Co-branding is a form of partnership, where two companies or brands share their brand names, logos, etc., on one project, one product, or one piece of software. Co-branding presents one offer, using the combined resources and marketing power of two (or more) brands to sell it.
Co-branding can also be the unification of several products from multiple brands or organizations under a single marketing campaign or strategy, essentially linking several products in one package.
Co-branded products or software benefit from the joint resources of two organizations. And an alliance between companies tends to result in greater trust, as well as shared risk. Combined marketing and advertising campaigns — powered by bigger budgets — will obviously offer great potential reach, and sales income will tend to be higher as a result.
There are a few disadvantages to co-branding, however.
Organizations have to be extremely in sync with each other’s goals, strategies, vision, and public profile. If not, the collaboration can become extremely complex, resulting in a product or marketing campaign that’s confusing and disengaging.
If organizations don’t work well together, or the brands themselves are not a good fit, then the campaign won’t work. Equally, customers who have negative associations with one brand may well transfer these associations over to the other brand, both being tarred with the same brush.
You don’t have to look far to see great examples of co-branding partnerships.
Dell and Intel have established a fruitful collaboration, combining personal computers and processors effectively and successfully.
Away from the tech world, Michael Jordan combined his personal brand with Nike’s global sportswear image to create the Air Jordan shoes. This co-branding opportunity, which launched way back in 1984, is still hugely commercial today.