Strategic Brand Partnerships: Does My Brand Look Big in This?

In branding, it turns out that bigger is better together. In successful strategic brand partnerships, the branding strategy of two plus two can equal five…or more!

 

Before jumping into bed together, several questions need to be asked – and answered. It’s essential to be clear and consistent about your values and your vision and to bring that conviction to the relationship from the start.

 

“Relationships between companies begin, grow, and develop—or fail—much like relationships between people”.

– Harvard Business Review[1]

 

Objectives of Strategic Brand Partnerships

Strategic brand partnerships are a “win-win” for both parties, delivering a great return on investment when done well while reducing marketing spend internally. It’s important to develop SMART* goals though and a plan for tracking and measurement of ROI in advance.

 

Partnering with the right business achieves:

  • Brand recognition
  • Increased visibility
  • Inherited reputation
  • Validity and credibility
  • A pathway to an expanded target audience

 

“No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”

– Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn Co-founder[2]

 

* Watch for an upcoming post covering SMART objectives for brand awareness.

10 Things Brands Must Look for in The Right Brand Partnerships

 

Successful brand partnerships between smaller and larger or better-known brands can work when there are mutual gains and wider distribution to be achieved by both brands. Both partners must examine the opportunity for synergy by first reviewing each of the following:

  1. Common brand values
  2. Complementary brand cultures
  3. Core competencies
  4. Mutual benefits; a “win-win”
  5. Alignment between products or services
  6. Enriched customer experiences
  7. Articulation of a clear brand road map
  8. Resources available
  9. Ability to reach a wider customer audience
  10. Mutual trust

 

If your brand is the smaller partner in the relationship then you need to ensure you have your brand fully codified and mapped out so you can critically evaluate who would potentially be a good partner for you.

 

Ensuring your brand is properly profiled with its personality, positioning and purpose fully articulated and documented means you’re also more fully equipped on an equal footing to engage with the larger player because they will have all their brand essentials including their brand guidelines fully documented so you want to level the playing field before approaching the deal!

 

 

If you want some direction developing your brand and your brand partnership strategy then take a look at our brand building programme called the Personality Profile Performer™. This online course takes you through all the key steps you need to implement in building your brand. You can watch a free course preview here.

 

Build Your Stand Out Customer Attracting Brand Using The Personality Profile Performer™ Programme with Lorraine Carter

 

 

Alternatively, if you want in-person professional direction with expert input to develop your brand and brand partnership strategy and would like to discuss working with us then give us a call T: +353 1 8322724 (GMT hours 9:00-17:00) or drop us a line to brand@personadesign.ie. We’d be delighted to talk with you.

 

Related: How to Use Brand Positioning to Build Brand Impact in an Overcrowded Market

Successful Mixed-Size, Mixed-Use Brand Partnerships

Sometimes a brand partnership appears unlikely at first glance. A beverage and a nail polish; a social network and an airline; a music app and yogurt. How and why are these brand partnerships workable? Or even utterly brilliant?

 

The biggest innovation in media prize went to Burger King when the fast food brand sassily and publicly pitched McDonald’s. The much bigger, better funded golden arches folks declined to co-brand “McWhopper” for a day. Let’s take a closer look at each example.

 

PARTNER 1PARTNER 2BRAND 1BRAND 2
DestinationSatellite & Cable TVNYC & Co.Nickelodeon
Top end designerHigh Street retailerKarl LagerfeldH&M
Music appYogurtSpotify UKDanone “Light & Free”
Social networkMuseumsTwitterUNESCO #Museum Week
Soft drinkNail varnishCoca-ColaOPI
Online datingAirlineTinderDelta Air Lines
Ride Share appFast food giantLyftTaco Bell
Fast food giantFast food giantMcDonald’sBurger King

 

Related: Co-Branding: 13 Tips for Growing Your Brand Through Strategic Partnerships

 

Take a look at these brand partnerships a bit more closely because there are valuable learnings and takeaways you can apply to grow your business too.

