A Tale of Two (or More) Brands: Partnerships and Collaborations


Brand partnerships and collaborations are about more than a couple of brands cooperating with each other. They’re also about co-branding. When people see two of their favorite brands team up, it generates buzz and builds excitement. That kind of buzz is good for business, even for brands within the same industry. Mantra: it’s not competition, it’s a partnership.

What is a Brand Partnership?

In the simplest of terms, a brand partnership is an agreement between brands. That agreement can be for a variety of things, be it cross-promotion of products, event collaborations, or something else. The point of the partnership is to use the combined might of all parties involved to boost business, increase brand awareness, and provide added value to their respective customer bases.

Ways Successful Brand Partnerships Grow Your Biz

There are three main benefits to collaborating with other brands and teaming up.

Help Increase Brand Exposure

Every brand has its own unique space carved out within its industry. For example, a food brand has a different customer base than a makeup brand. However, when brands collaborate and partner with each other, even from different industries, that exposes each brand to a new customer base.

This strategy works great to increase the exposure of both brands with essentially the same amount of work. One example of this is the collab between Elf makeup and Dunkin Donuts. Though the two brands didn’t appear to have much in common on the surface, it nevertheless was a collaboration that did an excellent job of increasing interest in both brands.

Help Reach New Customers

When a brand’s exposure increases, that exposure often translates into new customers with minimal extra marketing investment. That’s because when the marketing is a joint effort between brands, it cuts down on costs for both brands, and increases their reach. More bang for the buck, so to speak.

Additionally, when a brand collaborates with another brand that targets a more specific niche, its target audience changes as a new segment is added. A large, well-established brand that collaborates with a niche-specific brand can increase the customer base of both brands.

LEGO and IKEA’s collaboration is the perfect example of this; both companies create build-it-yourself products, with LEGOs being niche-specific. Somehow, the two brands together just work! 

Help Add Value to the Brand

Finally, collaborating with other brands and creating new product offerings or services only adds value to both brands. As each business grows in size, the opportunity for success grows along with it.

Brands can capitalize on their strengths and create a collaborative product that gives customers the best of both worlds. Your brand can then reach and cater to more people than ever, while loyal customers of both brands might try out the new product just because it’s novel and they want to support their favorite brands.

For example, the NIKE and APPLE collaboration is one of the best long-term brand partnerships in history; Nike markets their sports-targeted products, while Apple markets its technology, and everyone wins.

Tips for Making the Most of Brand Partnerships

Though they can offer some killer benefits, brand partnerships must not be taken lightly. They take careful planning and wisdom in choosing the right brands to partner with. For a brand partnership to be considered successful, it must benefit both companies.

That can only be achieved by proper planning and commitment to designing an effective campaign. Carefully choose the brands you team up with because if only one company plays its part and the other lags behind, it simply won’t work.

Additionally, there is something to be said when looking for partnerships with some commonalities. Makeup and donuts may not work for everyone! Most often, brands involved in a partnership will have some overlap in their products, services, location, or target audience; otherwise, there could be a higher risk of the brand partnership failing.

The similarities between each respective brand is what will help most in defining an effective marketing campaign because those commonalities can be used as a linchpin between the brands and offer familiarity for both audiences.

Ultimately, brand partnerships can come with many moving parts, which is why it’s so important not to jump into them blindly. Strategic planning is key. Yet, when they are done well, they can offer each brand phenomenal returns.


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