The Power of Brand Collaboration-by Rajeev Agrawal

Prevalence of brand collaborations has become a new norm, from Fintech to Edtech to Medtech. When consciously observed, you see innumerable cross-industry, almost unrelated business collaborations, be it through offering better deals, offers, or enhancing customer experience. They seem to be perfectly complementing each other.

These increased collaborations have undoubtedly proven to be effective. Still, to systematically analyze this newly emerged but now almost obvious trend calls for understanding the needs, perks and powerful impact of cross-industry, cross-brand collaborations.


Elaborating on the need for collaborations

Advent of digitalisation has revolutionized the way companies raise brand awareness amongst the target customers and moreover the cost it incurs to do so. Which is, it has dramatically reduced this cost for the brands.

But eventually this is leading to communication clutter as the brand awareness cost given the digital availability of customers has reduced for the competitors too, the customers are exposed to excessive amounts of ads and messages on a daily basis. Hence, it overwhelms customers with so many choices which sometimes leads to confusion also . Here competing messages from the brands need differentiation or the message needs to have a high recall and should be triggered in the right environment i.e., when a customer is making the purchase decision or ready to make the payment.

This issue brings unrelated or non-competing brand collaborations into the picture. To differentiate the message from the clutter, and to trigger the message recall at the right moment.


What are the perks of Brands Collaboration?

It is well established that the aim of increased brand awareness is to have higher customer conversion rates. But the increased communication clutter has led to a higher conversion cost. Brands most of the time struggle to differentiate their message and as a consequence the market spends a substantially higher amount of money to gain customers.

Now, as a solution to this ever increasing customer acquisition cost problem, brands are attempting to replicate the customer perceptions to their brand from the brands customers are already loyal to. It is being achieved by offering some schemes/discounts on the primary brand’s platform to consider the other brand trying to acquire customers.

For example, it has been observed, if a brand-loyal customer views an advertisement featuring a logo or product from their preferred brand, their willingness and openness towards viewing the commercial significantly increases.

The result of availability of such insights with marketers has led to this increased brand collaborations between the highly known brands and the newer or the lesser known brands.

Hence, careful and wise association with other businesses, is allowing brands to cut customer acquisition expenses.

There are many epitomes of successful brand collaborations in the fintech sector for different purposes –


N26 and TransferWise

N26, a German neobank, is not new to Fintech. As one of Europe’s Fintech unicorns, the firm understands the need for rapid growth through partnerships and cooperation. N26 teamed with money remittance Fintech TransferWise to provide its clients with low-cost access to over 30 currency pairings.


Tradeshift and HSBC

Although retail finance receives the majority of Fintech and bank partnership, other banking sectors can gain as well. HSBC recently joined forces with global supply chain financing firm Tradeshift. The bank will utilize Tradeshifts’ technology to automate supplier invoice payments, shortening and providing transparency to lengthy payment cycles, according to their agreement.


Creating impactful customer acquisition strategy through collaborations

Innumerable brands are employing these collaborative techniques to persuade the consumer in considering and eventually purchasing their products.

They are cooperating and collaborating with other established brands to jointly reach and convert customers and in doing so they are greatly reducing their customer acquisition expenses. As a result, both the brands get to pool their marketing resources and can reach a much larger audience than they would have reached individually. In the process they are not just making their marketing pursuits more effective, they get to gain credibility given the transfer of perceptions of customers from one brand to another.


Tales of Brand Collaboration

HDFC and Snapdeal Collaboration Strategy

There are promotions between e-commerce and bank players in which an e-commerce player offers a certain benefit to a consumer if they pay with a specific bank instrument. As a result of their teamwork, the businesses are able to gain a large number of customers while spending less on marketing. One such example is HDFC Bank and Snapdeal collaboration for a co-branded credit card, with the lender benefiting from increased customer acquisition and the e-commerce company benefiting from increased sales.


Affair between Delta and American Express

The two companies formed a co-branded agreement to assist those who enjoy swiping – their credit cards – as well as those who enjoy traveling. The customers who joined the Delta SkyMiles, their Credit Cards were rewarded with airline points every time they used their AMEX. As travel costs continue to rise, earning miles is becoming more appealing.



As could be observed from the preceding discussion, collaborations can be immensely beneficial for both the collaborating brands. If selected and partnered up with the right brand, the brand won’t just benefit through a drastic decrease in the customer awareness and eventual acquisition cost but, as can be seen from the above success tales, the brand can have increased market share, knowledge base through shared data, credibility through transfer of perception.

Since, this approach doesn’t increase competition between partner brands, instead allow them to gain their common customers jointly through fresh and distinctive purchasing instruments that entice the consumer to buy.