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Partnership Branding

There should be many tools and tactics tucked away in your business's marketing strategy, but there are times when it's possible to leverage your branding efforts. By this I mean working together as a partnership with a complimentary business to yours that isn't in direct competition with you.

This type of partnership is often referred to as 'co-branding', and is being used increasingly by eve some very large company names, and even some high-profile celebrities.

The key to getting co-branding right and seeing positive results is to highlight the strongest points of one business and use them in conjunction with complementary brands. This gives the benefit of boosting the recognition of both brands simultaneously in the minds of prospective customers.

Think what may have happened to the sales of companies like Hershey's and Betty Crocker's when they combined their best products to come up with a way to entice customers into buying both. Adding Hershey's syrup to Betty Crocker Brownies offers a mouth-watering way for customers to instantly think of buying both products to enjoy the benefits.

Even really large companies, such as Nike, have managed to use the familiarity of a well-known celebrity brand, like Michael Jordan, in their marketing tactics to increase their own brand visibility. When products or brands are endorsed by a person or company that customers already know and trust, it can be a good incentive for them to extend trust to that included brand too.

So, while it might be obvious where the benefits lie for larger companies, how does this same tactic translate to smaller businesses?

Consider how an SEO business might benefit from a co-branding partnership with a web design company.

An independent financial adviser might be able to create a successful co-branding partnership with an accountancy firm.

There are plenty of co-branding options to consider that could prove to be very fruitful for the businesses in question.

However, there are also risks...

You see, while there is the potential to increase visibility and recognition across two brands simultaneously, this may only be beneficial when both brands are seen in a positive light.

However, if one of those brands is a cause for negative input, that same negative reaction will spread across both brands as well.

It is important to consider your choice of co-branding partnership very carefully before proceeding. Ideally, the businesses you choose to approach in your negotiations for a co-branding partnership should create the effect of making both brands appear better jointly than the individual parts.

When added to your marketing arsenal, co-branding can lend a certain level of respectability to each business within the partnership. It can also be a great way to instill confidence in customers who may otherwise not have considered your own brand for their purchasing needs.