Five reasons why brand collaboration matters

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No matter how big two brands may be, they can always be better together. Awin’s platform makes partnering with brands easy.

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No matter how big two brands may be, they can always be better together. While you may have a loyal audience and a huge presence online, a brand collaboration can take your engagement to the next level. Awin makes it easy to partner with brands, serving as the perfect platform to let you shine and work with other advertisers to create a brand collaboration that delivers real results.

What is brand collaboration? 

As the name suggests, brand collaboration is when multiple businesses join together to create a campaign that simultaneously benefits everyone. This is different than traditional partner marketing campaigns where brands collaborate with affiliates, as it isn’t a publisher  driving sales for the brand partner but a similar ecommerce company supporting one another to open up entirely new opportunities.

More recently, brand collaboration has garnered serious marketing power, giving an air of exclusivity to both brands and creating an entirely new offering that excites both customer bases.  While a new perfume or wacky ice cream flavor is a great way to generate fun and buzz, brand collaboration can be highly successful in simpler ways that still deliver value for customers. 

Why should my brand partner with others? 

There are plenty of reasons to consider partnering with brands. Here are some of the top ones to consider. 

1. Explore new opportunities with a new audience  

Brands are always evolving, and that means your audience has to evolve with you. Brand collaboration can help you connect with a new audience and by broadening the reach of your engagement, you can ensure your customer segments are growing, too. In fact, collaborating with a brand that brings its whole customer base is one of the most efficient ways to do so. This is especially important during times of crisis, like the pandemic, when businesses need to consider new avenues for income, even if they didn’t align with current audience expectations.  

Brand collaboration can bring new relevance to each party involved in the partnership, presenting new opportunities to their customer bases that can, in some cases, be unexpected and generate a real interest that leads to improved engagement.  

2. Nurture customer relations 

Brand collaboration isn’t just about attracting new customers, although they do that very well. They’re about rewarding the customers you already have. When you partner with other brands, there are mutual benefits for both customer bases. For example, providing exclusive discounts and offers to one another's  existing customer base in order to entice new ones for your own business.  

Myprotein’s brand partnership is a great example of how collaborating with another retailer offers plenty of mutual benefits. By creating a rewards program with UK start up Simply Cook, Myprotein was able to deliver more to customers but create an optimum platform for advertising opportunities, building a portfolio of professional relationships. 

This partnership also highlights the wealth of innovative collab opportunities. For Myprotein, customers were an excited customer base for similar ‘health & fitness’ products and services, in this case a free trial recipe subscription box on top of additional discounts and rewards. Exploring the complexity of customer needs and offering collaborations that answer those needs shows a deeper understanding of your audience.  

For customers, seeing a brand they already know and trust is investing in them through impactful partnerships can make a real difference in overall satisfaction and loyalty.  

3. Boost in credibility  

We naturally trust what we know. There may be thousands of big-name brands out there, but that’s not to say every individual has engaged with them or finds them particularly trustworthy. But when brands they do trust and frequently engage with collaborate with others, it instantly boosts credibility and encourages an existing audience base to engage with a new brand. 

When looking to connect with a new customer segment, improving brand awareness through strategic collaborations can be the difference between a successful campaign and one that falls flat. Correctly aligning with brands that match your values and objectives is something that will be reflected in your customer engagement.

4. Create buzz and change perspective 

It’s a universal truth in marketing that brand collaboration can create real buzz for both parties. Whether that’s an exclusive pair of sneakers or just a discount code unavailable anywhere else, when the power of a brand is doubled or tripled, it’s only natural that the customer base of each will take notice. Cobranding partnerships have real pull power and it’s one advertisers should be sure to make the most of.  

A brand collaboration is also a great way to diversify the way your business is perceived. Red Bull’s portfolio of collaborations is a fantastic example, shedding the image of a sugary drink made to help power through a hard day and repositioned as a brand that powers true adventure. That said, ensure you are altering your brand’s perception into something welcomed by your audience and won’t feel forced or unfitting - for every successful brand collaboration, there are plenty more that missed the mark. 

5. Leveling up marketing  

It’s not just a presence on one platform or the existence of one offer that makes brand collaboration so successful. By taking pride in their new professional relationship, brands can shout about their new collaborations on every channel and this brings fresh relevance to them all. From linking opportunities on social media and new landing pages to boost site rankings, to email sign ups from customers seeking new information about this partnership, combining the power of multiple brands means gaining traction across channels and capturing the eyes of both follower counts.  

The benefit to this is also clear in the numbers, it can be 25 times cheaper to enter into a brand partner collaboration than to fund a solo digital advertising campaign. You naturally have access to the audience of your partner brand, easily upping your customer base. An AMEX study into Australian businesses found almost 70% of small businesses and over 60% of mid-sized businesses saw ROI on these collaborations within six months.

How to collaborate with brands 

Finding the perfect brand can seem similar to matchmaking. A poor match will not go unnoticed by customers that may interpret an inappropriate partnership as something of a ‘money grab’ or a sign that a brand they once trusted is ‘selling out.’ Collabs with others should start by taking a close look at yourself. 

It’s important to understand your own goals and your customer base. What would they find valuable and in what way can you answer these needs? You should also consider why your customers are satisfied in using your brand’s products and services. For example, if you have particularly strong customer service and know it is one of your key selling points, collaborating with a brand that has a lot to be desired in this area may serve their customer base well but leave your own disappointed. In turn, this can show that you are not discerning about the brands you work with and could damage the customer relationships you already have. Just like poor matchmaking, the fall out of a bad collab could take a while to shake off.  

boohoo is another example of a business that realized its customers needed to continue finding value in the brand but in an entirely new way and so it has recently entered into the brand partnerships space to support this goal. In the same way, you should look carefully at your brand values and goals so you enter into a brand collaboration that benefits you, your partner and both customer bases.  

Building a brand collaboration campaign 

Brand collaborations can take many forms, but the way in which you market them will be key to their success. This can include:

  • An exclusive one-time code or service advertised on social media 
  • A launch of an entirely new platform (like the above Wolves Rewards) 
  • Email campaigns that offer exclusive previews or fast-track access  
  • Thinking small — brand collaboration done little and often can engage your audience far more than one big collab every year or so 

It’s important to remember that while access to two different brand audiences might double or even triple your reach, it makes it even more important to be delivering quality content. Every brand has its own personality and a team to keep that personality strong and authentic. Collaboration must start at the human level between the teams behind each brand to create something that reflects the best of both and helps build something even better.  

Finding the perfect brand partnership with Awin 

Awin makes it easy to start with brand collaboration. Our partner directory lists potential brands with aspirations that align with your own. Awin can help define your objectives so you are clear on how brand partners can best work with you and ensure you are matched with the most relevant businesses. This also means you are connecting with companies open and ready to collaborate so there is no need for cold calls or big-pitch emails.  

We make it easy for you to connect with partners that can bring real value to your brand while benefiting from the unique character of your own. Promotional activity tracking ensures total visibility throughout collaborations and our platform ensures getting new brand partnerships up and running is quick and easy.  

Ready to start? Become an Awin advertiser today and opt in to brand partnerships. If you already work with Awin, please speak with your account contact. and opt in to brand partnerships. If you already work with Awin, please speak with your account contact. 

Opt in to brand partnerships with Awin. 

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