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Bringing brands together – what makes a successful co-branding partnership? 

The talk of the nation is the merger between Sainsbury’s and Asda and how they will marry two brands into one, a marketing strategy known as co-branding. They now have the challenge of making a dual brand strategy work when each holds such distinctive brand propositions – Sainsbury’s has a predominant focus on quality, whereas Asda places a strong emphasis on value.

So how do you bring together two brands, balance out separate messaging and their unique brand identities to make such a partnership work?

We have compiled together some fun and inspiring co-branding projects that caught our eye and brand collaborations that proved how to make the partnership work.

What exactly is co-branding?

The intention of co-branding is basically to create an advertising or strategic partnership, where brands join their successes. The benefits from being exposed to a brand-new audience or allowing them to break into new markets has obvious advantages. For instance, the intention of the Sainsbury’s and Asda merger was to create a more resilient and competitive retail business that would put them in a strong position to overtake market leader Tesco.

GoPro and Red Bull.

Who would have thought that a portable camera brand and an energy drink brand would have that much in common? However, both shared similar values and could be deemed as lifestyle brands, with their predominant focus on adventure, action and always pushing the boundaries. The brands were an ideal match for one another for working on action sport themed campaigns, so it made sense for them to join forces to create “Stratos”. The partnership entailed GoPro equipping athletes and adventurers from across the world with the tools to video events such as; races, stunts and action sport events.

Capturing them from the athlete’s perspective, Red bull collaborated and exploited its prominent experience in sponsoring and implementing events and the content generated from these helped to perpetuate the success of both brands.

Their most celebrated stint was “Stratos” which saw Felix Baumgartner jump from a space pod 23 miles plus above the Earth’s surface. Generating further exposure for the brand as 3 world records were achieved, reinforcing both brand values and echoing the message that human’s potential is truly spectacular.

BMW and Louis Vuitton.

Another unique collaboration that made a lasting impression was the bringing together of BMW and Louis Vuitton, who both place a high value on luxury, renowned for their high-quality craftsmanship and their close ties with the travel industry.

Hence, it made sense for the two to embark on a rebrand partnership. BMW created a sports car model, the “BMW i8” and in conjunction with this Louis Vuitton designed an exclusive four-piece set of suitcases and bags to go inside the car’s rear parcel shelf.

Their brand image and products perfectly paired together – the luxury luggage reached a high price margin which was affordable for the BMW i8 target audience, plus the “sleek and high quality” image that BMW is affiliated with. Ultimately this epitomised their shared belief and value for continuous creativity, technological innovation and style.

Uber and Spotify.

Another surprising collaboration was between Uber and Spotify to create their own “sound track for your ride”. Both hold strikingly different products but are aligned with similar objectives, fundamentally to increase their customer base. When Uber is on the way they are encouraged to connect to Spotify and riders can become the DJ for their trip, so it was a win-win opportunity for both brands to boost their awareness.

Apple and Nike.

A mutually beneficial partnership and standout campaign, that jumpstarted the now long lasting relationship between athletic brand Nike and technology giant Apple, since the early 2000s. The partnership was initially formed as part of efforts to project the Apple brand and connect Nike customers with Apple Music and to help them work out. The genius partnership has now gone a step further creating Nike+ with the advancement of activity tracking technology built into athletes clothing and gear to sync with Apple iPhone apps that tracks and records workout data.

This highly innovative move helped both brands create a unique experience for customers and closely aligned itself with audiences growing tastes and demand for fitness tracking technology.

These brands mastered the art of co-branding and proved, having exposed the true beauty of joining together two very different brands in some cases, that sharing similar values and visions can help to position their brands to a new audience.  Proving that there is something very special about bringing together brands and is highly effective avenue for brands to take to boost business.

Get  in touch today and find out how OWB can build your brand image and tailor your brand positioning.