Updated: Apr 14
Have you ever wondered what makes a successful fintech marketing strategy? In our "How they did it" series, we look at how some of the most successful and exciting fintechs in the world have approached marketing in their early days. Today's article is about the leading US fintech Ripple and their partnership marketing strategies.
Ripple partnered with American Express to reach their target market and increase brand awareness.
Gain consumer trust through partnering with established market players
Formed by finance, technology and fintech veterans, Ripple’s team had a clear vision and understanding that the best way to succeed as an emerging technology provider in such a competitive market like finance would be to focus their business on building strong partnerships with existing and well-established industry players.
Reaching and acquiring customers through partnerships is a great strategy, especially if you don’t want or have the capabilities to build a large distribution channel. Very often new products can be integrated into an existing product or service and, therefore, marketed as an add-on.
For example, Ripple’s settlement and cryptocurrency solutions provided a perfect complementary offering to existing banking and payment services that helped them attract and secure partnerships with some of the world’s biggest financial and technology organisations.
Besides reaching their target market and acquiring customers, Ripple have also used their strategic partnerships to spread the word and increase brand awareness, while gaining customers’ trust. For example, the company’s partnership with the finance giant American Express automatically positioned Ripple in front of the general American public and loyal AMEX clientele as a a reliable financial service, rather than a gimmick new technology.
You need to give in order to get
One of the most successful marketing campaigns of Microsoft has been the donation of computers to low-income school districts in the 1980s. The campaign generated a massive buzz around local communities and media, and helped Microsoft gain a significant customer
Similarly, Ripple have recently completed a series of donations with the aim to gain further traction and attract new customers. In May 2018, the US leading crypto startup donated the largest donation of cryptocurrency that has ever been made to support public schools nationwide. The amount of $29m dollars’ worth of XRP were given to the school crowdfunding charity platform DonorsChoose, which had already successfully funded about 1.1m school projects and impacted nearly 27.7m students. Ripple’s donation was used to equip more than 30,000 classrooms across all 50 US states.
Another great example of the company’s giving marketing strategy is when the popular US actor and Ripple investor Ashton Kutcher appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show to donate $4m to the Ellen DeGeneres Wildlife Fund on behalf of the crypto startup. In addition to announcing the generous donation, Kutcher also took the opportunity to demonstrate Ripple’s technology on the show and performed an impressive instant transfer of the amount into Rwandan francs straight to Ellen’s account.
Finally, Ripple donated $50m to top US universities for research and development to encourage the adoption of blockchain.
Although charity giving tactics are sometimes controversial and might raise questions about a company’s integrity and values, they’re definitely a great marketing tool to generate buzz and increase brand awareness.
Ripple is a blockchain technology company offering global financial settlement solutions to banks and payment providers through the use of their own digital asset XRP (‘Ripple’). Originally named Opencoin, the company was founded in 2012 by Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb. It now has offices in major global finance and tech hubs such as San Francisco, New York, London, Sao Paulo, Mumbai and Sidney, and more than 120 high-profile customers around the world including Bank of America, Credit Agricole, Mizuho Financial Group and Santander.
Ripple has raised a total of $293.8M in funding over 13 rounds and secured partnerships with big industry players like American Express, BBVA and MoneyGram.