Co-branding, brand partnerships, collaborations: first of all, what is it all about? How to organize it and make it work?
A brand partnership is basically the alliance of two totally different companies, that get together to form and sell a new product indicative of both their identities. It can be a fast and cost-effective way of gaining new customers for your startup.
The perfect example is the 2016 Kenzo for H&M capsule collection. The french brand forges a bond with a new generation of potential consumers while H&M support their brand positioning as a trendy fashion destination. It’s a win-win game.
You might already have someone in mind, maybe someone in your industry or even in a completely different market. In any case, I suggest you to create a quite wide list of brands that you would be interested in. Following an into depth analysis, you will discard the non-fitting brands later on. Before contacting them, do a lot of research about them using tools like Alexa.com or Buzzsumo.com, subscribe their newsletter and check their social media profiles. Learn everything you can about the company and their audience.
Define which one of your products makes the foremost sense to co-brand, and which distribution channels may work best for you. Also, be sure that co-branding won’t damage sales on your product core-line. Once you are done, shape your proposal to what would be appealing to your potential partners, and show them the value you’ll provide. Especially if the other company is bigger or more famous than yours, you have to amaze them. Let them understand your capabilities and your strengths and the advantage they will have from a co-branding. Always remember to ask your network if someone is able to introduce you to the other company, it’s always a better way to start an approach.
Double marketing budget and half the cost. Co-branding opportunities permit you to launch a brand new product and split the expenses together with your partner. As a startup, this is always something great. At the same time, you’ll gain visibility, and reach a new audience. When two brands come together to form a co-branding partnership, they automatically are given the opportunity to gain the interest of each other’s market. Last but not least, co-branding can help your startup in establishing credibility. The customers who are already in love with one brand will automatically trust the newly introduced product.
About the Author
Lara Dittfeld is a brand marketer and fashion expert. She has worked for 10+ years for leading fashion brands such as Kenzo, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, and Versace, dealing with accessories licensing, marketing, and communication strategies on a local and regional scale. Last but not least, she is also part of the FTA Mentors Team.