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Secret Sauce Methods to A Successful Co-Branding Partnership

Digital transformation, globalization, and the pressure to offer more value with less pose unique challenges for companies of all sizes. An increasing number of companies are hence looking for partners to gain skills, minimize the impact, and tap into innovation. This is where the term “co-branding” comes in.

Strategic Marketing and advertising partnership is often referred to as co-branding and involves two brands working together to advertise and market their products. It is an efficient marketing tactic that can boost awareness, build up a business, break into new markets, and bring shared success to both brands involved in the partnership.

From Betty Crocker’s partnership with Hershey to Kanye West’s collaboration with Adidas, co-branding partnerships can be found anywhere if you’re willing to see them for what they are. For insight into how a successful co-branding campaign is executed, take a look at the secret methods revealed below.

Stronger Together

Co-branding is not as simple as having your brand’s name beside another company’s name. For a co-branding campaign to be successful, your partnership with the other business should offer unique, added value to the customer, which wouldn’t have otherwise been possible.

For instance, Starbucks collaborated with Spotify to provide customers with a premium first-of-its-kind music ecosystem. Through the initiative, Starbucks employees get a free Spotify premium subscription to play music throughout the day in the shop and, in return, offer artists greater exposure to Starbucks customers.

Furthermore, brand partners should also share similar cultures, values, and customer bases for the campaign to work out. Joining two unlike companies, like Betty Crocker and Tesla, or partnering with a controversial company can only set you up for a disaster down the lane.

In the history of marketing and advertising, there are several examples of co-branding campaigns that went wrong and didn’t bring back the return on investment for either of the brands. Consider the partnership between Shell, a petroleum company, and Legos, a toy company that went on for over a decade.

Legos stamped Shell’s name on its toy sets as part of the partnership, and Shell imbued the toys. However, things started going downhill in 2011 when Greenpeace, an environmental organization, pointed out the fact that children are playing with toys that hold the name of a petroleum company that’s aggressively drilling oil in the arctic and have questionable sustainability practices.

The two companies parted ways after a long Greenpeace campaign, thereby leaving a valuable lesson for all brands looking for co-branding partnerships. Never work with a brand whose missions and values don’t align with your own.

The Secret Sauce to Co-branding

The success of co-branding campaigns doesn’t have to be a coin toss. Companies that have mastered the partnering skills and use best practices will see a higher partnership success rate. So, what are these “secret sauce” methods for co-branding success?

Find Common Ground

Sometimes, working with another brand and combining your branding efforts into a single campaign is hard. Often, a few brands happen to be extra big that it will be hard for them to share their space with another brand. So, it is vital that you find a company to partner with those shares similarities with your business.

For example, you are a company that sells tableware, like cutlery and mugs. So, finding a glassware company or a brand in the hospitality industry would be ideal if you want to run a co-branding campaign. This way, you can put forward your advertising to viewers as a co-branded unit.

Pair A Leading Brand With A Supporting Brand

Another way to make your co-branding campaign successful is to put just one brand in the limelight for a particular advertisement, with the other brand playing a supporting role.

Here’s an example. You are a restaurant. You partner with a company that sells chocolate products to have their spreads or bars included in your new milkshake or desserts. In your advertisement, you can focus solely on your new menu offerings but also ensure you leave some space to promote your partner company’s involvement.

Go With Simple Visuals

Co-branding can easily lead to confusion. Having multiple logos and products on your screen will make it hard for your target audience to understand what’s happening. So, when creating advertisements, focus on one brand at a time. Additionally, ensure the visual techniques you use smoothly guide your audience’s attention from one brand to the next.

Creating A Successful Co-Branding Campaign

The most important success factor when working on co-branding campaigns is a collaborative mindset. Alongside adopting the secret sauce methods, also adopt a collaborative attitude and mental approach. Try to embrace open and honest communications, and lead with trust. With these collaboration principles, you will find more value and success in your business relationships.

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