This is the million-dollar question – for many don’t fully understand the definition.
Your tech company’s brand is not the name of your business. It’s not your logo, your tagline, or your colour scheme. True, all these things, when you have a strong brand strategy in place, become associated with your brand – but they do not form the brand itself.
And we do mean all levels – from your customer service to your social media posts to your commitment to fulfilling orders to the product itself. And this is exactly why companies that want to fly must focus on their branding as much as they do their product – for the product alone is not a brand.
Over-saturation and mass clutter present a daunting challenge for spreading awareness and establishing differentiation. Crypto and blockchain companies large and small are fighting for their share of voice—and it’s overwhelming enough for new users to equip themselves with adequate knowledge of trusted platforms and general industry nuances.
So what’s the solve? How can fintech companies cut through the noise?
Boil it down to brand strategy.
Understanding Brand Strategy: In any industry, a strong brand strategy is crucial for business success. Companies that have established who they are, their core tenants, and key differentiators (and how to leverage them) are the brands who find the deepest user loyalty. Fintech is no different, and should arguably rely the heaviest on a strong brand strategy to drive awareness, whether it be announcing an ICO or overhauling a website design.
Brand strategy is also uncharted territory for many of the world’s fintech companies— Most leading fintech founders and creators are often so committed to the development of the product, such matters as brand strategy end up tossed to the wayside, or overlooked altogether. Therein lies the problem: an unrecognized need to grow the company from within.
Most often conflated with a logo or identity system, brand strategy goes much deeper, and in fact, is what informs the aforementioned. Brand strategies are the foundation for how a company looks, sounds and communicates to each of its audiences, instilling a belief system for employees and users alike.
Finding a Branding Partner: When seeking a branding expert, there are several options to consider, depending on the breadth and depth of a company’s needs. Regardless of the kind of partner—agency, contractor, consultant, or the like—fintech companies should understand how to communicate their needs and stipulations. Finding the right partner can be a daunting challenge, given budgetary restrictions, logistical hurdles (how can we best work with this company/individual who’s in a different country or time zone?) and resourcing (where do we even begin to look? How do we know this company/individual is right for us?).
Odds are, if you’re a new, smaller blockchain or crypto brand, you likely aren’t going to consider a partner who expects a six-figure retainer or an individual who’s looking for a full-time, long-term gig. Rather, you might need a partner that can act as a supplement to your team; one who knows and understands your mission, values, and needs, and can act as an extension of your company as you grow. Establishing current and future needs from all angles—identity, brand strategy, UX, etc.—are key to finding a partner who can be nimble and comfortable with ambiguity when the industry faces its ups and downs.
As the Fintech world continues to grow and transform, the most important thing for these companies to do is formulate a plan for success through thoughtful brand strategy. Differentiation in this marketplace is key as adoption of blockchain and crypto continues to skyrocket, and stronger, clearer communication from companies means more credibility for the industry as a whole.
Co-branding is the practice of using multiple brand names together on a single product or service. The term can also refer to the display of multiple brand names or corporate logo s on a single Web site, so that people who visit the site see it as a joint enterprise. When effectively done, co-branding provides a way for companies to combine forces so that their marketing efforts work in synergy .
On the Internet, co-branding can provide benefits to the involved businesses by enhancing product or service exposure to consumers, marketing new products and services, and making consumers or clients aware of the core competencies of each enterprise. Co-branding can also be used to target specific markets with advertising by means of banner ads, logos, or links in descriptive text, maximizing the likelihood that potential buyers will learn of the existence of a particular company, brand, product, or service.
Citibank (stylized as citibank) is the consumer division of financial services multinational
Co-branded credit cards are the product of a mutual partnership between a particular merchant and a credit card issuer. Together, they create a credit card that bears the merchant’s logo and provide merchant-specific benefits to brand-loyal consumers. As a result, you gain rewards and discounts from the brands you are most loyal to.
They are useful and cost-effective once you understand how they work. However, the rewards offered by a co-branded credit card are tailored specifically to the services offered by the affiliated merchant.
Advantages of Co-Branded Credit Cards
1. Accepted Worldwide: Co-branded cards are international cards. They are accepted worldwide and can be used at any merchant outlet across the globe while the bill is generated in INR. Their worldwide acceptability is due to the tie-up they have with VISA or Master Card.
2. Rewards Customer Loyalty: It is a unique way for the card issuer as well as the affiliate merchant to reward their loyal customers. The cards while being a reward will further deepen the frequency of engagement, thus creating a win for all.
3. Freebies for the Customers: They offer free merchandise to customers for spends exceeding specific amounts or redemption options along with a frequent flyer program or a frequent buyer program.
4. Customized to Lifestyle Requirements: Since co-branded credit cards are attached to a particular brand, customers can avail cards customized to their spend category and lifestyle requirements.
5. Fee Waivers: Most co-branded credit cards do not have transaction fees and also offer surcharge waivers for customers.
You receive the highest rewards, from the purchases you make directly with the affiliated merchant. Therefore, in order to fully reap the rewards available, opt for a card from a brand that you know you will make regular transactions with e.g. Indian Oil Citi Credit Card that offers fuel benefits.
