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5 reasons to make brand partnerships part of your digital strategy
April 4, 2023
Brand-to-brand partnerships have surged over the last 18-24 months; retailers of all sizes (from start up to enterprise) are recognizing the value in partnering with another non-competing brand to engage new audiences, build customer loyalty, and drive incremental sales growth.
Brand partnership activity opens the door to an industry-leading marketplace, operating and facilitating campaigns with thousands of brands globally, empowering brands to better discover, track and reward their marketing efforts at scale.
The combined success for brand partnerships transcends all sectors; in 2022 alone, Awin’s global partner platform connected over 700 retailers via strategic brand-to-brand partner collaborations, driving £13m in incremental revenue and 238,000 sales.
Here are five key reasons to integrate brand partnerships into your online strategy.
1. Explore untapped opportunities with new customer audiences
Brand partnerships provide retailers with a new and innovative partner type to what is already a diverse and dynamic ecosystem of performance-based marketing partners.
Brand partnerships help retailers to connect with new, like-minded customers, broadening their customer database, reach and engagement. This can take the form of providing exclusive or marketing-leading discounts for the brand partner, targeting an untapped, yet engaged, cohort of potential customers. An enticing exclusive will help to capture attention, drive traffic to your website and accelerate conversion. For each new customer, brands unlock valuable first-party data which can then be used for retargeting in the future.
2. Safeguard against the depreciation of third-party cookies
The depreciation of third-party cookies has been well documented for a number of years. Whilst the affiliate and performance channel has worked hard to mitigate against the reliance on third-party cookies, other marketing channels have been unable to shift their dependence and still require third-party cookies to build customer profiles.
By partnering with another affinity brand, retailers can access valuable first-party data directly from the brand partnership activity. For example, a beauty retailer who sells sustainable cosmetic products might partner with a reclaimed fashion retailer who has a database of ethically minded and sustainable shoppers.
3. Boost brand awareness and credibility
Shoppers are creatures of comfort and naturally trust what they already know and value. When a trusted brand enters into a partnership with another like-minded retailer, it instantly boosts credibility and engagement by association.
If a brand’s KPI is to connect with a new customer audience, a strategic brand partnership can be the difference between a successful awareness campaign and one that offers little return on investment. Correctly aligning with a brand with affinity brand values and objectives is key. Myvegan successfully referred over 600 customers to Grubby, driving a conversion rate of 4%. A brand partnership should be natural and well placed to provide additional value to the customer.
4. Nurture your customer relationships and enhance their loyalty
Brand partnerships offer more than acquisition, helping to retain, re-engage and reward existing customers. By promoting a complimentary partner brand, retailers can enhance the customer purchase experience with value-added rewards such as gift with purchases or tailored product inserts.
Myprotein partnered with SimplyCook to offer a free recipe box on their basket page, referring over 56,000 customers to SimplyCook with a conversion rate of 26.39%. Through this activation, 32% of Myprotein customers were new, affinity customers. Myprotein delivered more value to customers whilst also creating real estate advertising opportunities. By partnering with SimplyCook, Myprotein demonstrated an understanding of their customers and tailored a collaborative solution which answered those needs, increasing satisfaction and loyalty.
5. Drive new sources of inbound revenue
In addition to the benefits of enhanced loyalty, customer acquisition and brand awareness, retailers can also monetize their first-party database or onsite real estate. Every customer that is successfully referred to another brand returns a commission payment. If the partnership answers the needs of customers, both new and existing, brand partnerships can offer a plentiful source of inbound revenue.
Scale brand partnerships with Awin’s partner platform
Finding the perfect brand to compliment your own product or service can be a challenge. Awin’s partner platform makes it easy to discover and partner with new brands. The 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 partner brands. Promotional activity tracking ensures total visibility throughout collaborations and helps inform future campaigns.
By Lee Metters, client partner for brand partnerships at Awin