Branding Ideas℠

Co-Branding: What It Is and Why Brands Do It

Kung Pu Panda and Wix team up on a co-branded advertisement

Kung Pu Panda and Wix team up on a co-branded advertisement

Did you tune into the Super Bowl earlier this month? If so, you probably noticed a couple of ads that were a bit different from the others. One was an ad for Wix featuring personalities from Kung Fu Panda 3; the other was a commercial for Airbnb featuring characters from The Jungle Book. In both instances, popular characters from films that are currently playing in theaters were used to showcase the benefits of a service. What’s going on here, and why might these brands have chosen to team up in this way?

Co-branding, in which two different brands join forces for an advertising campaign or a special product release, has been around for quite some time. Very popular with the auto industry, it spans several verticals, right on up to consumer retail. Also referred to as a strategic partnership, co-branding allows brands to reach audiences they might not other be able to access, leading to increased awareness and sales. Co-branding also implies a subtle endorsement that can deliver positive benefits by dint of association: if one of the brands is highly esteemed and has a stellar reputation, simply appearing alongside it can have lend positive associations to the other brand as well. If the two brands have similar target audiences and brand identities, engaging in co-branding can help reinforce and strengthen their respective brands.

Sometimes co-branding ideas come naturally through the course of doing business: for example, Pottery Barn got lots of questions about the paint colors used in its catalogs, so it teamed up with Benjamin Moore to create a special color palette to better serve customers. In the beauty world, MAC recently teamed up with Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper to promote new, bold product lines of cosmetics. Household products have also gotten in on the act: Tide offers a version of its detergent that includes Febreze, a popular freshener.

Brands also occasionally partner up to promote humanitarian causes, such as when Bono’s Global Fund (Red) formed a sort of brand supergroup, collaborating with American Express, Apple, Converse, Dell, Emporio Armani, Gap, Hallmark, and Starbucks on a major initiative to fight AIDS in Africa. The campaign is still going strong, having recently welcomed Snapchat for a special social media campaign on World AIDS Day last fall.

Co-branding is also a popular and growing trend where promotional products are concerned, spanning a wide array of sectors and brand levels. Selecting a branded promotional product that people already recognize, appreciate and trust can be an effective way to draw their attention and get them to positively associate you with a brand they know and admire. We offer top national and international brand name product lines ready to be co-branded with your logo or design, from elegant corporate gifts designed by MoMA to a generous selection of Moleskine notebooks and weekly planners, Brookstone products, and many more items from every day brands like Thermos, Carhartt, BuiltBobble, Cutter & Buck and Swiss Army / Victorinox!

If you’re curious to know more about the name brand promotional products we offer, including select executive and corporate gifts from brands that are not listed on our website, such as Tumi and Mont Blanc, feel free to reach out to us! We’d be happy to share advice and suggestions on what types of branded promotional products might best fit your needs. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or call us at 877-881-6845 and we’ll advise you on branding ideas that can represent your company with style and grace.


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