Bringing two or more brands together, under one umbrella, for a mutual purpose, requires each brand has a healthy respect for each other’s reputation.
Co-branding is a strategic partnership between professionals (personal brand) or organizations (products, services or programs) that recognize the value of leveraging each other’s reputation to amplify awareness about a product, service, event or cause. Co-branding provides opportunities to speak to audiences in new ways and connect to new audiences using relevant, share-worthy information that creates positive impressions about the brands involved.
When it comes to co-branding, or cross platform marketing, participating brands must extend their core competencies to their strategic partnership, otherwise valuable resources are wasted, brand loyalty is jeopardized, and the collaboration is doomed from the start. Collaborating with strategic partners is an excellent way for professionals and organizations to gain more share of mind, which under the right circumstances, leads to more growth opportunities and heightened brand awareness. Co-branding is also a prudent way to survive dips in consumer confidence, declines in consumer spending and budgetary restrictions.
Many co-branding campaigns involve some mixture of billboards, product packaging, celebrity endorsements, mobile marketing, conferences, events, social media, and other forms of advertising (print & digital). There are examples of co-branding campaigns all around you and co-branding partnerships can be as broad or narrow as you like. Co-branding is an opportunity for you to present your personal or organizational brand in new ways.
Here are a few co-branding examples that caught my eye:
- The First White House Twitter Town Hall
- Starbucks offers co-branded cards
- The United States Postal Service co-branded boxes and envelopes
This holiday season you are likely to see even more seasonal examples of co-branding.
While the rewards of co-branding are many, the risks associated with co-branding gone wrong can harm a brand’s reputation in no time at all. If an incident or scandal occurs that calls one brand’s integrity into question, guilt by association can become a reality that is hard to shake. Successful co-branding occurs when all brands bring value to the collaboration and the risks and rewards of co-branding are not ignored.
Nurturing your reputation is essential for all brands, from emerging brands to long established brands. Building brand awareness and a respectable reputation takes time but well executed co-branding campaigns can speed up this process. No professional or organizational brand should enter into a co-branding partnership without thoroughly researching the brand(s) under consideration for the strategic partnership.
Always remember, there’s no magic reputation wand you can wave to “POOF”, make every brand misstep or reputation woe go away. Take great care of your reputation and seriously research any brand before you agree to any co-branding campaigns. As long as you remain mindful of these real concerns, leveraging the power of co-branding should give your reputation a noticeable boost.
Are you comfortable with co-branding?