Co-branding and partnerships

Co-branding is applicable in different business areas. It allows cooperating companies to develop and produce unique products or services. How is co-branding performed? What are its benefits and difficulties? We tell about in this article. Co-branding is two or more interoperable companies creating competitive advantages, products or services. All co-branding participants follow their goals, have a similar target audience, but are not competitors.

The main point of co-branding is that two brands combine forces. The first goal is to increase sales, the second is mutual recognition. The audience of each brand learns about another brand and, as a result, expands. The main idea of co-branding is to choose a partner that is right for you.

co-brand companies

The brand partner must be close in specifics and field of work for the audience to become interested. Otherwise, there will be no positive result. It is not usual when one brand seeks to cause associations belonging to another. In rare cases, both firms are interested in a partnership. The main brand assistant is always there.

Read more: Brand check up

Co-branding programs

  1. Encouraging the consumer to make the first purchase.
  2. Increased emotional customer relationship.
  3. The impulse for a repeat purchase.
  4. Offer to buy complex products, more valuable.

brand promotion

Co-branding principles

  1. Co-branding marketing strategies overlap.
  2. Brands complement each other.
  3. Target audiences overlap.
  4. The combined power of the main brand;
  5. Vectors of both brands match each other.

To create a successful co-brand and make the best use of it, the companies:

  1. add value;
  2. attract new customers;
  3. enter new markets;
  4. reduce the promotion cost;
  5. increase brand awareness;
  6. attract additional attention of consumers.

brand positioning

Types of co-branding

Marketers classify co-branding according to two criteria:

  1. The way the company participates in the brand development process.
  • Horizontal co-branding — both companies are engaged in production together, researching marketing opportunities in order to get a new product.
  • Vertical (component) co-branding — the product is promoted as a sub-brand of another.

co-brand advantages

  1. Partners’ goals.
  • Tactical co-branding — involves joint advertising campaigns. One brand mentions another in an advertising campaign. In this way, you can get a good effect, but not durable.
  • Strategic co-branding — when companies combine forces for long-term cooperation. A comprehensive presentation of the products of participating companies often occurs. The main purpose of this co-branding method is to increase the loyalty of customers (clients) to cooperating brands, as well as to attract a new target audience.
  • Semi-strategic co-branding — almost completely copies strategic co-branding functionality. But there is some difference: this method is more mobile due to the fact that the relations of co-brand companies are not fixed among.

Read more: Geographical branding

Co-branding advantages

Co-branding benefits are based on de-risking, trust, and communication. The communicative function is aimed at facilitating orientation, increasing productivity and reducing complexity. Orientation during co-branding of a close target audience greatly simplifies the choice of goods and services to customers and also allows them to quickly find and recognize. Co-branding services help to filter and reduce non-essential information about cooperating brands and add and track the emergence of important and useful information as needed. There is a connection under the common “co-branding roof” of all possible experience of relations between consumers and brands.


Co-branding significantly increases the sales of co-brand companies, structures their costs, cash flow, the amount of risk or expenditure of funds, and significantly enhances the value of participating firms.

Examples of successful co-branding

Co-branding is a potential win-win model: if you plan everything correctly and implement the necessary co-branding strategy, the results can be very impressive.

GoPro and Red Bull

Similar values of companies such as GoPro and Red Bull led to the beginning of their fruitful cooperation. Both companies promote active sports. GoPro has offered its cameras to athletes from all over the world so that they can share their most vivid impressions. The company Red Bull, in turn, has become a sponsor of the largest and most exciting sports and extreme events. Within the framework of their cooperation, the Stratos project was created, which made it possible to see truly unlimited human capabilities: Felix Baumgartner jumped from the stratosphere from a height of over 36 thousand meters above the ground and captured his leap on the GoPro camera.

co-brand services

Louis Vuitton & BMW

Cooperation of two premium brands with a completely different product is an unusual, but quite a real phenomenon. That was the alliance between BMW and Louis Vuitton. As part of the co-branding program, a new model of the BMW i8 was created, as well as a collection of luggage and Louis Vuitton bags, ideally suited for the size and shape of the trunk of a new car.

“The collaboration with BMW represents our shared values of creativity, technological innovation, and style,” said Patrick-Louis Vuitton, head of special orders for Louis Vuitton.

co-branding and partnerships

Bonne Belle and Dr. Pepper: Pop Flavor Lip Balm

Let’s take a look at history. In 1973, Bonne Belle launched the Lap Smacker lip balm with the aromas of strawberry, lemon and green apple. Just two years later, in 1975, they agreed to partner with D. Pappers and created a balm with the taste of this drink.

Read more: SERM

The joint product advertisement read: “This is a super shiny lip gloss with the same taste as the most original soft drink in the world.” “Of course, Bonne Belle: a cosmetics company that understands your taste.” The achieved result exceeded the most courageous forecasts. Lip balm has become legendary for many decades and gained popularity among several generations of teenage girls.

co-brand services

Apple Pay and MasterCard: Creating an Ecosystem

At one time, AT & T entered into an extremely profitable partnership with Apple, becoming the exclusive seller of the iPhone. MasterCard appreciated the success of this project and also decided to cooperate with Apple. Thanks to this partnership, buyers of Apple brand products were able to make payments from Apple Pay cards, using not a magnetic strip or chip, but wireless communication from an Apple device.

MasterCard has a huge customer base. Cooperation with such a player allowed Apple to popularize the payment service, not waiting for banks and retailers to integrate with it.

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