 

NYC & Co. | Nickelodeon

Brand Partners:

NYC & Company, New York City’s official destination marketing organization, announced Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will continue their role in 2017 as Official NYC Family Ambassadors. The co-branded national ad campaign highlights New York City as a family-friendly destination. Its activation allows visitors to pick a turtle to explore a topic.

 

Why It Works:

It’s fun. A popular, compelling cartoon family become the official brand ambassadors and tour guides for real families who make up about one-third of NYC’s 60 million annual visitors. The campaign’s activation allows kids to pick a turtle to explore a content topic.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via nycgo – NYC Turtles

 

Related: Personality Matters, Bringing Your Brand to Life to Grow Your Profits

Karl Lagerfeld | H&M

Brand Partners:

The collaboration that changed everything is revived once or twice a year with other top-end designer brands. It seemed incredible when introduced in 2004[3], a partnership between Karl Lagerfeld, haute couture fashion icon, and a mass market clothing chain. The in-store collection that was meant to last two weeks sold out to frenzied shoppers in 25 minutes in many of the retailer’s 1,000 locations.[4]

 

Why It Works:

Initially shocking, now it’s cool to make luxury apparel affordable. Both brands have reached new markets. The choice of designer is kept quiet in advance, and the collections’ resale market is as vibrant as the pieces that fly out the doors on opening day.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Harper’s Bazar UK

 

 

Spotify | Danone

Brand Partners:

What does yogurt sound like? Danone signed a year-long deal to associate its ‘Light & Free’ brand with Spotify ‘Chill’ moments, targeting listeners, artists, and influencers to create chillout playlists with ads for yoghurt.

 

Why It Works:

Pairing up products with moods resembles the way music reflects moods. Both brands suggested that consumers “really enjoy the feeling of ‘Light & Free’ at first hand.”

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Event Magazine, Danone, Spotify

 

Twitter | Museum Week

Brand Partners:

The first-ever #MuseumWeek launched in 2014 with Twitter as a partner. Hundreds of cultural institutions and heritage landmarks across Europe tweeted out 140-character bursts of inside information, facts and trivia to promote sharing and pique curiosity. Powered by UNESCO, it’s an annual success.

 

Why It Works:

Nobody gets museum fatigue. Twitter is the perfect partner for pumping out fascinating, compelling conversation-starter tidbits: “Did you know a bluestone weighs 2 tons, the same as 22 sheep?”

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Twitter

 

Coca-Cola | OPI

Brand Partners:

Paint your nails a flavour? Coca-Cola Red, of course. ABC News reported, “It may seem like an oddball pairing, but the connection between Coca-Cola and beauty products is not unprecedented…Coca-Cola said that partnerships with nail polish and lipstick brands actually date back to the 1940s. More recent products include Bonne Bell’s Coca-Cola flavoured lip balms.”[5]

 

Why It Works:

Both brands are pitching happiness in a bottle to an important female customer segment. For the nail polish, the association says, “I’m a classic.” For Coca-Cola, the association says, “I’m hip and happening.”

 

Brand Partnership

 

 

Tinder | Delta Air Lines

Brand Partners:

Delta’s promotional partner Tinder says, “World travellers are more likely to be swiped right.” On their Facebook page, AdWeek proclaims “Bravo, Delta.” The creative teams painted famous international landmarks on a Brooklyn, NY #DeltaDatingWall for selfies.

 

Why It Works:

Because travel is a turn-on. Because selfies are instantly shareable. And because data supports the validity of the claim. Both partners reach a prime customer audience in a densely populated, trendy neighbourhood.

  • 62 percent of men and 74 percent of women want a partner who shares their travel interests
  • 1 in 2 singles say travelling is one of their favourite things to do
  • 1 in 2 singles say travelling to a new city to meet a date would be exciting
  • 1 in 3 singles ranked travel as a top priority in 2017
  • 57 percent of singles take 1+ vacations year
  • 1 in 3 singles try to go somewhere different for vacation every time they travel

 

Image via AdWeek

 

 

Lyft | Taco Bell

Brand Partners:

Lyft (a Uber competitor) is partnering with Taco Bell to satisfy your late night hunger pangs. Taco Mode encourages Lyft riders to make a pit stop at a California Taco Bell fast food location for a free Doritos Locos Taco before reaching their final destination. Request to be collected in a Taco-themed car between 21:00 p.m. to 2 a.m.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via New York Times

 

Why It Works:

The emphasis is squarely on the customer experience. Taco Bell tells the New York Times[6] this partnership represents a new type of “experience innovation,”[7] delivering customers to the food instead of vice versa.

