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Shopify Collective Unlocks Seamless Brand Collaboration for Drake Related (2023)



Drake is known worldwide for his music and massive cultural influence. But you can also add “world-class entrepreneur” to his resume. In 2011 he launched his own record label, October’s Very Own (OVO), followed by his OVO Shopify store in 2012. 

Certifying his status as a serial entrepreneur, the cultural mogul also launched a line of luxury scented candles in 2020, Better World Fragrance House, and NOCTA, a signature collaboration with Nike that sells out within minutes of hitting the market. Drake Related is the hub that brings all his projects together. 

The Drake Related team is always looking for ways to collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs, brands, and friends. In summer 2023, their goal was to launch five unique capsule drops with exciting independent brands and artists that Drake fans will love. But managing these partnerships can be cumbersome, from the logistics of warehousing inventory and absorbing that risk, to shipping items to customers themselves. 

To make their brand collaborations more seamless, Drake Related turned to Shopify Collective, a new native Shopify tool that enables them to discover, source, and sell unique products from independent brands on Shopify without the up-front hassle of managing, storing, and shipping goods. 

Powered by Shopify Collective, Drake Related has seen stellar results: 

  • Simplified partnerships, with a more straightforward way to connect with like-minded brands.
  • Fast deployment, setting up brand collaborations on its website in just 20 minutes.
  • Efficient audience growth, with 72% of sales including products sourced through Collective coming from first-time customers.

The challenge

The Drake Related team had an exciting creative vision for integrating their new brand collaborations into their site design, an artistic recreation of Drake’s iconic house in Toronto, dubbed “The Embassy”. They wanted the new products to be placed throughout the house in shoppable environments—for example, a hoodie draped over the back of a chair, or a floatie in the pool that shoppers could purchase with a few clicks. 

Drake Related pool lounge

But to achieve this vision, there was a fair amount of logistical overhead. The team would have to manage the technical hurdles of adding new items to their site with images and metadata, and coordinate orders between their admin and partner shops, while providing a seamless experience for customers.

In addition, these collaborations involved shipping and storing the new products well in advance of a launch to allow enough lead time to organize the packaging and fulfillment of each order to customers. For any team running a business, this presented a slew of challenges.

The Drake Related team had ambitions of doing more drops per year, but to achieve that goal, they needed to simplify operations and source brands to partner with.

To take our vision to the next level and partner with more fellow entrepreneurs and creatives, we needed to cut down on the bloat and back end logistics that go into collaborative brand activations.

Ryan Franzmann, Director of Operations, Drake Related

The solution

Shopify Collective supported the Drake Related team in simplifying and streamlining the process behind their brand collaborations.

With Collective, the team was able to find unique products in new categories that complemented what they already sell. They were able to connect with the brands, set up partnerships, and add their products to the Drake Related store in minutes. What used to take hours copying product images and descriptions from partner shops now only takes a few clicks, and everything is kept in sync between shops automatically.

Through Collective, Drake Related’s team selected five brands for its immersive experience: 

  • Pool floaties from Funboy, a family business based in Venice Beach, California, founded by two brothers and their wives.
  • A graffiti marker from Krink, an artist materials brand steeped in underground graffiti, hip hop, and skate culture.
  • Air Drake branded socks, robes, sleep masks, and more made of cashmere by Elder Statesman, a luxury lifestyle brand.
  • A hoodie and crewneck from Defective Garments, a brand that upcycles vintage clothing into unique works of art.
  • And some surprises from Hidden NY, which started as an Instagram mood board but has blossomed into a coveted streetwear brand.

Drake Related pool floatie

Did you know?: Drake Related was built on Hydrogen, Shopify’s headless framework. The website is an artist’s recreation of Drake’s iconic house in Toronto, The Embassy. Go ahead and explore his house by room, and shop a curated collection of products while you’re at it.

The Drake Related website acts as the storefront, but its team isn’t burdened with storing or shipping orders on behalf of the brands it partners with. Once an order is placed, it’s automatically sent to the supplier brand to fulfill and ship to the customer. Stock availability on Drake Related’s website updates automatically to match inventory quantities in the partner brands’ back office.

Before, partnership activations involved a lot of manual processes. Shopify Collective streamlined and automated everything from importing product descriptions to order syncing and management, which saved us time and allowed us to focus on the storefront and bring more collaborations to fans.

Ryan Franzmann, Director of Operations, Drake Related

Results

With Shopify Collective, the Drake Related team was able to launch five product drops in record time. They were able to source and get in touch with brands right in their Shopify admin using Collective, importing products to their site in minutes, and bringing new activations to market much faster. The time saved on operations and logistics have decreased dramatically since using Shopify Collective.

Drake Related lounge

By launching more activations faster and minimizing overhead tasks using Shopify Collective, the Drake Related team is reinvesting saved time into growing the brand and spinning up new creative partnerships. Since expanding their product offering with more partnerships and collaborations, they are acquiring new customers, with 72% of sales that include products sourced through Collective coming from first-time customers.

Shopify Collective helps us deploy and manage more product collaborations than ever. We’re excited to use our platform to support more brands, connect them with our fans, and grow the Drake Related brand.

Ryan Franzmann, Director of Operations, Drake Related





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