Definition: Co-branding is any situation where two or more brands share space on a product, advertisement, or any other promotional or business offerings. Co-branding creates marketing synergy by forming a larger overall customer base which combines the brands' existing customers, highlighting the best aspects of each brand. Online businesses engaging in co-branding have the added visibility of their website and other online properties to further promote a campaign.
Co-branding campaigns can be approached from several angles — potentially more than one. When properly leveraged between compatible brands, it can be a mutually beneficial . Co-branding can be especially effective for ecommerce ventures seeking greater visibility.
Co-branding has almost unlimited applications, depending on the needs of the brands involved. Broadly speaking, it can be broken down into a few categories:
Component Co-Branding: Such as food brands creating a new product that combines their specialty ingredients, or multiple technology companies using each others' components to create a single device.
Joint Venture Co-Branding: Multiple companies collaborate on a larger shared goal, like creating a new technology standard which they co-own.
Media Co-Branding: Movies, video games, and other consumer media are often co-produced between different studios, labels, developers, and/or publishers with shared credit.
National-to-Local Co-Branding: A smaller local company partners with a national-level one for exposure or services, such as local banks offering branded credit cards.
Sponsorship Co-Branding: Two or more brands sponsor an event, such as sports, for shared exposure and goodwill.
Specialist Co-Branding: A company with a single highly-specialized core competency seeks to partner with multiple businesses to highlight its product or service.