 

 

 

McDonald’s | Burger King

In the best partnership that never happened, Burger King got everyone talking when they publicly proposed a ceasefire on burger wars in an open letter to McDonald’s. In full page ads, Burger King suggested a hybrid McWhopper to mark World Peace Day. While McDonald’s rejected the tongue-in-cheek partnership, BK’s 2016 print campaign won a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival. (Just what Burger King wanted: Attention!)

 

 

Related: Use Humour in Branding to Create Strong Emotional Bonds so You Increase Sales

 

SMEs and Co-Branding – Leverage These Brand Partnership Ideas to Grow Your Business

Strategic partnership brand strategy can be especially fruitful for startups and small-to-medium sized companies that find the right collaborator in a bigger brand. By engaging with a like-minded big brand buddy, a smaller brand can build traction, momentum, and credibility while stretching their branding budget.

 

 

This works especially well when a bigger brand is launching in a new market, hence it must behave like a small brand, as there’s not yet brand awareness. Carabao Energy Drink was unknown when it was recently introduced in Europe while enjoying a strong second place standing in its category in Thailand with 21 percent market share.

 

However, small and big isn’t an exclusive combination solution. Two small brands or two big brands can also support one another very effectively as evidenced here in the four case studies detailed below.

 

PARTNER 1PARTNER 2BRAND 1BRAND 2
Energy drinkSports teamsCarabao Energy DrinkEnglish Football League
Online datingDining appMatch.comGrub Club
DestinationBankTourism Authority of ThailandKrungthai Bank
Supermarket chainTV showColes (Australia)MasterChef (Australia)

 

Related: From Zero to Hero, How to Become a Must-Have Brand

 

Want to develop your strategic partnerships branding strategy so you can grow your brand awareness, increase your sales, expand your market reach but you’re not sure where to start to get a successful return on your investment?

 

Just drop us a line to brand@personadesign.ie or give us a call T: +353 1 8322724 (GMT 9:00 – 17:00) — we’re here to help.

 

If you want direction and support transforming your internal branding strategy so it empowers your team and increases sales then the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind is the perfect fit for you.

 

The Persona Brand Building Blueprint Workshop

 

This is a two-day brand building intensive shared with a small group of like-minded peers where you work on your brand with our leadership. In fact, over the two days, you reevaluate your brand, codify it and create your brand strategy from the ground up whether you’re revitalising an existing brand or creating a new one.

 

This is a highly empowering workshop where we take a deep dive, step-by-step into how to build a brand. You discover and apply the systems and methodologies used by some of the world’s greatest brands as you work on your brand under Lorraine Carter’s direction and tutelage so you can grow your own brand and business.

 

This is not a theory based program but a highly interactive fast-track course where you work intensively on your brand throughout the programme duration using our ten step system to:

  1. Completely re-evaluate your brand to make it much stronger so it’s highly visible enabling you to increase your profits
  2. Map out your brand in full so it’s codified and comprehensively documented to grow your business faster
  3. You leave with your total brand road map or GPS of your brand empowering you to manage your brand, stand out and attract your ideal customers so you multiply your sales

Outcome:

Your brand transformed so you can increase sales.

 

At the end of the two-day Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind you leave with your fully documented brand strategy ready for implementation in your business or organisation.

If your team is larger and you’d like to include everyone’s’ participation in the Persona Brand Building Blueprint™ Mastermind then we also run in-house private client brand building intensive programmes too.

 

Ring us to discuss your brand building preferences

Just drop us a line to brand@personadesign.ie or give us a call T: +353 1 8322724 (GMT 9:00 – 17:00) to discuss your preferences and we’ll develop your brand building intensive bespoke to your particular brand requirements so that you’re empowered to develop and lead your internal brand building team.

 

Related: How Do Challenger Brands Become Market Leaders?

