Thom Browne & Samsung Best Of 2023

Thom Browne and Samsung are partnering up again for the third time with a new collection based on the current Samsung Galaxy Z Fold5 and Watch series. This partnership works because they equally engage their audiences.

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 Hi, this is Retail Mashup. I’m Larry. Retail Mashup is a podcast that talks about the intersections between customer experience and the retail industry. We focus the insights on revenue generation and engagement.

Case Study – Thom Browne and Samsung Partnership

Today, I want to talk about a partnership that is three years (find out more about their history together) and it’s been something that has not been told a lot in the industry. It’s the Samsung / Thom Browne partnership.

For our listeners, Samsung is an electronic company that sells anything from mobile phones to TVs to computers, and Thom Browne is a luxury brand selling clothing for men, women, and children, and they have an amazing accessory department. if you are wondering what this partnership is about, since 2020, they have been putting together a limited edition that focuses on the Galaxy Fold, phone and the Galaxy Watch.

Galaxy Z Fold 5 Thom Browne Edition: Official Film Source: YouTube: Samsung/Thom Browne

With this particular experience, everything will be in a Thom Browne design box. The phone, the watch, and the earbuds will have the signature Thom Browne stripes of white, blue, and red. They are limited edition so when they go on sale, they will go quickly.

This is the third installment of the partnership and they have been on sale worldwide in 12 countries since September 12, 2023. From what I can see, it’s been selling up pretty quickly within the day. If you missed out on that particular sale, you would see it on resale sites like eBay.

The Galaxy Z Fold5 Thom Browne Edition Unboxing Source: YouTube: Samsung/Thom Browne

Why Is This A Good Partnership?

You would also see some amazing unboxing videos from content creators once they get their hands on the products themselves. I want to focus on why this partnership is important. We have seen this before where say Apple has always had a Hermès partnership.

Hermès would be selling the watches with their watch face and also have the iconic bands that they use with unique colors. You have seen that working well. For Samsung and Thom Browne, I love this particular partnership. They cross-promote well unlike other brands where it’s always one-sided.

Thom Browne and Samsung Partnership (2023 Collection)

Thom Browne and Samsung Partnership (2023 Collection)

Thom Browne and Samsung Partnership (2023 Collection)

Thom Browne and Samsung Partnership (2023 Collection)

They make sure that both of their websites have content built out so that their audiences would be able to see what is happening on their front page and that the awareness building is high. There is an encouragement for people to seek out the products. The products are unique and in their box. There is a heightened desire to own them together.

If you can get your hands on them that would be great. On the reverse side, we don’t always see this type of partnership where both sides are working hard on building cross-promotional, almost circular promotional opportunities. I give you a classic example.

When Partnerships Are One-sided…

We have seen McDonald’s and other fast food chains promoting movies with toys. We have never seen the other side of the partnership. Let’s just say that I go to a fast chain and it’s promoting a movie that I liked. Well, we cannot buy a movie ticket there.

So both brands would lose out on valuable information about the customer and that’s important as you and I talked about first-party data, third-party data, and what Google is doing.

When it comes to data sharing there is a lot of transformation when it comes to who owns the data and how much data you can get externally, that it’s important for brands that are working together to think about how to share and how to manage the customers together and what makes them special and how can you engage them with useful relevant information after the partnership ends.

The Discussion

So I am going to stop there. Love to get your thoughts.

I think partnerships are the lifeblood of retail, and this one is interesting for a couple of reasons. Typically, when you have partnerships, they’re one-sided. They’re weighted, I guess, in favor of one party or the other.

Case Study: Target

If you look at somebody like Target, for example. Target reaches out to very high-end clothing designers. For kind of an annual, every year for an annual product line. They’ve had Masani in the past, Altuzarra, and Tara Jarmon. These are all clothing designers with a very pricey, high-end luxury product line.

Target and Altuzarra Collaboration in 2014 Source: Altuzaarra

Yet they’re creating this Target version of a limited edition product line, which is a huge win for Target. The designers, on the other hand, are not getting as much out of it, other than they’re having some fun with it. Yes, they’re making some money, but it’s a drop in the bucket. You’re not going to see Target products advertised on Misani’s website, because it’s not the same customer at all. It would probably do more harm than good, so the reverse is not always going to play out for some of these brands.

Equal Weight

In the case of this one, the Thom Browne and Samsung partnership, there’s a lot of equal weight. A lot of Thom Browne’s customers probably have a high-end Samsung phone, although, you know, more of them probably have an Apple phone. Still, there is an opportunity for some cross-selling that they probably haven’t thought of and certainly haven’t tapped into that would be interesting.