It might be tempting to get credit cards affiliated with all of your favorite stores, use each on a sporadic basis when you shop with the respective retailers and then stockpile the rewards you earn for future benefits. Spreading yourself too thin in this manner is not beneficial. Get at the most two different co-branded credit cards. This will enable you to maximize the benefits you receive from each without overburdening yourself.
Hong Kong – Citi, the largest pan-regional credit issuer, and Lazada Group, Southeast Asia's leading e-commerce platform, today announced the launch of the new Lazada Citi credit card, marking the first time that an e-commerce company is launching a co-brand credit card in the region.
The co-brand credit card, which offers 10x more rewards on Lazada purchases and Lazada Wallet top-ups, is live in Malaysia and will be introduced to other markets in the region over the next six months. Tapping into the growth potential of e-commerce spending in the region, Citi and Lazada are targeting over 500,000 sign-ups of the new card across the region over the next few years.
With the new credit card, Citi will access a younger, digitally-savvy customer pool that makes up the majority of e-commerce customers in the region while Lazada widens its breadth of offers and services by leveraging a global financial platform.
Commenting on the launch of the Lazada Citi credit card, Sergio Zanatti, Asia Pacific and EMEA Cards and Loans Head, Global Consumer Banking, Citi, said, "Citi continues to gain traction with its regional partnership strategy, and we are delighted to be collaborating with Lazada as we build out our presence and scale in digital ecosystems where our customers are active. Through our partnerships, we are looking to increase our Consumer Banking customer base in Asia Pacific by about two million over the next few years."
"As a leading consumer lifestyle destination, we want to bring more value to our customers and a co-brand card that rewards users on their purchases. With the theme 'Play-it-up', this card brings lifestyle benefits to our valued customers advocating entertainment on top of our everyday promotions. We are also thrilled to be partnering with Citi, the region's leading credit card issuer," noted Mary Zhou, Chief Marketing Officer, Lazada Group.
The co-brand credit card launch is a natural extension to Citi and Lazada's regional partnership, which dates back to 2016. As part of the partnership, Citi customers benefit from ongoing offers on Lazada's platforms in the region. By targeting consumers in Southeast Asia where the use of cash is still widespread, Citi and Lazada will enable more consumers in the region to access the benefits and convenience of credit card spending through the new co-brand card.
The card in Malaysia is the only one of its kind offering 10x earning of points for Lazada shopping and Lazada wallet top-up, 5X points for selected lifestyle, travel and wellness categories. It offers 1,000 bonus points monthly with minimum card spend, RM10 cashback with minimum top of RM100 in Lazada wallet for the first 1,000 customers monthly and RM10 cashback for the first time "Top and Save" in Lazada Wallet. Points earned on this card can be used to offset against future Lazada spending.
Citi's Asia Pacific Consumer Banking business has around 15.2 million credit cards, covering 12 markets in Asia Pacific as well as five in EMEA. Close to half of new credit card and loan acquisitions are generated digitally today, representing a more than two times increase in the last three years.
Citibank and IOC to Launch Co-Branded Debit Card
January 25, 2007
Prague – Citibank a.s. received the esteemed awards in two categories (out of the three possible) upon the assessment of the best co-branded credit cards launched in 2006, which was conducted by MasterCard. Citibank placed first in the Best 2006 Novelty category for its MasterCard Citi CSA credit card and, it also won the Best Co-branded Card from the Client’s Benefits Point of view category for its Shell MasterCard from Citibank a.s. The best cards were chosen based on an evaluation that had been made of 40 MasterCard co-branded programs that are running in the Czech Republic. Co-branded cards are issued by financial institutions in conjunction with their partners through which cardholders are offered various bonuses and other benefits.
“The future of payment cards lies in enhancing their added value for the benefit of their holders. People use cards that, in addition to making one’s payments with, are also going to offer a number of additional benefits, such as discounts on goods to be received at shops, or various forms of bonuses. Citibank is the market leader in the area of co-branded cards. We aim to offer our clients the best of what is available. Therefore, we make partnerships with companies that are real market leaders in their respective fields. We offer credit cards prepared in conjunction with Czech Airlines, Shell Corporation, and the mobile phone services provider/operator Telefonica O2 Czech Republic. Citibank very much appreciates the acknowledgement that has been rendered to us by MasterCard for our co-branded cards. Furthermore, it is also our commitment for the future to provide best in class products and services to all of our current clients, and future clients," said Rizwan Qazi, director of Citibank Credit Cards.
“The importance of co-branded cards is on the rise not only in the Czech Republic, but also on the European scale. This fact, among other, is also attested to by results of an all-European survey of KRC Research made last September. The survey showed that 73 % of European customers wish to have a card that the use of which is going to bring them some type of a bonus. One of MasterCard’s priorities is its support given to enhancement of payment cards’ functionality and of the array of services provided to cardholders,“ said Ján Carný, Managing Director of MasterCard Europe for the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.
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