CO-BRANDING: Definition and Real World Examples

co branding

In today’s world of limitless options, firms are constantly competing for a larger market share. It’s an issue of doing it at the lowest possible expense. Co-branding is one such strategy in which two or more brands strategically collaborate to build a new marketing plan. It is considered a win-win strategy because each partner brand gets the opportunity to exhibit its capabilities while benefiting from the assets of another. Many of the specific things offered by these businesses are almost certainly the result of effective co-branding. So what exactly is co-branding, how does it operate, and what does it imply for your company?
So, keep reading. This post will teach you more about co-branding, its importance, benefits, drawbacks, fantastic examples, and strategies you can use for your own company.

What is Co-branding?

Co-branding is a strategic marketing and advertising collaboration between two brands in which the success of one brand leads to the success of the other.
Co-branding can be an efficient strategy to grow your business, raise visibility, and enter new markets, but it must be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Both audiences, like Betty Crocker and Hershey’s chocolate enthusiasts, must discover value.
There are plenty of excellent examples of co-branding collaborations available. To demonstrate why they are so successful, we have compiled a collection of exceptional co-branding partnership examples to inspire you.

How Does Co-branding Work?

But how effective is co-branding? We’ll let you know if we figure it out. As previously said, two or more brands merge and collaborate to create a new product or service that will serve the shared markets of both brands. When considering co-branding, it is critical to find a partner whose organization or market complements your own. Despite the fact that each brand offers a unique product, they should compete in the same or a similar market.

Co-branding has risks, but the rewards make it a viable option for many organizations. Nevertheless, because co-branding is so interconnected, picking the incorrect partner can be disastrous. Any negative perception of one brand is likely to be communicated exclusively through affiliation or connection with that brand. Thus, if you’re considering co-branding, make sure it’s consistent with your brand and strategy. And that you share the same values as the other brand with which you want to collaborate. Nothing is worse than collaborating with a brand with whom you do not share values, which might lead to problems down the road.

Why Do Brands Collaborate?

Co-branding aids in gaining market share, increasing revenue streams, increasing client awareness, and lowering individual risks. Co-branding is also useful for the following reasons:

#1. Merge Resources to Accelerate Growth

Co-branding enables partner brands to strategically inject the best of their own brands. When brands combine strategically, they may cherry-pick the best components of creativity and innovation to build an alliance.
Finally, partner brands can pitch in their greatest selling points to develop a more valuable marketing strategy.

#2. Improve Acceptance And Receptivity

Brand loyal clients rarely experiment with the offerings of a different brand. This makes co-branding essential for reaching out to them and increasing the likelihood of acceptance and receptivity.

Co-branding allows brands to combine their personalities into a single one. This enhances the acceptance and receptivity rates among one brand’s customers to try the new co-branded offering and even other offerings offered by the second brand that they were previously unaware of.

#3. Create Value Through Innovation

Co-branding is essential for keeping up with the pace of corporate innovation. Consumers are continually on the lookout for better brands that offer more valuable solutions and have more unique brand identities.

Partner brands can benefit from co-branding in terms of innovation and value creation.
Consider the brands RedBull and GoPro.
Stratos, one of the most famous co-brand stunts, was created by GoPro and RedBull. Stratos was a jump from the Earth’s surface by an astronomer while carrying GoPro cameras all over his spacesuit. Instead of ordinary cameras and energy drinks, this co-brand stunt went out to audiences and demonstrated that the brands stood for challenges, innovation, and modernity.

#4. Build Credibility

Co-branding allows smaller firms to collaborate with larger, more established brands, increasing authority and credibility. This is due to the fact that partner brands have the opportunity to highlight and reflect on each other’s assets, thereby enhancing their position in a certain industry.

Co-branding vs. Co-marketing

Co-marketing occurs when two businesses coordinate their promotional campaigns without producing a new tangible product or service. A music streaming service, for example, may agree to co-market with a vehicle manufacturer. These partners may use a commercial to promote both the music streaming service’s functionality and the quality of the vehicle’s sound system.

