A co-branding partnership is essentially a strategic marketing and advertising alliance between two (or more) brands, most often associating each with a specific new product or service that the two (or more) have created together.
One of the biggest marketing challenges that any one single brand faces is, of course, finding and reaching new prospects. And this is the true beauty of the co-branding partnership. For starters, it’s absolutely budget-friendly, and as soon as the partnership is formed, you will immediately gain massive exposure to a brand new engaged audience.
Consumers tend to get excited when two brands decide to get into bed with one another – even if it’s just for limited period of time. People are interested to know what it is that brought these two companies together, and are naturally excited about what new offering will be brought to market as a result. Such things create a big buzz on social media, send a lot of traffic to both parties’ websites, and there might even be some news coverage, too. And the great thing about all this is that enhances the visibility of the other products and services that each brand is selling – aside from the shiny new innovation that has been born out of the union.
Examples of Great Co-branding Partnerships
Ultimately, the goal of a co-branding partnership is to boost awareness and break into new markets. Importantly, however, in order for a co-branding partnership to work, it must create a win-win situation for all concerned. Something of value must be offered to each brand’s audience.
Here are a couple of examples of co-branding partnerships that have hit the nail right on the head.
Spotify and Uber
Two tech brands with very different products, and yet, Spotify and Uber managed to form a co-branding partnership with a nifty little innovation that suits both audiences perfectly – Spotify Your Ride.
The service allows Uber and Spotify users to connect their accounts via the Uber app. Then, when a customer requests a ride, they are matched up with a Spotify-enabled Uber. When the cab arrives, users can then control the music blasting from the speakers in the car directly from their phone, either using one of their own Spotify playlists, or one of Uber’s featured playlists.
Here’s the promotional video so you can see how it works.
Red Bull and GoPro
Both are brands in the true sense of the word. Neither just sell products – energy drinks and portable cameras respectively – but a lifestyle.
The lifestyle in question is extreme – adventurous, action-packed and intrepid. In short, both companies share the same values, so a co-branding partnership is simply a no-brainer – and it works for both parties.
GoPro equips extreme athletes around the world with portable cameras to capture all the stunts and action sport events they take part in from the athletes point of view. Meanwhile, Red Bull runs and sponsors these same events – and thus a beautiful co-branding partnership is born that supplements each brand’s own growth.
Here’s the classic video of Felix Baumgartner, who jumped out of a pod some 24 miles above earth, breaking the speed of sound as he did so. Watched by millions around the world, the stunt was recorded with GoPro cameras and sponsored by Red Bull.
How Co-branding Partnerships Can Work for Your Strategy
Co-branding partnerships are great for piggybacking the positive brand image of another company and transferring it to yours. And of course it works both ways. If your business is held in high regard by your customers, there should be no shortage of other brands out there who would be eager to allow some of that good stuff to rub off on them.
What’s more, it becomes a lot easier to scale any advertising and marketing efforts when you’re working in partnership with someone else – when you combine resources, you’ll quickly find that you’ve all of a sudden got a lot more you can play with.
But how to craft a successful co-branding partnership strategy?
Well, the first thing is to look to form partnerships with brands that share your core values. This is important. It’s no good if you’ve built your reputation on being a meaningfully green brand, for instance, only to strike up a partnership with a fossil fuel company – it just wouldn’t work for your audience, and rather than winning new business, you’d lose your core following as a result.
That being said, your brands don’t necessarily need to align perfectly, just so long as there is a common vision or goal that can be celebrated through a unique product or service offering – much like the Uber and Spotify partnership.
(Image source: incisive-edge.com)
You also need to make sure that the brand you want to work with has a good reputation for itself in the first instance – you will of course soon be tarred with the same brush once your co-branding partnership is announced.
And finally, there’s no need to even launch a big new product or service to start enjoying the benefits of co-branding. Indeed, in the digital age, it’s very possible to use influencers to co-brand what you already offer, if you can convince one of them to lend you that sort of endorsement (and it probably won’t come free).
Another idea is to collaborate with certain tools that will lend credibility to your brand in your industry. For instance, we’re an inbound marketing agency here at Incisive Edge and we’re proud to partner with the best-known inbound marketing software provider in the world – HubSpot. We want our prospects to know that we use only the best tools to deliver the best results – and advertising our partnership with HubSpot gives us that credibility.
Over to You
Building strong associations with other brands that share your core values is a great way to increase exposure and bring positive attention to your company. If you’re looking for a new strategy to grow your business, a co-branding partnership could deliver exactly what you need.
Get in touch with the inbound marketing experts at Incisive Edge today – we can help you source your ideal partner and form a co-branding partnership that will help you break into new markets and reach new audiences.