What is Co-Branding and How Can It Be Used to Help Your Business?

How do you meet your marketing goals with a small staff and a tight budget?

It’s a crucial question almost every marketing team on the planet is struggling with right now. Easy answers are tough to find.

We can tell you, though, what is working for us, so that you can grab an actionable insight or two.

Our strategy boils down to one odd, little word: co-marketing (or co-branding – a term that is used quite often). It’s all about leveraging the resources and relationships you have, rather than worrying about all of the shiny new things you don’t have the time or money to do.

Co-marketing is the process of aligning your company’s interests, resources and marketing muscle with other like-minded companies to accomplish much more than you might on your own.

The concept has been around a long time in advertising. Any airline magazine has ads with the Top Steakhouses, Top Seafood Restaurants or even Top Plastic Surgeons.

Basically, these similar and complementary companies band together and unite their advertising budgets to cut the cost of an ad by 10 times or more (depending on the number of participants).

It’s brilliant.

And it isn’t all about just saving money. It’s also about brand and credibility.

Putting all of these top names together dramatically increases brand recognition, customer value and customer retention. Every time business travelers fly to a location where one of these top providers is located,  they have a ready-made reference to help them find a good meal … and, if need be, a top-notch surgeon.

Here are four quick tips we’ve learned from trial and error:

  1. Make it a win-win: Identify partners that align well with your business. Show them the value of joining forces with you by sharing data about what results they can expect based on past successes.
  2. Give more than you get: Selling your value to somebody else is the easy part. Strive to exceed your partners’ expectations by throwing all of your marketing might behind your joint efforts. Don’t hold back and expect your partner to do the heavy lifting.
  3. Make it easy: Asking somebody to join you in a marketing campaign is kind of like inviting them over to a backyard barbecue. The less you ask them to do or bring, the more likely they are to show up smiling. Create a simple checklist and a promotion kit, complete with sample emails, tweets and other collateral, and share these items with your partners.
  4. Do a debriefing: After every webinar we do, we link up with our partner for a quick debriefing call to review what went well and what we can improve on next time. This step is easy to overlook in the hustle and bustle of a busy day. But it’s an absolutely critical step.

If you use these four tips, you’ll run successful co-marketing campaigns. And you’ll also build lifelong relationships with valuable business partners.

Contact Miller Creative Strategies to learn more!

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