**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.
Brand Aconceives of a product but discovers they lack a core competency needed to successfully develop it, which Brand B has. This can get the product out faster and also capitalize on Brand B's reputation.
Brand A has an idea for a venture which is beyond their current financial capacity, but is achievable with more companies investing.
Brand A isa lesser-known specialist looking for exposure, and partners with the better-known Brand B to improve their product.
Brand A islooking to diversify its market and partners with a Brand B whose customer base includes those Brand A seeks to reach, especially if their products are complementary rather than competitive.
An umbrella corporation co-brands products entirely under its ownership, but which are marketed separately in the consumer sphere. Online businesses with sub-brands
An outside party seeks sponsorship for an activity, and Brands A, B, and C contribute small amounts rather than one being the sole sponsor. Ecommerce companies from different industries often team up for sponsorships.
In down times, or down markets, brands may collaborate simply as a cost-cutting or efficiency-boosting measure. When an entire vertical market is underperforming, it can make sense to work together and try to lift industry awareness among consumers.