Co-branding is not a new concept, but it’s one that’s seen a lot of popularity in recent years due to the increased reach brands have on social media and online.
Strategic collaborations can be a smart way to raise brand awareness, reach new customers and explore new opportunities. But before you partner up with another brand make sure you’re aware of both the pros and the cons of doing so:
Pro: Double the audience size
Teaming up with another brand means having access to a whole new audience. While the brand you partner with doesn’t necessarily have to be in the same industry, you both need to have the same target audience and similar brand lifestyles. An example of this is Red Bull and GoPro partnering up for the “Stratos” space jump stunt. Although one is an energy drink and the other is a gadget, both brands target an adventurous and active audience, so collaborating on a thrilling space jump was a great way to reinforce each brand’s image. Through co-branding, both you and your partner brand can come out of it with more business and new followers. A win all around!
Con: Less creative control
Partnering up with another brand essentially means you’re now part of a team, and with that comes less control and independent thinking. If you’re not partnering with the right brand — one with similar brand perspectives, target audience and marketing strategy — it may result in differing creative ideas. Before you decide to co-brand with a company, make sure you choose your partner wisely and both parties are on the same page when it comes to strategy and creative direction.
Pro: Combined budgets
In addition to doubling audience size, you’re also doubling the amount of money you have to spend on the campaign. This is especially beneficial if you’re a small business partnering with a larger, well-known brand. If you’re able to land a collaboration with a bigger brand and they’re willing to provide a good amount of the marketing budget, make sure you’re putting in your share of the legwork.
Con: More time and effort
While all new campaigns or projects require a lot of time and effort, co-branding is an additional amount of work. From brainstorming new ideas to cross-promoting on social media, working with another brand can be time consuming, especially if there are multiple brands involved. To minimize the stress or confusion that can come along with co-branding, make sure there’s a game plan set in place before you begin the campaign and that each party knows what they’re responsible for.
Pro: Creates new opportunities
If you’re a business that’s just starting out or you still have a small audience, co-branding can help put your brand on the map. Partnering with a bigger brand can help establish your reputation and reach a wider audience as well as opens you up to more collaborations. Having an established brand work with you on a social media campaign, a giveaway or any other collaboration can help persuade other brands to reach out to you for future projects.
About Sam Lauron: Sam Lauron is a Communications Associate at Manzer Communications. She supports clients with digital marketing, social media, blogging and tech PR activities and helps run the newly launched Startup Over Coffee, a crowdsourced map of local startup resources. Manzer Communications provides digital PR and marketing services in Austin, Denver and Houston and for any national brands seeking rapid, sustained growth. Some of the services provided include content marketing, social media strategy and ad buys, email marketing, and media relations.