Carabao | English Football League

Brand Partners:

Carabao is a Thai energy drink with good market share. However, the brand was unknown in the UK, part of its European launch. Carabao is a principal partner of both Reading FC and Chelsea FC.

 

Why It Works:

Pro sports and energy drink are an obvious dynamic pairing. The English Football League and its 92 member clubs got a shot of adrenaline when Carabao signed on for three years of title sponsorship. Carabao got instant brand recognition as a major player in its new territory.[8]

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Chelsea FC TV

 

 

Match.com | Grub Club

Brand Partners:

Grub Club connects chefs with underused spaces for pop-up dining. Diners are delighted by quality food in quirky places. The supper club startup was founded in London in 2013. Grub Club hosted an après ski-themed evening with Match.com, one of the largest dating sites.

 

Why It Works:

Dinner = Date Night. Even if it’s over the top for a first date, Grub Hub engages with an established like-minded web-based company that acts as a big brand buddy, helping them build brand momentum and credibility. The bigger brand gets access to a closely aligned niche.

 

“Very few startups have any marketing budget so the only way to get your brand out there is by setting up strategic partnerships with companies big and small.”[9]

– Siddarth Vijayakumar, Co-founder of Grub Club

 

Related: The Case for Brand Disruption, Be The Disruptor or Be Defeated

Tourism Authority of Thailand | Krungthai Bank

Brand Partners:

Medical tourism meets beach holidays. The largest bank in Thailand partnered up with the national tourism office to promote the destination for people who combine treatment with travel.

It’s a large and growing international trend, and Thailand is a leader in the market.

 

Why It Works:

A health and wellness website[10] highlights popular treatments available in Thailand as well as providers. The bank offers tourists the Miracle Thailand Card, a free visitors’ debit card that carries some medical and life insurance coverage and is accepted at 286 hospitals.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Thailand Tourism

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via Krungthai Bank

 

Related: Brand Management: Top 10 Tips for Managing Your Brand Reputation

 

Coles | MasterChef

Brand Partners:

Business surged when the Western Australian supermarket chain launched “To cook like a MasterChef cooks, shop where a MasterChef shops” as a campaign tied to recipes used on the reality TV show.

 

Why It Works:

How about a 30 percent uptake overnight in the meat sales for a MasterChef beef stroganoff dish?[11] From spices to cooking equipment, the grocery store chain says revenue is soaring. For MasterChef, the positive impact on expanded viewing audiences tuning in for the next bright cooking idea is built right into this “win-win” partnership. After all, everyone regularly goes grocery shopping.

 

Brand Partnerships

Image via TenPlay TV MasterChef

  

So the question is, have you considered strategic brand partnerships to increase your brand awareness, market reach and sales? Scale and size is not an excuse because this is a brand strategy open to large and small with innovative thinking — once you have a few fundamentals in place, like codifying your brand as previously mentioned.

 

Consider Strategic Brand Partnerships to Increase Your Customer Base and Grow Your Sales Fast

  • Do you have a marketing budget dedicated to brand partnership opportunities?
  • Do you have clear objectives in mind for a potential co-branding campaign?
  • Do you have one or more potential co-branding partners in mind for your business?
  • What innovative co-branding or brand partnerships have impressed you lately?

 

Related: Brand Profiling, How Brand Performance and Purpose Are Inextricably Linked

 

The Persona Brand Building Blueprint Workshop

 

[1] https://hbr.org/1994/07/collaborative-advantage-the-art-of-alliances

[2] https://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2012/02/14/10-memorable-quotes-from-the-start-up-of-you/#1b2295315b3c

[3] http://about.hm.com/en/media/news/karl_lagerfeld_and_hm.html

[4] http://wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/truly-fast-fashion-h-m-8217-s-lagerfeld-line-sells-out-in-hours-593089

[5] http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/coca-cola-manicure/story?id=23713099

[6] https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/business/media/lyft-taco-bell.html

[7] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brJoJlRu_0Y

[8] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBggju4mBGE

[9] https://www.marketingweek.com/2014/02/12/start-ups-and-big-brands-join-forces-for-mutually-beneficial-partnerships/

[10] http://thailandmedtourism.tourismthailand.org

[11] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/masterchef-sparks-coles-sales-surge/news-story/e6ef72e4b4f1793a9bd453fc7936970d

 

 

Co-Branding: 13 Tips for Growing Your Brand Through Strategic Partnerships

Why Co-branding?

