Friends With Benefits: Why Cross-Brand Collaboration Is Right for Your Brand

25 November 2021
Author: Claire Berthold

Why you should be using cross-brand collaboration as part of your go-to plan 

 

We all know the saying – ‘two minds are better than one.’ Can the same be said about brands? And if so, do they necessarily need to be like-minded? Cross-brand collaboration is a powerful tool to add to your online marketing arsenal. It can propel your business into new markets, and keep you relevant as the stakes are high and competition is tough.

 

 

A woman in a blue wig standing against a pink background holding a lolipop

 

 

So what exactly is cross-brand collaboration? It’s about a strategic union between two or more brands with the specific goal of creating a new and unique product or service. Thereby creating an entirely ‘brand’ new niche in the market and space for growth.

 

Some benefits of cross-brand collaboration

 

  • Boost brand credibility
  • Enhance social media population
  • Create new content
  • Increase revenue
  • Use cross-promotion to create new ad campaigns and reach new customers
  • Instant PR – brings about awareness and creates hype
  • Grows your network


There is the view that the ideal cross-brand match would be similar businesses. You can see why this would be the natural route to take. For example, if your brand is all about healthy food, you might want to collaborate with a company that sells cool yoga and workout wear – the two are symbiotic. You will each attract one another’s customer base and by default, net a new group of customers, and (hopefully) increase sales.

 

Cross-brand collaboration and social media 

 

In terms of thinking outside the box, you can really go to town when you’re collaborating on social media platforms. Giveaways, competitions, and hashtag challenges are all great ways to reach new customers and are inexpensive. The brands needn’t be obviously aligned and can often catch attention because of that.

 

 

A hashtag made from yellow pencils against a blue background

 

 

Starbucks and Spotify teamed up to create a music ecosystem. Spotify’s streaming and Starbucks’ mobile loyalty program combined and allowed Starbucks customers to curate playlists while in their stores.

 

Another combo success story is with Tesla and Nostros Tequila. It’s not something you’d naturally think of coupling, but it worked. In an effort to appeal to the younger demographic and just in time for the holidays, they co-created Tesla Tequila. Needless to say, it sold out quickly!

 

How to choose your collaborator 

 

So, cross-brand collaboration is clearly an attractive option. A few campaigns a year could result in mass savings for your business and substantial sales for your bottom line.

 

 

A brown dog wearing a shirt and googles used demonstrating the benefit of cross-brand collaboration

 

 

According to a study by AMEX, medium-sized companies would benefit from cross-brand collaboration at least five times per year. Just how do you make this happen?

 

  • Do your research and reach out to companies you’d like to work with.
  • Be authentic about your goals.
  • Be bold, you’re bringing some serious attributes to the table; now is not the time to be shy.
  • First impressions matter, be well organised and prepared ahead of time.
  • Invest in help if you need to get you to a place where you’re confident portraying your brand and can get the best leverage.
  • Negotiate and be flexible, remember the benefit of a cross-brand collaboration is a win-win opportunity.
  • Get familiar with scheduling, tracking, stories, and online shopping – basically all things social media.
  • Keep the lines of communication with your collaborator open at all times.
  • Hire an agency to handle your digital marketing including online engagement, so you can focus on broader issues.

 

Once you’ve found your match, you’ll want to have a contract in place to keep things tidy. Legal contracts and agreement templates are available from CollaboHub. Or Joint Marketing Agreements and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) documents for small ventures are great too. Investopedia have some useful tips on how they work.

 

Get specialist help, you don’t want to wing it 

 

Luckily, there are agencies who specialise in this very thing. They’ll identify a marketing strategy if you don’t have one ironed out already. By working on social media growth, email list growth, and content creation, to name but a few, your marketing goals will be managed and achieved. PrimePixels are leading experts in all things digital marketing. Their virtual team of specialists provide simple and affordable packages that are designed with flexibility in mind.

 

Bear in mind that your products, services, time, intellectual property, content, social media base, and email channels are all valuable resources and bring value to potential collaborators. Use them wisely when negotiating and identifying your goals as they form the basis of benefits to cross-brand collaboration.

 

A young girl used in cross-brand collaboration

 

Taking the pain out of finding the right match to collaborate with would also be a great help. Collabosaurus matches your business to complementary brands for mutually beneficial gains. Their extensive database has over 6,000 brands and businesses to potentially partner with.

 

Regardless of how you choose to cross-brand collaborate, whether with a similar brand, or one that’s less obvious, you can agree that it’s an amazing way to create an incredibly new and unique experience that has been married from two separate identities. Who knows where that relationship will lead to, and how many benefits will come from it.

 

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