As a business owner, you probably compete with other companies that sell to your target customer. However, partnering with another brand could be the key to expanding your audience. A co-marketing campaign can help you cross-promote products and services in a mutually beneficial relationship.
In this post, we’ll explain what co-marketing is. Then, we’ll show you five effective examples of this marketing strategy. Let’s get started!
The Benefits of Starting a Co-Marketing Campaign
In co-marketing, two businesses create a campaign that benefits both parties. This is a collaboration between complementary brands that want to reach new audiences together.
Often, co-marketing is confused with co-branding. Co-branding usually involves brand partnerships to develop a single product.
For example, Taco Bell worked with Doritos on the Doritos Los Tacos, which advertises both businesses:
Co-marketing campaigns can include these co-branded products. However, it’s a more general marketing strategy.
Here are just a few co-marketing examples:
- Product bundles: Instead of developing a single product, two brands can sell complementary product packages.
- Content collaboration: You can work with another business to publish gift guides, YouTube videos, podcasts, and other online content.
- Event sponsorships: Business partners may collaborate to host an event, splitting the brand promotion and costs.
- Licensing agreements: You can give another business permission to sell your products.
Ultimately, co-marketing is used to reach your business partner’s audience. Another company might target similar customers without competing in your product category. In this case, it can be beneficial to come together and gain mutual exposure.
Plus, this marketing strategy can be cost-effective. By pooling your resources, you can spend less money on acquiring new customers, creating advertisements, and distributing content.
5 Co-Marketing Examples to Inspire Your Next Partnership
If you’re still unsure how co-marketing works, let’s take a look at some examples. This way, you can develop your own strategy and start reaching out to prospective business partners.
1. Homesick and Lucasfilm
Homesick is known for selling scented candles for different occasions. Although it creates its own scents like ‘New Job’ and ‘Birthday Party,’ Homesick recently collaborated with Lucasfilm on Star Wars-themed candles:
In this co-marketing example, two businesses developed a product that promotes both brands. These candles were made to smell like the Death Star, Tatooine, and other notorious places from the Star Wars universe.
For fans of Star Wars, this product brings a fictional world to life. Customers have the opportunity to make their homes a part of the Lucasfilm franchise.
At the same time, both Homesick and Lucasfilm gained exposure from the partnership. Major publications like Cosmopolitan advertised this unique co-marketing collection:
This partnership was successful because it strengthened the brand identity of Homesick while bringing in Star Wars fans. By selling a product together, these businesses combined their audiences and gained national attention.
2. GoPro and Red Bull
At first glance, a camera business might not seem to collaborate well with energy drinks. However, GoPro and Red Bull developed an alliance in 2016 to combine their brand identities. This turned into a multi-year partnership that cross-promotes products and content.
Although they advertise different products, both GoPro and Red Bull are lifestyle brands. They each have an audience that is adventurous, extreme, and spontaneous.
In this collaboration, GoPro provides the camera technology to capture Red Bull events:
This promotes GoPro’s products in over 1,800 Red Bull events. Additionally, their co-productions are distributed across GoPro and Red Bull’s online networks, like the GoPro channel and Red Bull TV.
Rather than developing a single product, Red Bull and GoPro decided to collaborate for many years to come. These events and mutual productions advertise both brands and offer opportunities for mutual growth.
3. Uber and Spotify
Another co-marketing partnership was between Uber and Spotify. In 2016, both companies pooled their resources to create a better experience for Uber users.
In a ride, customers could automatically link their Spotify accounts and start playing their favorite music:
If an Uber driver uses Bluetooth, a USB, or an aux cord, users can sign into Spotify through the Uber app. This strategy created advertising for both Uber and Spotify.
Now that users could listen to their favorite playlists, they’ll likely choose Uber for a more enjoyable rideshare experience. Plus, it encourages regular Uber customers to sign up for Spotify accounts.
4. Nike and Apple
Nike and Apple have been working together on co-branded products since 2006. To advertise the first iPods, the companies developed footwear that connected with Apple technology. This enabled customers to monitor their fitness levels and listen to music at the same time.
The companies continued to improve this technology with the invention of the Apple watch. Adding to Apple technology, Nike created matching bands and watch faces.
The watch also integrates with the Nike+ Run Club app for fitness coaching and progress monitoring:
This partnership improves the experiences of Nike and Apple customers. Nike’s audience is mainly athletes who could benefit from Apple’s extensive fitness tracker. Plus, regular Apple customers can install the Nike app to motivate them to exercise more frequently.
5. Stellar Snacks and JetBlue
Most co-marketing strategies involve advertising co-branded products. However, it can also be beneficial for one company to give out free samples from another business.
For example, JetBlue partnered with Stellar Snacks to provide a free snack on its flights:
Often, people want to eat snacks while they fly to their destination. However, Stellar Snacks is a relatively new company, so customers may not normally buy their products. By offering free samples, Stellar Snacks can increase brand awareness.
JetBlue can also benefit from this promotion. These snacks are advertised as sustainable products with natural ingredients, so they can help improve the airline’s brand reputation. If any customers are looking for healthy snacks on a flight, they have this free option.
By starting a co-marketing campaign, you can work with another company to develop complementary products, services, events, and much more. If done effectively, co-marketing can promote both businesses to high-value customers and improve brand awareness.
Do you have any questions about how co-marketing works? Let us know in the comments section below!
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