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I'm trying to brand a product with either the word 'collaborative' or 'collective', but I am having trouble imagining what the well known thematic usage is with either word. I've always seen them used interchangeably.

The definitions seem pretty similar:

  • collaborative: produced or conducted by two or more parties working together.

    • "collaborative research"
  • collective: done by people acting as a group.

    • "a collective protest"

My guess is that someone with a literature or world history background would be able to help me parse the difference or nuance I'm trying to identify.

  • I think the request for an answer to the emotional response is purely opinion based, as are most marketing term requests. This makes it off-topic here. The rest can be gleaned from dictionaries. – Phil Sweet Sep 24 '17 at 3:48
  • So how about I ask if there are any well known thematic elements... e.g. communism that may be distracting. @PhilSweet – Christopher Sep 24 '17 at 4:34
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Do those seem to you like all-encompassing - even wide-ranging - definitions?

Collaborative and collective things are indeed both done by groups of people working together.

Broadly, collaborative describes work done; collective, decisions taken or responsibility held together.

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I think that collective usually implies a higher degree of cooperation than collaborative. For example, as in federation vs. confederation.

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