 

Co-branding is defined as a partnership between brands. It typically works best when Brand A partners with Brand B, each with a different set of customers and brand associations of their own. As in the expression, “the whole is bigger than the parts,” co-branding can add value when synergy exists between the brands; it creates an emotional energy, starts conversations and creates buzz around both partners.

  

 

 Co Branding Multiple Examples 600px

Image via www.missvinc.com

 

 

What do the experts say about co-branding and the future? According to design experts in the field, co-branding is important as the path for delivering a one-of-a-kind product, for delivering something to the marketplace that is otherwise impossible without the contribution of both brands.[1]

 

 

 Virgin Master Card 600px

Image of Virgin Mastercard via Bloomberg.com

 

 

According to franchising experts, “co-branding offers the best of both worlds” by combining compatible concepts and leveraging efficiencies, often placing two brands under one roof for a win-win.[2] And, according to a trademark expert, “co-branding has great advantages provided there is trust and transparency between the partners,” suggesting a kind of pre-nuptial agreement is the way forward.[3]

 

 

Co-branding Means Endless Possibilities

 

In addition to brand revitalization, co-branding objectives may include getting more bang for the buck, growing market share, building audience reach and altering perceived positioning. Co-branding is primarily used an alliance of two brand partners, although there’s no rule against bringing three or more to the party.

 

In the definitive book published in 2000, “Co-Branding: The Science of Alliance,” the authors laid out the opportunity on page one: 

 

“…the term ‘co-branding’ is relatively new to the business vocabulary and is used to encompass a wide range of marketing activity involving the use of two (and sometimes more) brands. Thus co-branding could be considered to include sponsorships, where Marlboro lends its name to Ferrari or accountants Ernst and Young support the Monet exhibition…The list of possibilities is endless.”   

 

 

Co-Branding Sponsorships and Sport

 

Examples of co-branding strategy are all around us, particularly abundant in international sporting events. In a longstanding partnership that has kept the ball in play since 1902, Slazenger is an official supplier to Wimbledon, gifting 52,000 tennis balls for each tournament. Huge sums of money, strategically spent, presented Rugby World Cup 2015 Worldwide Partners in a lineup of Heineken, Land Rover, Duracell, Société Générale, DHL, Emirates, Canon, EY (Ernst & Young) and MasterCard.

 

 

 Duracell Sam Warburton Rugby World Cup 2015

Image via www.marketingweek.com and www.duracell.com

 

 

 

FMCG Co-Branding and Packaging

Co-branding in fast-moving consumer goods can provide delicious “Aha” moments. On your grocery store shelf, see a perfectly packaged example in Betty Crocker Brownies Mix boxes containing Hershey’s chocolate syrup in a pouch.

 

 

 Betty Crocker Hersheys 600px

Image via flickr (CC 2.0, theimpulsebuy)

 

 

The partnership unleashed a succession of activities reaching way beyond the supermarket: Betty’s Big Bake Day at General Mills’ headquarters, recipe sharing among Facebook fans, events at Hershey World’s Pennsylvania theme park, cupcakes for the “Good Morning” television presenters to savor on-air and a road tour to launch a new lineup of 12 products for home baking. This multi-tiered co-branded campaign embraces a swathe of what Google marketers term “micro-moments,” from “I want to bake chocolate cookies” to “I want to win a trip.”

 

 

 Cobranding Betty Crocker Hershey 600px

Image via www.bettycrocker.com and www.hersheys.com

 

 

 

Nike and Apple Lead the Way

 

In 2006, the obvious connection between listening to music and going for a run partnered Nike+ iPod Sport Kit, a clever technological advance and a natural fit for both the shoe giant and Apple.