Co-branding, on the other hand, is the act of collaborating with other businesses to create a new brand in the form of a product or service. For example, a candy company and an ice cream company could collaborate to create a new candy-flavored ice cream bar. When business executives decide to co-brand, they pool ideas and resources in order to produce a new product or service and effectively promote it to consumers.

Types of Co-branding Strategies

Following are some examples of frequent co-branding strategies:

#1. Ingredient Co-branding

With this type of collaboration, corporate executives opt to integrate materials or components from one brand into the product of another. Each agreement’s partner is often a significant, renowned brand in their field, and each product has unique patented properties. Partners might profit from their existing consumer market reputation by cooperating on a project.

#2. Co-branding within the same organization

Co-branding inside the same firm is a means of advertising various in-house brands through the development and promotion of a single product. To market new products, large food conglomerates frequently use same-company co-branding. This type of co-branding involves only one corporation, however, it may include collaborations with subsidiaries.

#3. National to Local Co-branding

Co-branding from national to local occurs when small local firms collaborate with a nationally recognized brand. Our collaboration aims to raise national brand awareness while increasing small business revenue. Credit card firms, for example, frequently co-brand with department shops and other small merchants. Automobile manufacturers and local vehicle dealerships may co-brand.

#4. Joint Venture or Composite Co-branding

A joint venture, also known as composite co-branding, is an alliance formed by two or more well-known organizations with the purpose of offering a new product or service that would not be possible otherwise. This can entail developing a whole new product or upgrading an existing one. When a streaming service platform collaborates with film studios to develop or host movies and television shows, this is an example of this.

#5. Multiple Sponsor Co-branding

Co-branding by several sponsors occurs when two or more companies collaborate to share technologies and promotional activities. Multiple sponsor co-branding is used by professionals in athletic events, concerts, and attention-grabbing stunts. Each organization participating frequently has a chance to grow revenue, brand recognition, or reputation.

The Benefits of Co-Branding

So, what are the benefits of co-branding for your company? When done correctly, co-branding may provide multiple benefits to all of the companies involved by leveraging one brand’s strength to compensate for another’s weakness.

#1. Boost Credibility

Co-branding enables businesses to expand or develop their brand by cooperating with another prominent business. When two brands collaborate, credibility is built since each company may highlight and reflect the other’s strengths, enhancing its position in a certain market.

#2. Broad Audience Reach

When two companies join forces to form a co-branding partnership, they have the opportunity to catch the attention of each other’s markets. As a result, they may be able to gain entry to and boost their visibility in a market.

A co-branded product or campaign increases brand exposure to your co-branding partner’s target audiences due to audience overlap. Even if they would never have considered the second brand on their own, committed customers of one brand may be willing to try the new co-branded product or service. As a result, the second brand can leverage the power of the original brand to enter new markets.

Co-branding can also generate awareness and expose businesses to audiences who are unfamiliar with all of the brands involved in the campaign, causing a stir among audiences outside of their present target markets.

#3. Marketing at a Low Cost and with a High ROI

Companies understand that advertising products may be an expensive task. The fact that expenses are frequently split by the two parties is a significant advantage of co-branding. This advantage enables more imaginative marketing strategies and opportunities, which may ultimately result in a higher return on investment (ROI). Brands may obtain twice the return on investment with half the budget.

Disadvantages of a Co-branding

On the other hand, there are a few drawbacks you should be aware of before implementing this marketing strategy. Despite its growing popularity, co-branding is not a perfect marketing strategy because it has some drawbacks. Co-branded marketing necessitates complex agreements. Brands may attempt to influence these agreements in their favor. If the partner brands discover this under such conditions, there may be a backlash rather than harmony and collaboration.
When two brands with identical brand personalities co-brand, customers may become confused. As a result, audiences for enterprises in the same industry are not cooperative; rather, they are competing. Partner brands with contrasting reputations may damage one another.

Examples of Co-Branding

Let’s look at some renowned co-branding case studies that show how high-quality production and cooperative communication may provide like-minded firms with a competitive advantage.

#1. Spotify & Starbucks

Starbucks enhanced its Coffeehouse atmosphere in 2015 by collaborating with the massive music-streaming behemoth, Spotify.

