Partner Up: Amplify Your Messaging via Brand Partnerships

Posted by: Lydia Wohlford in: Financial Services -

Brand partnerships offer the opportunity to connect with new audiences and gain visibility in previously unexplored markets. Two voices are also better than one: when both brands articulate consistent messages, their communications can rise above the din of a crowded marketplace.

When determining a strategic partner, it’s important to consider the compatibility of brand values, audiences and communications channels. Take some notes from financial services firms that have put strategic brand partnerships into action:

MasterCard, ApplePay and Gwen Stefani.

MasterCard and Apply Pay joined forces to launch a secure mobile payment platform for cardholders, enlisting pop icon Gwen Stefani to raise awareness of the payment option through a robust, integrated campaign. The credit card company augmented its well-known “Priceless” campaign with “Priceless Surprises,” creating excitement through unexpected prizes – a handbag, a golf trip, tickets to a Stefani concert – and incentives for using the new app.

The sweeping media campaign made use of social, print, radio, television and digital channels, with a strong focus on the channels – social and digital – that would drive engagement, action and amplification. As a result, MasterCard dominated share of voice during its launch week and in weeks immediately following, and the company gained a million activations within 72 hours of the app’s availability.

Why it worked: Although not used as widely as Visa, MasterCard was first to feature Apple Pay and benefited from a well-coordinated, multi-faceted campaign that highlighted this differentiation. Plus, the brands secured a dynamic face for the campaign with Stefani: “Gwen Stefani’s personal brand, consumer appeal and sheer energy are what make her an ideal partner to serve as an ambassador for our Priceless Surprises platform,” MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar said in a release.

Regions Bank and Visa Fusion.

Regions Bank partnered with Visa Fusion to promote its many payment solutions offered through the bank, such as Visa Checkout, Apple Pay, Android Pay and P to P. Regions executed a fully integrated campaign to build awareness and help consumers understand Regions’ payment options, combining earned and paid tactics to amplify messaging in time for the holiday shopping season.

Consumers were educated about Regions’ payment options through a blogger campaign, a Twitter party and a satellite media tour, featuring an expert tackling the question of mobile payment security head on.

Why it worked: Regions took time to understand consumers’ reticence in using mobile payment options and developed a campaign around addressing security concerns. The campaign connected with audiences most likely to use mobile payment tools – individuals already active online and on social media. By incorporating multiple channels into the campaign, Regions’ new payment options gained traction and helped position Regions as a leader in providing secure, innovative ways to shop.

Silicon Valley Bank and Xero.

Headquartered in the country’s hotbed of innovation, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was looking for a way to support its start-up and entrepreneurial base. It turned to Xero to provide an integrated cloud-based accounting system that would link seamlessly to client accounts and provide the real-time data clients and their investors needed to make decisions. Along with finding a partner that could plug in, SVB found one that could help clients throughout their process, scaling as a business grew from an initial investment stage to a viable concern.

In addition to media relations to promote the SVB and Xero partnership, the campaign included Facebook Live panels touting pointers for entrepreneurs to get investor ready. Efforts were also supplemented with customer testimonials and video.

Why it worked: Xero and SVB’s target audiences are closely aligned. By providing its clients with access to the robust capabilities of Xero – along with Xero’s ability to address client needs throughout the business cycle – SVB solidified its position as a valued partner to clients and as a banking partner of choice. According to Arlo Gilbert of Meta SaaS, a technology auditing firm, “The tight integrations between Xero and Silicon Valley Bank made them both an easy choice. All accounting software should have direct integrations. It adds a layer of security and the setup is faster. As a young startup, anything that helps us save time and eliminate worry is a no-brainer.”

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