A digital marketing platform has emerged from Indianapolis-based venture studio High Alpha. Colaboratory has developed a software platform to help brands – often with very different products – work together to conduct brand to brand collaborations. The company says the goal is to assist aspiring collaborators identify, validate and execute such partnerships by combining data and software with services, including partnership matching, activation tools, optimization and reporting.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, co-founder Scott More said brand to brand collaboration is a significantly overlooked area in marketing.
“We want to take brand partnerships and brand to brand and move it from being more of an act of faith and make it more of an act of math,” said Moore. “We believe only a unified platform that helps improve strategy, execution and optimization can really unlock the potential of brand to brand here in the United States.”
Moore is a former chief marketing officer at Best Buy and Wynn Resorts. He co-founded the company along with Chief Technology Officer Brian Bispala, the co-founder of Software-as-a-Service company Code42.
Moore says the, old “analog” way of doing brand collaborations has become somewhat outdated.
“A C-suite exec runs into another C-suite exec at the Grammys or at the golf course or somehow is known within their personal network, and that provides the impetus for two brands to get together. And, candidly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that; it’s just not super scalable,” he said. “It doesn’t leverage a lot of what the rest of digital marketing does. It doesn’t leverage data. It doesn’t approach it in a clean, strategic, holistic way.”
Colaboratory says its early customers include Great Clips, Northern Tool and Fanatic, as well as more boutique brands such as graphic apparel designer Vardagen and Roq Innovation, which recently had one of its products included in Oprah’s “Favorite Things” list.
“There’s a large gap between consumers’ desire for brands to work together in new and creative ways and the technology needed to drive these innovative and inspiring brand collabs,” High Alpha Managing Partner Scott Dorsey said in written remarks. “We believe there is a huge opportunity here to deliver tremendous value to brands and build out a true system of record for brand collabs and partnerships.”
In addition to helping existing brands increase the number, quality and impact of their collabs, Moore says the startup is also targeting younger companies that see themselves as emerging collaborators.
One of Colaboratory’s newest clients is Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Moore says nonprofits could be a major link for brands who want to start collaborations.
Colaboratory currently has five full-time employees, two of which are in Indianapolis with the remainder in Minneapolis. Moore says the company is about to enter its seed funding round and is looking for seed-stage investors.
“I think with the right level of funding, we’re going to prove that this a big problem. It’s a problem that software can solve, and we can scale it.”