should at least try to understand them, the overall principles of marketing, because the fundamental principle of marketing is to walk in someone else's shoes. That's the fundamental principle, if you can't do that, you cannot market you cannot be a marketer. And it's funny, because I think, yeah, a lot, a mistake a lot of marketers make sometimes is to think that they are, they are the customer means sudden, you're the customer, you will cease to be a good marketer, for sure. Because you won't see that other people have different perspectives on exactly the same thing, you know, and start to come down, you know, to a very synthesized point of view instead of a more, you know, you know, more broader understanding of what you're doing so, and I think this is good discipline for, for people to think, Hey, I gotta take a product that I've never touched never, like, why am I was a VML y&r for four and a half years. And, you know, in the morning, you'd be talking about horse worming products. In the afternoon, you'll be talking about Wendy's, you know, we'll have to be able to shift between those two in those different as a different customer, you know, and in fact, the windows morning customer is different to the Windows evening customers and should be able to flip around, you know, yeah.

William Harris  44:43

I could talk to you about this for another hour, but I know that you actually have a hard stop. So I want to wrap it up with this. I like talking about show and tell of like, you know, weird works, show and tell things along those lines. And you men She did something to me that I thought was very funny and interesting that I would not have ever thought of when you travel. What's the odd thing that you do when you travel?

Andrew Heddle  45:11

So yeah, so I, I would buy a kettlebell wherever I go in the world, and have it shipped to wherever I'm staying. So whether that's a hotel or an Airbnb or wherever, I just love working out with kettlebells. And, you know, typically I'm an I'm an a home I have no, I probably don't about, I call it kettlebells. Like some people call it or choose, but I've got, I must have about 15 different weights and just different fields and sizes, and just whatever. And I must have left. I mean, I've left 10s of these things around the world, wherever I go, I want to have and it'll typically at a minimum be a 36 pound kettlebell, or 16 kilogram kettlebell efforts, Trumps 100 kilograms, and I will happily leave them there. When I'm done with them, even if I'm there for a day or two, that's fine. You know, leave them for the next person to come along and experience the joy of the kettlebell. So yeah. I've gone to places again like years later on, found the kettlebell that I bought is still there. That's hilarious. When get to use it. So

William Harris  46:19

there's a colab waiting to happen right there. If any kettlebell company wants to work with Andy, I feel like you need to almost sign these when you leave. And somebody says, Oh, that's an original Andy Hetal. Wow, where did you get that one? If people wanted to learn more about you stay in touch. They wanted to work with you. What's the best way for them to get in touch with you?

Andrew Heddle  46:40  

Yeah, so the Admissions website is And Coventry is spelt with one L. So at CRL, A, B, O R T AR ally? dire.

William Harris  46:52


Andrew Heddle  46:57

When you get onto Congress, you don't say Oh, I I will not let you get off that site without leaving your email address for me because there is there is a there is an email capture form, anywhere in the concern. In terms of you can find me on LinkedIn, I'm Andrew Heddle, on LinkedIn, very findable on LinkedIn. And I will respond positively to any outreach.

William Harris  47:20  

Awesome. If you if you do get a chance, you gotta go follow him. Couple of things that didn't come up here. I mean, at least just want to call this out. Before we leave you. You helped launch some really good stuff with Oreos when they did like the Oreo record. There's just so many fun, fascinating things that you could learn by just following what he's done. Like I said, he's an industry vet. He has been doing this for years and he's got so much knowledge and experience that if you don't go follow him, I would be disappointed. So please go follow him. Check him out. Anyway, thank you so much for joining and everyone out there. Thank you very much for listening in.

Andrew Heddle  47:58

And thank you this is this was a lot of fun, so I appreciate the opportunity. See ya.

Outro  48:05  

Thanks for listening to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris. We'll see you again next time and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.

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