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Online co-branding can be a little complicated. If an Internet user clicks on a link on your website and is taken to a web page that has a different brand or company it can get a bit confusing. They will wonder why they have been directed to an entirely different web page with unrelated content. When it comes to co-branding you need to choose partnerships that have something in common with the product or service that you’re selling.
Co-branding can be very cost effective, particularly for small online businesses. However, if you choose the wrong partner, or too many partners, it might be more harmful than beneficial.
Adding Partners to your Website
As a small business you need to be cautious with your marketing budget. When you add a partner to your website you need to ensure that you’re going to see strong and positive results from the union. These positive results can include more traffic to your website, increased online sales, or more contact with your customers. Online branding can be costly so be sure to choose partners that can benefit your business.
Co-branding is known by a variety of definitions that include:
- Joint promotions
- Value endorsements
- Joint ventures
Co-branding works best when both you and your partner company each provide a related service or product to the same types of customers.
Powerful Co-branding: Studies show that most online users like the idea of co-branding because it helps them to make decisions about the hundreds of brand name products that they come into contact with on the Internet. When top-quality brands join together in a partnership it strengthens their customer’s approval. If you have a lesser know brand it will be to your benefit to partner up with a more well known brand so that your overall image is improved and so that you get more exposure on the Internet. And if a popular brand partners up with a lesser known brand it won’t harm the popular brand. Your best bet is to partner up with a company that is equal to you.
A partnership needs to make sense and customers need to understand the connection.
Guidelines for Co-branding: If you have the right partner you can share the costs of marketing as well as strengthen your company brand. You’ll also have access to a larger customer base. Following are some important co-branding guidelines:
- What does your co-brand partnership say to your customers? Will it make your customers feel better about themselves?
- What do you and your partner have in common? Are both of your products innovative? Are they dependable? You want to make sure that your image makes sense for your current customer base. You don’t want to lose your current customer base but instead you want to build on it.
- How does your co-branding partnership benefit your customers? Will it save them money? Or will it save them time? Your marketing campaign should make the benefit very clear to your customers.
- Your goal with co-branding should be to find the best solutions for your customers.
- There should be an equal value for both brands in the partnership. You need to have an equal partnership or your marketing strategy will be uneven.
- Will your customers easily be able to see the connection and value of your partnership?
- Does the co-branding partnership bring you into contact with new customers?
The above guidelines need to be answered before you join in a co-branding partnership. Joint promotions take a great deal of time and thought to be implemented correctly. However, when done correctly and accurately, a co-branding partnership can bring you results that are far better than other traditional online marketing methods.
One of the basic rules of online marketing is: take your message, content, and promotions to your customers rather than focusing too much energy on the effort of trying to bring customers to your website.
Integrating Partnership Products
When it comes to co-branding partnerships you need to take the time to include the benefits of both brands into the overall design of your marketing promotions. This way your customers will understand the connection between both products or services.
Simply putting your company logo, or a link to your website, on another company’s website will save you time and money but at the same time may cause you to lose some potential customers. Co-branding that is successful never leaves your customers wondering exactly what website they are on. Partnerships should improve a customer’s shopping experience by helping them to make buying decisions. You’ll want to exchange content with your partner so that you both expand your expertise in the industry. However, you’ll need to incorporate this content into your website so that it flows naturally and fits in with your own content. The end result will be beneficial to both of you when you maintain professional consistency.
Complementary Partners: Your website will be more legitimate and competitive when you have co-branding content that is well integrated into your own web pages. Co-branding will only help your business if it complements the business goals you have defined for your company. Always keep your business goals in mind no matter what online marketing strategy you’re trying to incorporate into your business. This means that all your website content, promotions, and activities with your co-branding partners encourages your customers to follow through with the sales action.