Fashion platform Pomelo and super app Grab joined forces in 2020 to produce limited-edition fashion merchandise as both brands look to provide new experiences for their consumers. Marketing leads from both brands take The Drum under the hood of their partnership.

Thailand-based Pomelo is always keen to partner with brands on initiatives that will make an impact, Jean Thomas, the chief marketing officer at Pomelo explains to The Drum. That is why the platform collaborated with Grab to create this collection to bring its customers and fans “an unexpected surprise”, pushing the boundaries of what a fashion collaboration can be.  

“The Pomelo x Grab collection also provides our customers with the opportunity to celebrate Grab’s drivers and delivery riders, who were at the forefront of the pandemic, ensuring consumers still had access to essential goods during these challenging times,” he adds.

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Cheryl Goh, group vice president of marketing at Grab explains that as Grab continues to evolve as a lifestyle super app, Grab wants to bring relevant experiences to its community of users - be it through new services or partnerships with brands that share the same vision. 

“It was thus an easy decision to team up with Pomelo, a well-loved fashion brand that has evolved into a true omnichannel powerhouse,” she says. “In the last few months, we have observed that consumers are finding more ways to appreciate our delivery-partners, such as by participating in several of our initiatives like “Buy your delivery rider a meal”, as well as tipping our partners more frequently.”

“Therefore, we wanted this collaboration to be an opportunity for consumers to meaningfully support our driver-partners while delighting them with the fun and unique designs in the collection. We also hope our inaugural fashion collaboration will introduce Grab to consumers who are new to our brand and deepen the brand love of our existing loyal users.”

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The Pomelo x Grab collection, available in Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, consisted of six wearable streetwear-style pieces and was designed in-house by Pomelo. The collection showcases a fresh colour palette of green and white, reminiscent of Grab’s brand colours, as well as purple and black, representing Pomelo.

The collection’s signature piece is a PU leather jacket, a fashion piece with tongue-in-cheek graphics and taglines inspired by Grab and Pomelo. The assortment also features three statement T-shirts splashed with taglines such as “we both do delivery”, along with fashion accessories in the form of the classic bandana with both brand logos stamped on. 

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To celebrate the launch, Pomelo hosted a Pomelo x Grab livestream Show on the Pomelo App and its Facebook page in both Thai and English languages. Featuring Thai fashion influencer, Preen Ravisrarat Pibulpanuvat (@preenp), the livestream show showcased the collection and provided tips on how to style the streetwear collection.

“For the Pomelo x Grab campaign, we kept the styling fresh and upbeat, to entice our fans to get their hands on these exclusive limited-edition fashion merchandise,” explains Thomas.

“In Thailand, we also expanded our reach to Pomelo fans through our retail stores in key locations within the city, such as Siam Center, EmQuartier, Central Ladprao, Mega Bangna, and CentralWorld. Via Tap Try Buy, Pomelo’s latest in-app feature where customers are allowed to try on the pieces before making a purchase, customers can view and explore the collection in-person before snagging a piece for themselves. In Malaysia, we curated visuals for the campaign that we felt would be relevant for their local fashion scene, ensuring that the collection styling was kept modest yet fresh.”

He adds: “Marketing efforts from both brands range from in-app advertisements to engaging over 70 top fashion influencers in all markets to style the collection, announcing the exclusive collaboration via local and regional media titles and publications, and creating a buzz amongst customers via social media, exclusive giveaways, and email newsletters. These activities kept fans of both brands excited leading up to the launch date.”

Pomelo has been actively ramping up its omnichannel efforts since its launch in 2014. The brand's chief executive officer David Jou previously spoke to The Drum about how it has invested in the channel, which includes livestreaming capabilities.