Co-Branding is Sweet for Business

We hear the term co-branding frequently these days and always think of national products. However, there are ways and benefits for small businesses to co-brand as well.

Co-Branding is basically a partnership between your brand and another brand with the goal in mind to create synergy and form an alliance to work together. The object for this is to combine the strength of two brands, maybe in order to increase the premium consumers are willing to pay, make the product or service more resistant to copying and with the ultimate goal of increasing sales. In addition there can be some savings. Using this technique with the right brand can be a very cost-effective way to market your brand and gain new customers you might not have thought were in your target market.

happyRecently I co-branded with a t-shirt company. I am a cookie and a cupcake shoppe so I am sure your first question is, “What do these two brands possibly have in common?”

This local t-shirt company created a brand here in Michigan called The Happy Michigan. They have created an entire line of unique apparel with this adorable logo.

happy-michigan-cupcake-shirtI am a native and I absolutely love the Pure Michigan craze with all the great slogans on t-shirts such as “Michigan unsalted”, “the Great Lake State”, “Michigan Nightlife” (with a picture of a campfire, hilarious!) and the creativity goes on and on. After talking with the creator of Happy Michigan we both said, “I make a product that makes people happy”.  And the creation of the co-branded Happy Michigan/Cupcake by Design T-shirt was born.

“Happiness is only a cupcake away”

I now have a product that will appeal to my cupcake-loving clientele and these shirts will also be featured on The Happy Michigan website. This is a new market for me, hopefully a few mouth-watering Happy Michigan customers will want to come and see what we have to offer.

Recently, one of our corporate clients was looking for a way to co-brand his company with another and we created this cookie bouquet for them.

bouquetThis mortgage company sent this cookie bouquet to a local realtor.Not only is this a Thank You gift for their referrals, but having both logos incorporated in this gift is co-branding. This product is a great example of sharing the expense of marketing to your clients, in this case the home buyer.

I challenge you, as a small business owner, to think of other brands that you can partner with. Co-branding doesn’t have to be just for the big dogs, such as Crest toothpaste with Scope mouthwash, or Tide with Febreze.  We little guys can build our brand, one local partner at a time.

Share with us any co-branding examples or ideas you may have that can benefit the small business. We would love to hear them.

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