What is one thing every brand ever has in common?
The desire for greater brand awareness.
The more of your target audience that is familiar with your brand, the larger the customer total can be.
To achieve greater brand awareness, a popular marketing strategy as of late has been co-branding or collaborations. Although collabs between brands have been around for a very long time, it seems as if though lately, new examples are entering the market daily. You could argue that there are more brands than ever before, thus increased opportunity for co-branding to occur. We believe however, that this marketing strategy has become a favorite, as brands acknowledge that much of traditional marketing is dead and refusing to abandon it will allow their brand to have the same fate.
So, for those brands that would rather remain relevant and not something that once was, focus your attention and read on below.
What is co-branding?
A collaboration or co-branding is an outcome of strategic brand partnerships, whereby two or more brands cooperate to provide a new product or service, that shares the identity of those involved. In other words, two brands combine to create something together.
Notice the emphasis on the latter part of the previous sentence. Co-branding/collaborations can be mistaken as co-marketing/cross promotion. The key difference between the two, is that a new service or product is created that shares identity. Cross promotion does not have this. A standard example of cross promotion/co-marketing is shout-outs for shout-outs across social media.
What are the benefits of co-branding?
1. Brand awareness: As we partially discussed at the beginning of this post, collaborations can have a considerable impact on the market’s awareness of your brand. Imagine you’re a YouTube creator. You’ve developed a small following, and reasonable amount of quality content. But of course, you want more. You need to get your account in front of the eyes of more people. Fortunately, during your time as a YouTuber, you’ve developed relationships with other creators of comparable account size, some with a similar target audience to yours. You and another one of these creators agree to collaborate. You each upload different content that was produced together, providing a link to the opposing creator’s account for those that want to see more of the content made, thereby increasing visitors to the channel of each creator.
Note: For those of you reading this who are in fact YouTube creators, check out YouTube’s comprehensive feature on the growth strategy here.
2. Increase sales: Creating a quality product demanded by consumers will of course increase profits, but an obvious by-product of a larger audience through co-branding is a potential boost in sales of other goods or services from each brand.
3. Positive associations: Co-branding is also an opportunity to develop positive association. As a smaller brand, you might be fortunate enough to partner with another of larger size and market credibility, a positive reputation that can become attached to your brand due to the collab. Alternatively, you could use co-branding to demonstrate your brand’s attention to social and/or environmental sustainability (triple bottom line), by partnering with brands providing applicable goods or services.
4. Welcome marketing: As we have outlined in previous blogs, marketing strategies utilised in previous decades are increasingly less effective, specifically, those that try to grab attention by being the loudest and brightest. Basic with little thought. While they succeeded in the past, consumers have grown more and more resilient to such efforts. With adblockers and consumers’ unconscious ability to see everything but ads nowadays, co-branding has become a much more effective strategy for positioning your brand in front of more consumers. Generally, a product that has been created via collaboration is unique, and thus appealing to consumers, rather than a reason to keep on scrolling.
Want some collaboration inspiration? The examples below may be primarily sneaker/fashion but just about any brand can use and benefit from co-branding. The greatest limitation will be that of the imaginations involved.
As you would have noticed after reading the information provided for the Google x Levi Strauss & Co. smart jacket, collaborations aren’t always a success. Both brands did however gain global publicity from the partnership product, which in this situation can still be considered a small win.
For those wanting to know more about creating co-branding to avoid failure, a guide will be available shortly for tSBN members. Membership is currently free, so there’s no need for hesitation. Our network has also been constructed to simplify and accelerate connections between brands, entrepreneurs and influencers, so if this is you, join!
Alternatively, email us if you have any questions regarding this blog, or tSBN membership.