Two geese and a llama go on a hike with binoculars and a phone.

Flying in Formation: How to Hatch a Successful Brand Partnership

Lessons from the Chase Jun 12, 2024

Hi! I’m Craig, Community Manager at Goosechase, and a hiking enthusiast with a long list of peaks in the Canadian Rockies checked off my bucket list.

In Lessons from the Chase, we take you behind the scenes of building the world's first interactive experience platform. Members of the Goosechase flock let you in on business problems we're tackling, how we're thinking about them, and what solutions we put to the test.

Hiking, camping, and the great outdoors are a huge part of my life, so you might say getting people outside to do good comes pretty naturally to this nature-lover. 

When Goosechase set out to launch our new community (and learn some lessons along the way) it was challenging to choose the right tool from our hiking pack that would make the biggest impact, with the fewest resources (the Goosechase team is a small one!). Our goals were to drive awareness, encourage new member signups, and create an immediate sense of excitement through a shared experience.

Why Launch a Brand Partnership

Inspired by (unlikely) collaborations like Nike and Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Dunk, a brand partnership felt like just the right tool to achieve our goal. It would allow us to expand beyond our own flock and leverage the strengths of a like-minded organization to create a memorable experience for everyone.

Creating a successful collaboration is a lot like planning a challenging hike; it requires the right team, careful timing, and a shared vision of the path you want to explore. Here's how we made sure our collaboration made it all the way to the summit. 

A llama and a goose paddle in a canoe with clouds in the sky.
Turns out, a goose and a llama are a match made in heaven.

What Our Brand Partnership Looked Like

Our goal is to make the world more fun, playful, and human, so an interactive experience IRL was essential. With our fine feathered friends onboard, we created the Goosechase Hike ‘n Honk, presented by Cotopaxi (see what we did there?) exclusively for our community members. The Experience was available in the Goosechase app for one month, where participants could accumulate points, win weekly prizes, and attempt to top the leaderboard to win the grand prize (more on that later). 

So what did we learn about hatching a successful brand partnership?

Let’s get into it.

5 Tips to Creating a Successful Brand Partnership

Find the Right Company to Collaborate With

Goosechase had recently launched The Nest, our online community for creators to ask questions, get answers, and honk about anything under the sun, with a passionate group of ambassadors. The next step was to scout for a partner that wasn't just a good fit on paper, but also shared our mission and vision. As they say, “birds of a feather flock together.” Looking to grow the flock and build a strong foundation for our community, Cotopaxi, with its commitment to “do good” and be active, was the perfect match. 

In any collaboration, finding the right "goose" to fly with is crucial. Jeff Steadman, Community Engagement Director at Cotopaxi, proved to be the right guy for the job. He shared our passion and vision for the partnership, ensuring both teams were always on the same wavelength, making the collaboration seamless and effective. 

Cotopaxi’s mission focuses on how exploration can make a positive impact in other people’s lives. With plenty of experience organizing outdoor events like Questival, they even dedicate a percentage of their revenue to nonprofits working to improve the human condition. With that powerful message in mind, our collaboration was grounded in a mutual commitment to sustainability and community impact. Every aspect of our event was designed to reflect this—from the activities we planned to the way we communicated with our participants. Weekly ‘Do Good’ bonus Missions encouraged participants to send snail mail to a friend in need, pick up litter in their community, volunteer with local organizations, donate to charity, and lend a helping hand to a neighbor. This made it easy to share Cotopaxi’s mission while participants charged up the leaderboard. 

Turns out, a goose and a llama are a match made in heaven.

A hiker with a backpack jumps from one rock to the other.
Cotopaxi paired the right gear with the next Goosechase adventure.

Build a Great Experience, But Be Flexible

Experience is everything, right? The Experience itself was a month-long journey through creative Missions that not only entertained but also educated participants on important social issues. Trivia questions about the migratory patterns of whales off the coast of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, photo Missions of waves crashing against the rocks at the Botanical Beach, and selfies with a goose made it easy for folks to participate however they were comfortable. Messages in the app and Mission descriptions were cheeky and light-hearted, always keeping the focus on having a good time.

Just as a flock of geese adjusts its formation in response to the wind, we were prepared to adapt our event based on the feedback from our community. We closely monitored submissions and increased the Mission types that were most popular, added hints for particularly challenging tasks, and rewarded participants with bonus prizes along the way. This agile approach allowed us to enhance the experience in real-time.

Illustration of hiking accessories like coats and backpacks on a green background with the question 'What are your adventure gear essentials?' written in black type.
The collaboration focused on having a good time through a shared experience.

Never Underestimate the Passion of Your Community - and celebrate it!

This was the first time we had ever launched a collaborative Experience for our new community, so it was hard to judge what the response was going to be. Well, the enthusiasm from the participants exceeded our wildest expectations. Over 150 participants completed over 2,000 submissions, with the winners racking up over 60,000 points on the leaderboard. That’s a lot of points! The most impressive part was seeing real people doing good in their community thanks to the Experience. Creating custom awards for co-workers, donating books to neighborhood libraries, and paying it forward in the drive-thru line were just some of the ways participants made a positive impact in the real world.

Illustration of a llama and two geese on a podium with 'And the winners are...' written in black type.
Prize winners were celebrated for doing good in the world!

Create Cool and Unique Prizes to Get Your Community Excited

Prizes are a classic way to attract a wider audience and generate buzz around the Goosechase Experience, but we wanted these prizes to be one-of-a-kind and good for the planet, too. Cotopaxi customized their popular Allpa 20L Travel Packs with Goosechase branding alongside the classic llama for an adventure-ready prize worth getting excited about. Everyone who participated received an exclusive Cotopaxi discount code just for participating.

Purple backpack with an illustration of a goose and a llama below the words 'Goosechase Hike 'n Honk' in black type on an orange background.
Co-branded prizes generated plenty of buzz!

The Takeaway from Our Flight Together: Get in Formation!

When companies collaborate with purpose, the impact resonates far beyond the original experience, leaving a lasting impression on the whole flock. So here's to finding the right goose to fly with, aligning your flight paths, and doing good in the world, too.

What is Goosechase?

At Goosechase, experience is everything. Originally inspired by scavenger hunts, Goosechase is an online platform that enables organizations and schools to engage, activate, and educate their communities through delightful interactive experiences. Sign up and try creating a free recreational Experience, or check out our Pricing!


Craig Cordell

Community Manager