 

 

 Cobranding Nike Apple Packaging 600px

Image via Amazon.com for www.apple.com and www.nike.com

 

 

Having cut their teeth on co-branding with a Michael Jordan product line in 1984, Nike is one of the world’s strongest co-partners. And, Apple didn’t stop with footwear; co-branding continues to evolve in their product lines, such as Apple Music’s partnering with UK fashion retailer Burberry and its high-end collaboration with Hermès for the Apple Watch.

 

 

 Apple Hermes 600px

Image via www.apple.com

 

 

This special edition Apple Hermès watch offers both co-brand partners unique opportunities. For Hermès, it breathes freshness and modernity into a brand founded on tradition and heritage. For Apple it’s a clear signal that it now considers itself to be a luxury brand fused with a formidable blend of design and technology, effectively elevating the brand and positioning it even further from its nearest competitors.

 

 

 

Positioning and Fashion Brands

 

Fashion, accessories, and fragrance are fertile grounds for a co-branding triangle (the third party is the person wearing the item or the scent!) A very interesting collaboration strategy with couture houses is being used by the Swedish mega-chain H&M. Specially created campaigns with Karl Lagerfeld, Versace, Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang and other celebrity designers underpins the chain’s statement, “High-fashion design doesn’t have to be a matter of price.”

  

  

 Balmain H M Ny Times 600px

Image via www.nytimes.com (Rob Stothard for The New York Times)

 

  

These limited capsule collection collaborations are massive brand investments, but H&M have been using them as to create high-street or mass market frenzy, media attention and as ruthlessly effective brand builders. The scene repeated in November 2015, when a Balmain fashion collaboration touched off pre-dawn queues of thousands outside H&M stores from San Francisco to London to Sydney. As a result, couture becomes more relevant and H&M gets a distinctive positioning with serious attitude — definitively separating the brand from its mass market competitors.

 

 

A Closer Look at Co-branding Pros and Cons

 

When co-branding is perceived as successful by consumers, it can drive price points upward. Three stunning examples are cited by Liddell in his article for FastCompany:

 

“The Doritos Locos Taco earns a 40% premium compared to Taco Bell’s regular taco. The Fiat 500 by Gucci sells briskly at a 52% markup over the base price of a standard Fiat 500. Online pre-orders for the original Nike+Fuelband sold out in minutes, and Nike’s equipment division reported an 18% increase in profits for the fiscal year following the product’s introduction. These are impressive numbers for what are essentially a taco, an iOS-powered pedometer, and a very small Italian car.”

 

 

 Fiat 500 By Gucci

Image via www.fiat.com

 

 

Top 7 Benefits of Co-branding

 

As a marketing strategy, co-branding earns strong recommendations for its scalability. Co-branding for small and medium-sized businesses can be equally productive as for the biggest brand names playing on a global field. Consider these tactical and strategic advantages:

 

On the plus side, co-branding can: 

1. Introduce products or services of one brand to customers of another

2. Represent substantial cost savings on advertising

3. Enhance the appeal of a product or service

4. Reposition brands with a more elevated appeal

5. Broaden a geographical market reach

6. Enable a small brand to punch above its weight and a larger one to focus on a niche

7. Alter brand perceptions permanently amongst a target audience through positive associations in what is known as the ‘spillover effect’

 

 

Top 5 Co-branding Risk Management Tips

 

Just like falling in with the wrong crowd can harm your reputation, co-branding with the wrong partner carries risk by association. Likewise, public perception about brands changes and endorsements can go sour, even without the drama of a superstar and a criminal offense. Readers may recall examples of O.J. Simpson former partnering with Hertz Rent-a-Car (1978) and Lance Armstrong’s former association with Nike. 

 

Without a budget for superstar endorsements or the resiliency of a big brand, small businesses must choose co-branding partners as carefully as they would choose a supplier.

 

It’s prudent to take these steps to reduce risk when co-branding: 

1. Identify partners with deep synergy

2. Collaborate with partners who reflect similar brand values

3. Choose brand partners that are leaders in their sector

4. Create programs with partners who best complement your brand

5. Retain full approval and refusal rights for all communications

 

 

Why Co-branding is Often Overlooked

 

First and foremost, you must protect your own brand. Smaller businesses often overlook co-branding for three main reasons:

1. Fear that the risks outweigh the positive

2. Wrongly thinking that opportunities will simply present themselves and

3. A lack of strategic brand vision

 

Nonetheless, when co-branding partnerships are strategically and tactically developed, they can be an extremely effective tool.