Case Study: Arby’s – Limited Edition Marketing That Could Backfire

As far as the limited edition goes, I think that’s a strategy that can work very well if you have your base products solidified and a regular client stream for those base products. One example is Arby’s. Arby’s does a limited edition product every year almost now. This year it’s an elk venison beef burger and they’re kicking it off with a one-day-only Hiking trail and hike-through window offering where you can get one of these sandwiches at the top of a mountain in the Colorado Rockies.

It sounds pretty ridiculous that it’s only one day and it’s something so remote. But it’s very consistent with how they typically do their limited edition products and those products do exceedingly well.

They’ve had a venison burger that sold out in a day. They had a duck burger that sold out in a day. They had an elk burger that sold out in 15 minutes. What Arby’s has effectively done is perfected its limited edition strategy. But they’ve created a client base that embraces these unique products.

They’re looking for the thrill. The unusual, the things that they can’t get for very long. But they’re not supporting Arby’s every day through their base menu items. So Arby’s is struggling a little bit to try to build up their consistent day-to-day business while they’ve perfected this limited edition strategy to drive periodic business.

Don’t Make It A Gimmick

I would love to see how Samsung does with this. Is this going to be a lift to their sales that sustains them and takes them to the next level? Or is it just going to be essentially a marketing gimmick that doesn’t change their day-to-day product sales?

Let’s Talk About Engagement And Data Collection

Well, it’s interesting that you talked about the limited time component because this particular Thom Browne, Samsung partnership usually comes out when the Apple iPhone announcement comes out, perhaps a little bit is to drive that traffic and engagement away from the iPhone announcement.

It’s limited in the way. It’s produced and available in only 12 countries. Chances are most people would not be able to get their hands on it. What does that mean, though? Does that given such a time short period with Thom Browne’s customers have enough time to be converted into Samsung customers and with Sam from customers For the same reasons you converted into Thom Browne customers?

That’s to be seen. We certainly have not seen the data. I have gone through and looked at their annual reports or new stories to see if there are positive uplifts in sales just because of that partnership. You know, Samsung has their experience stores and I have never seen any Thom Browne products showcased in the vast space inside those stores.

Wouldn’t that be great to know that in fact, they have that partnership? I think building that awareness and engagement is not always very strong. Even a partnership like this, that’s been spending more than three years. Yeah,

I know Apple doesn’t typically do things like that except in a few areas where they’ve allowed people to sell watch bands for their Apple Watch, like Hermès-designed ones.

Apple and Hermés 2023 Collection

Apple and Hermés 2023 Collection

Guidebook: Brand And Partnership

If you are a brand that is thinking about partnering with other brands there are a few things that we would love you to consider. Number one is that a two-way partnership? Or is it a one-way partnership where you want to showcase another brand’s amazing qualities, like, for example, Barbie, you want to focus on the pink color, maybe Barbie as a trademark so that you can bring people who love the movie or the toy to your store?

Or should it be a two-way partnership where you make sure that together you have an equal amount or a distribution of content to build awareness for both brands? This could be a shorter time frame, or it could be a much longer time frame, depending on what the arrangement is. And in the future, we’ll talk about a long-term partnership that benefits both equally.

Third, think about data. If you can share data between both brands, how is that data collected and shared? Thinking about privacy, thinking whether or not it’s useful for you to, enter that data sharing component, and more importantly, the final component is customer experience.

You want to make sure that both brands have similar customer experience. For both brands’ partnerships to work, potentially it needs to be more seamless. We have seen a lot of partnerships announced, but it takes too long for those partnerships to be implemented, or the integration between systems or process are not seamless.

One brand’s customers may feel left out or even feel let down by that partnership’s potential. On that note thank you for listening and if you like the podcast, please like and subscribe. We will talk to you next time.

Key Summary

Thom Browne and Samsung have once again partnered to create a limited-edition collection of Galaxy devices for 2023. The collection includes the Galaxy Z Fold5 Thom Browne Edition, Galaxy Z Flip4 Thom Browne Edition, Galaxy Buds2 Pro Thom Browne Edition, and Galaxy Watch6 Thom Browne Edition.

The devices feature the luxury brand’s signature design elements, such as its signature red, white, and blue stripes, and its iconic four-bar logo. The new edition is particularly striking, with its black pebble leather and grosgrain details.

The collection also includes a number of exclusive accessories including a leather case for the phone, a watch strap Galaxy Watch6, and a pouch for the Galaxy Buds2 Pro.

The Thom Browne and Samsung collection for 2023 is a must-have for any fashion-forward tech lover. The devices are both stylish and functional, and the accessories are the perfect way to complete the look.

* Retail Mashup made some modifications to the transcript to improve understandability and flow.

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