Starbucks employees receive a Spotify Premium subscription as part of the partnership, and they construct playlists that serve as a musical backdrop for coffee aficionados to access via the Starbucks app. Spotify then makes these playlists available “on the go” and offers discounted membership rates, gaining a slew of new potential subscribers.
It’s a digital co-branding strategy of hot and trendy empires incorporating technology and music into espressos and lattes. Each brand benefits from joint promotions, combined loyalty programs, and lucrative rewards provided on behalf of the other. Spotify provides the sounds,

Starbucks provides the location, and both firms complement one another.
The partnership provides weekly playlists, and exclusive artist features, and allows both brands to connect with a captive audience. Seven days a week, consumers observe and enjoy each entity’s offering while consuming and mingling.

#2. Milka and Oreo

A co-branding strategy may not be successful in some circumstances. Some failed strategies combine two similar brands in a way that misleads consumers or harms brand image.
Milka is a premium chocolate within the high-end confection category, with a brand lineage born in Switzerland and produced in Germany for over 100 years. Its brand is proud of its soft texture, delectable taste, and meticulously prepared recipes.

OREO, on the other hand, is a global behemoth and the world’s best-selling cookie. It is a well-known brand with a high-quality product; nevertheless, OREO is in a separate category of consumer goods. It is a mass-market consumer food that can be found on every shelf in American retail. Its marketing is joyful, engaging, and family-friendly, but how will consumers perceive Milka and Oreo collaborating?

When the two confectionery brands launched a new line in 2016, sales and product consumption increased. Yet, it may not be a perfect match with a long shelf life. Because it combines a natural, luxury brand with a processed meal, the initiative may not resonate with certain demographics.

We have discussed the need for trust and adhering to the criteria for a successful co-branding partnership. In Milka and Oreo’s situation, due to a translation error, both brand images were compromised when Milka Oreo bars were recalled in the UAE when a labeling error was discovered misreading chocolate “liqueur” with chocolate “liquor”.

#3. The American Red Cross and Coca-Cola

Co-branding that is successful engages new audiences and offers a message that is supposed to inspire and interest. Coca-Cola has partnered with the American Red Cross for over 100 years to build a partnership focused on goodwill and fostering local communities around the country.

The beverage tycoon increases its visibility by participating in disaster assistance, local healthcare events, charitable activities, and volunteer work. On the other hand, the Red Cross has a premium partner on a call with a supply chain ready to serve. The American Red Cross has a partner in place to aid and assist support teams on the ground and suffering citizens in need, thanks to Coca-huge Cola’s assortment of water, juice, soda, and energy beverages. Coca-Cola gets favor in the local community by co-branding its business with a humanitarian sanctuary.

While some Coca-Cola products are viewed as unhealthy and associating with a reputable health group such as the Red Cross may result in a reaction, the co-branding connection extends beyond the product. It exemplifies an overarching collaboration between two All-American businesses steeped in history and tradition. Furthermore, Coca-Cola owns and donates healthy drinks to the Red Cross, such as its Dasani Water, SmartWater, and Vitamin Water brands.

#4. BMW and Louis Vuitton

When a first-rate car brand joins high-end couture, luxury meets luxury and the market doubles. Precision, quality, and performance are important to “Beamer” aficionados. These characteristics are inextricably linked to the perceived quality of Louis Vuitton’s exclusive line of garments, leather products, and luggage.
In 2014, the two businesses developed an excellent co-branding operation with an affluent customer and a Marketing strategy that capitalizes on varied market groups.
Louis Vuitton introduced a baggage line that can be exactly stored within BMW’s latest luxury car, the i8, through research, production skills, and dedicated teamwork. It’s an enticing collaboration that mirrors the two businesses’ respected icons of class, style, and innovation.


As marketplaces evolve, consumers will be able to acquire items and services through an increasing variety of channels and points of sale.
As seen by the examples, successful co-branding occurs when compatible brands release a valuable product that resonates with consumers and creates a buzz.
With the rise of AI, AR, and VR, businesses will continue to find new methods to combine campaigns and co-create products and services that move the needle and push the envelope.
Co-branding is a time-honored marketing idea, but the possibilities for creativity and potential are only scraping the surface.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like