Co-branding...It’s Actually a Smart, Strategic Way to Reach Your Business Goals.
When you partner with a brand that has a product different from yours, you’ll be able to reach their fans and customers – AKA an entirely new market you’d never normally be exposed to. When people outside your current target audience take notice of your brand, your brand awareness gets a nice, healthy boost.
Co-branding can also help you find new revenue sources and can raise your sales in a weak area (time of year, location, demographic, etc.).
Let’s say Kid’s Club Cookies sell better in winter and are popular with children. Franny’s Frozen Treats sell better in summer and are popular with adults. By co-branding, the companies can boost sales all year and reach both demographics.
You can even use co-branding to explore new offerings without sacrificing your core products and brand values. The frozen treats brand, for example, won’t need to open up a cookie-making factory just to appeal to children.
Co-branding isn’t just for big brands. For example, small coffee shops will often partner with coffee roasters who have similar brand values and use their beans. The coffee shops get the roasters’ fans, and the roasters get introduced to the coffee shops’ customers.
To get started with co-branding, you should explore which brands would be ideal partners.
Look for brands that share the same values and appeal to a similar target audience as yours. While a direct competitor wouldn’t be an ideal partner, you might consider a non-direct competitor.
Kid’s Club Cookies and Franny’s Frozen Treats, for example, are non-direct competitors. They don’t sell the same products, but their target audience might choose a cookie over ice cream if they’re in the mood for a flavorful snack.
Once you’ve chosen a co-branding partner, it’s time to assess both of your business offerings and goals and see where they align.
Look at the products or services the brands are known for. What are their main benefits and differentiators? How does each of your products or services complement each other?
Your products don’t have to physically mash together like ice cream with cookies, but they must work in tandem to bring added value to your now mutual customer.
Also, consider what your brand’s primary mission is. What can the other brand bring to your product or service that gets you closer to achieving that mission?
So you’ve got your complementary products, you see eye-to-eye on goals and values...now what kind of product do you want to create together?
Figure out if you want to create an entirely new product, combine your products into one, or offer multiple products from each brand in one package (AKA bundle them).
Once you’ve agreed on a co-branded product and you’re beginning to develop it, make sure you stay true to your branding and keep an eye out for any risks.
Look out for your brand’s best interests. Will, your brand get overshadowed by the partnership? Will your business suffer if customers have a negative experience with your co-brander?
Lastly, know that combining your brand with another’s can be tricky. The joint style guide, voice, and language that both brands develop should stay in an area you both feel comfortable with and good for business.
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