How Joining Forces Transforms What People Do, Not Buy To Gain Market Advantage

By Allen Adamson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Metaforce 

Joining forces is about building your audience exponentially to solve a bigger problem than what you alone can best address, creating an entirely new experience from the forces of two discrete organizations. Joining forces is not about branding. It is not about simply improving the service you already provide. This isn’t just getting Michael Jordan to sign a run of sneakers; that’s just the same product with a premium value attached.

Some partnerships make obvious sense. Starbucks plays music in its buildings; partnering with Spotify to promote artists and the music streaming platform for the customers both organizations were already sharing only solidified and grew audiences for the two powerhouses. It created a new experience in which music discovery and sharing became an implicit part of sitting and enjoying a half-caf skinny latte with a caramel drizzle.

In today’s world, some of the most important marketing tools are not those you pay for or place for which you decide the parameters. Instead, some of the most effective marketing is found in the words and images of social media where, as it is generally understood, no one shares the ordinary. Rather, we share, recommend, and create momentum toward that which is extraordinary. What can your company do to create a shareable experience? Where is the opportunity for your organization to join forces to create the extraordinary?

Uber and Lime Micromobility joined forces in Europe to create a better experience for both Lime and Uber users by expanding multi-modal transportation.

Uber integrated Lime’s electric scooters into its app through this collaboration, offering users more varied options for short-distance travel. This move aligns with Uber’s aim to become a one-stop mobility platform, reducing reliance on car ownership and offering eco-friendly alternatives for city commuting. Lime benefited from increased visibility and user access through Uber’s vast customer base.

The vast majority of urban travelers need to rely on multiple modes of transportation to reach their destination. These options change based on location, congestion, weather, and time of day.

An app experience that only provides car solutions will never be as functional as an experience that integrates multiple transportation alternatives for users. This joining of forces created a new seamless experience for users who now see Lime as an integral part of Uber’s transportation ecosystem, thereby fostering brand loyalty across both platforms.

This collaboration illustrates the evolving landscape of urban transportation, where traditional ride-hailing services and emerging micro-mobility solutions converge to offer comprehensive, flexible, and sustainable transportation ecosystems.

The partnership underscored both companies’ commitments to improving urban mobility and sustainability. By offering electric scooters as an alternative to cars for short distances, the initiative aimed to reduce traffic congestion and emissions, contributing to greener cities and promoting active, eco-friendly travel options among urban dwellers.

Thinking creatively about how your business intersects with or shares the spirit of another is part of what makes joining forces such an intriguing opportunity.

Can you find a partner with whom you can join forces to create a more engaging and exciting experience that takes two ordinary experiences or products and creates something extraordinary? Examining what you do in relationship to what another organization does, to come together in a way that strengthens both and highlights the best of what each does, will leave you with a deeper understanding of what you do. And all businesses benefit from knowing what, precisely, they do—what they do well and what might be best left to others. What does your business do that could benefit from the addition of alternative delivery systems, expanded options, or increased levels of service without adding to your own bottom line or expanding the human resources dedicated to delivering them? Look for ways that joining forces can be the path to the proverbial “one plus one equals three.”

About the Author

Allen Adamson is Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Metaforce and author of “Seeing the How: Transforming What People Do, Not Buy, To Gain Market Advantage.”