 

 

6 Tips for Co-Branding Success

 

These recommendations cannot be over-emphasized:

 

1. Research thoroughly, evaluate carefully and understand your partner’s corporate mission

2. Ensure there’s a win-win for both parties – that both brands will get a beneficial return on their investment

3. Protect brand logo and trademark integrity

4. Identify separate and joint objectives and target the ROI for each campaign

5. Develop a brand strategy plan and assign action plan responsibilities, with deadlines, to individuals

6. Communicate, communicate, communicate

 

 

Co-branding in the Digital Age

 

Our digital world is where storytelling meets online strategy. Have a look at the Facebook page of any small business to see customers who “liked” it. On a micro-level, that’s co-branding at work. Influencers for hire and brand ambassadors, some of whom boast followers in the hundreds of thousands, are the embodiment of contemporary co-branding on platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Twitter.

 

The ‘always-on’ aspect of social media connectivity provides opportunities for consumer interaction, contests, YouTube videos, Twitter chat rooms and more, often drawing on popular culture for inspiration.

 

In 2012, the #CokeZero007 campaign challenged commuters as they stepped up to a soda vending machine in an Antwerp train station to “unleash the 007 in you” for the release of “Skyfall,” the latest James Bond film. A music-rich YouTube stunt video, devoid of voice-over, has earned more than 11 million views.

  

  

  

 

 

In a 2013 surprise move, Google named their Android operating system KitKat, after a Nestlé brand chocolate bar, stretching even the most imaginative marketing minds about co-partnering possibilities.

 

 

Celebrate The Breakers Break 600px 

Image, Nestlé via www.independent.co.uk

 

 

Google-owned YouTube exploited the connection further in 2015 to link the platform’s 10th birthday and the candy bar’s 80th birthday. The message? Break open a yummy KitKat while enjoying YouTube’s most popular videos, curated for viewers’ break time.

  

  

  

  

  

For Christmas 2015, Burberry’s YouTube ad connects the dots between the 15th anniversary of “Billy Elliot” and a cast of stars including Romeo Beckham, Sir Elton John, Julie Walters and “Downton Abbey” actor Michelle Dockery performing ballet moves dressed in the trademark tartan cashmere scarves and signature macs. The co-branded message translates as “Cool Britannia.”

 

  

  

  

  

• What innovative co-branding partnerships have impressed you lately?

  

• Are short-term partnerships a good choice for small businesses?

  

• Could you use co-branding as part of your brand revitalization strategy?

  

• Do you have potential co-branding partners in mind for your business?

  

• Do you have clear objectives in mind for a potential co-brand campaign?

  

• What can be learned from co-branding mistakes such as Southwest Airlines and SeaWorld?

  

• Can brands insulate themselves from external forces and public opinion, such as the

  Greenpeace effect on ending the partnership between toymaker Lego and petroleum giant Shell?   

  

  

 

You might also like:

• Brand Sponsorships: The Best Brand Ambassadors Are Already On Your Payroll 

  

• Rebranding Strategy: Why Your Rebrand Must Embrace Storytelling

   

• Brand Differentiation: 30 Ways to Differentiate Your Brand

   

• Video Brand Strategy: Top 11 Tips for How and Why You Need to Use Video

  

• Brand Personality: Is Your Brand’s Character Big Enough to Compete?

 

• Brand Voice: Differentiating Through Your Own Brand Language and Attitude

  

• Humanizing Your Brand: Why It is Key to Commercial Success

  

• Brand Profiling: Top 6 Components to Creating a Strong Brand Personality

 

 

[1] Devin Liddell, “3 Reasons Why Co-Making is the Future of Branding,” FastCompanyDesign

[2] Kerry Pipes, “Co-branding Offers the Best of Both Worlds,” Franchising.com

[3] Ilanah Simon Fhima, “Trade Mark Law and Sharing Names,” Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd