In today’s world of infinite choices, brands are continuously vying for a greater share value in the market. It’s a matter of achieving this at a lowest cost possible. And one strategy that comes to mind in most businesses and marketers is a strategy called, « Co-branding ». In the midst of increasing competition, brands today, more than ever, are searching for fresh and exciting marketing strategies that make its offer stand out. As well as creative and innovative methods to engage and expand their audiences and increase its brand appeal and attract more customers.
One such strategy is Co-branding, in which two or more brands strategically collaborate to create a new marketing plan. Because each partner brand has an opportunity to showcase their strengths and benefit from those strengths of another, it is considered as a win-win strategy. Customers’ purchasing decisions, including the brands of footwear, mouthwash, and even mobile phones they choose are influenced by effective branding. There’s a fair likelihood that many of the specific items offered by these businesses are the outcome of successful co-branding. But what is co-branding, how does it work and what does it mean for your business?
Well, read on. In this article you will learn more about co-branding, its importance, benefits, disadvantages, great examples and strategies that you can apply for your own brand.
What is Co-branding?
What does co-branding mean? Branding is an important component of an effective marketing strategy, and brand image is one of a company’s most valuable assets. It is a customer’s intuitive feeling and level of trust about a product, service, or company. Brand ends up in a customer’s head and heart. It is the reputation you establish upon the market. But no matter how powerful a brand may be on its own, it comes to a point where it may need help to reach certain audiences or markets to create a brand new image. Thus, they use co-branding as a strategy, in which brands team up to get much favorable results. Co-branding is a strategy by which two or more brands work together on a shared venture.
That shared venture serves as the creation of a new product or service, but ultimately both brands are looking to take advantage of the reputation and the audience of each other’s brand. Co-branding strategy essentially unites two brands that are well-aligned through their shared values, shared interests and shared audiences. in that each has invested the time to build a reputation and gain trust in the market, in an audience that they both share, or at least a portion of that audience.
This alignment allows them to collaborate and draw on the reputation and trust of the other brand, so each brand is essentially endorsing the other and leveraging the trust and reputation earned by that brand. If the brands are so well aligned and the idea and the execution is solid, then the outcome is enhanced reputation, reach, exposure, market share, and increase in sales. They combine their brand awareness, market reach, and positive images to get more people to buy.
How does Co-branding work?
But, does co-branding really work? Well, you’ll know if we know how it works. As stated above, two or more brands combine each other and collaborate in order to create a new product or service that will serve the shared markets of both brands. Finding a partner whose firm or market will complement your own is important when considering to co-brand. Although each brand offers a different product, they should operate in the same or a similar market.
Co-branding involves risks, but the benefits make it a profitable alternative for many businesses. However, due to the interdependent nature of co branding, choosing the wrong partner can also have fatal results. Any negative impression to one brand is likely to be transferred solely by being affiliated or connected to that brand. So, if you’re looking into co-branding, you need to make sure that it is in line with your brand and it is strategic. And that you share the values with the other brand you’re looking to partner up with. There’s nothing worse than partnership up with a brand that you don’t share values with that can get messy down the line.
Benefits of Co-branding
So, what are the advantages of co-branding for your business? When done effectively, co-branding can yield numerous benefits for all of the brands involve as they utilize one brand’s strength to overcome another’s weakness.
Co-branding allows companies to grow or improve their brand by collaborating with another reputable company. When two brands collaborate, credibility is established since each business may highlight and reflect the strengths of the other, strengthening their position in a particular market.
Wide Audience Reach
When two companies join forces to create a co-branding alliance, they have the chance to capture the attention of the markets of one another. As a result, they may now be able to access a market and increase their visibility there.
Due to audience overlap, a co-branded product or campaign boosts brand exposure to your co-branding partner’s target audiences. Even if they would never have thought of the second brand on its own, loyal customers of one brand might be open to trying the new co-branded product or service. As a result, the second brand can use the first brand’s value to penetrate new markets.
Co-branding also has the ability to generate exposure and put businesses in front of audiences that are unfamiliar with all the brands involved in the campaign, spreading a stir among audiences outside of their current target markets.
Cost-Efficient Marketing and High ROI
Businesses are aware that promoting items may be an expensive endeavor. The fact that the expenditures are often shared by the two parties is a big benefit of co-branding. This benefit makes it possible for more innovative marketing strategies and chances, which may ultimately lead to a higher return on investment (ROI). With half the budget, brands can receive double the return on investment.
On a flip side, there are few disadvantages you might need to know before you apply this marketing strategy. Despite its growing popularity, co-branding is not an ultimate marketing strategy because it still has its share of disadvantages. Co-branded marketing entails intricate agreements. Brands might try to sway these agreements in their favour. If the partner brands learn in such circumstances, there may be a backlash rather than a harmony and collaboration.
Customers may become confused if two brands with identical brand personalities co-brand. Because of this, audiences for companies operating in the same sector are not cooperative; rather, they are competitive. Partner brands that have different reputational standings could undermine one another.
Types of Co-branding Strategies
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to co-branding. Depending on the type of offering, the industry in which they operate, and the company’s branding objectives, you may apply co-branding strategy that is aligned with your business.
When brands work together based on shared components, this practice is known as ingredient co-branding. Finding a complementary component, combining the brand identities, and marketing the offering as something that better addresses the issue are the main objectives.
National To Local Co-Branding
When national brands work with local brands, this is known as national to local co-branding. Here, it’s important for the local brand to reach a national audience as well as for the national brand to reach a local audience. Due to the severe nature of both client bases, co-branding from the national to the local level is the only way to effectively reach both of them.
Well-known and well-established companies working together strategically to create a more effective marketing strategy is known as composite co-branding. Composite co-branding prioritizes client retention and value addition over attracting new ones.
Examples of Co-branding
Here are some examples of well-known co-brands to help you grasp the details of popular co-brands:
Spotify and Uber
Spotify and Uber are a great example. Your ride, your music is a special and unique service, and like any successful collaboration, it benefits both parties. Uber gains a value addition and a unique advantage, and Spotify is able to set itself apart from rivals iTunes and YouTube. Users are encouraged to upgrade to the premium level while doing so.
By enabling consumers to listen to their personal Spotify playlists during their Uber trips, Spotify and Uber built a co-brand. In the transportation sector, Uber is a rising brand, and Spotify is a growing brand in the music streaming sector. Through a co-branding strategy, Uber and Spotify might target very distinct but complementary consumers.
Louis Vuitton and BMW
Even brands that appear to be quite distinct to one another might form a successful brand collaboration such as Louis Vuitton and BMW. They are both high-end brands that share the same objective of offering luxury and quality. With their collaboration, Louis Vuitton created a four-piece set of luggage, especially for the BMW i8. The style of the luggage matches the car’s premium materials and sleek exterior flawlessly. These two companies serve as excellent illustrations of how many industries may come together to communicate the same values, even if those values are just style and excellence.
Louis Vuitton and BMW are ruler archetype brands, which means that their personalities are intended to appeal to the exact same type of individual and consumer, i.e., a person who enjoys the finer things in life. The campaign’s name, The Art of Travel, also gives some insight into why this campaign was successful.
GoPro & Red Bull
Both Red Bull & GoPro have made a name for themselves as exciting lifestyle companies. The partnership extends beyond the sale of cameras and energy drinks as they have worked together on other sponsored events. Red Bull has a long history with extreme sports, and they manage these competitions, assisting GoPro in providing competitors with tools and gear to record certain moments, such as stunts and races, from the athlete’s point of view.
Brands Work Together for a Limitless Sales Possibilities
Co-branding opens up limitless possibilities for every brand that engages in it. You can reap great returns and minimize potential risks and losses as long as you’ve got a great co-branding partner for your brand and build a winning campaign, you can never go wrong with this marketing strategy. And there’s no better time to try it than now.