top of page

Co-branding: The Next Big Growth and Networking Trend You Can’t Miss

Updated: May 18, 2023

Joining forces with another company and supporting each other through co-branding offers a lot of potential payoffs. Depending on your market, creating a marketing strategy that involves co-branding can not only increase your brand awareness, but also increase your qualified leads as


In fact, over 70% of consumers enjoy co-branding partnerships, according to a survey report from Visual Objects. If you’re searching for an effective way to build business, boost awareness, and break into new markets, co-branding might be an excellent option for your company.

However, for a partnership to truly work, it needs to be a win-win for everyone involved. The audiences of both brands need to find value in the cooperation.

What is Co-Branding?

Co-branding is a strategic marketing and advertising partnership between two brands where the success of one brand brings success to its partner. This serves to combine the strength of two brands to increase the consumers' willingness to pay for their product or service. It also combines two different (but similar) audiences, and increases their reach across a broader and more diverse range of people.

It’s becoming increasingly popular to engage in co-branding activities, and for a good reason.

These kinds of brand partnerships can provoke interest in less committed customers, increase top-of-mind brand awareness for both brands, and most importantly, expose your brand to a new audience that has some interest in you. When done right, co-branding sparks discussion, prompts excitement, and builds connections between groups.

What are the Advantages of Co-Branding?

While there are many potential benefits of co-branding, its advantages can mainly be described in five main categories:

  • Amplify Reach:

    • When two distinct companies join forces for a unified message, there is a high chance that message will reach more people. Your marketing efforts will enjoy a greatly expanded reach by combining the two brands' resources, knowledge, connections, and opportunities.

  • Build a New Audience and Client Base:

    • By choosing a good co-branding partner, you connect with a group of people who may never have heard of your brand but still have potential interest in what you’re providing. You capture the appeal of this new audience almost instantaneously, allowing you to demonstrate what your brand is all about and potentially convert them into clients of your own.

  • Create Better Partnerships and Relationships for Future Growth:

    • Great things happen when people work together, and the same principle applies to co-branding. By cooperating with complementary brands and respecting their needs as well as your own, you could lay the foundation for future co-branding and other types of partnerships. It also shows non-involved brands that you are open to productive collaboration and increases your overall industry profile.

  • Increase Audience Trust:

    • Simply by working with other brands, especially respected ones, you develop a reputation for being someone you can trust. Making good choices about who you associate with and what reputations they have is critical here.

  • Enjoy Bigger Budgets for Campaigns and Ads:

    • It may feel obvious, but it bears repeating: you'll have more to spend by pooling your resources with another brand. Beefing up your marketing campaign’s budget with double the funds gives you more space to research, and more chances to reach your target audience.

How to Decrease Risks in Co-Branding

Co-branding has incredible potential benefits, but working with partners who are bad actors or just bad fits can also be harmful. Remember, co-branding activities will link you closely with the other brand, so you want to be very confident in your choices. It’s imperative to vet potential

partners, and utilize protective strategies to decrease risks.

First, it’s important to set realistic goals for your campaign. (This is a good idea for solo marketing efforts as well!) What can you accomplish with your business's current circumstances, goals, and resources? One good way to sort through the variables is to make SMART goals: ambitions that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based.

Ensure that both you and your potential partner can agree on these goals and how you’ll go after them. Use these goals to create a very specific content and marketing calendar. This calendar should be crystal clear to both parties, and include dates and times for all launches, drip campaigns, social media posts, live events, etc.

At all stages of the partnership, your focus should be on increased brand awareness and growth, not money. When profits are your first priority, this changes the relationship from a long-term solution and goal to a short-term “get rich quick” scheme. This will rarely pay off, and can often upset or create distance with your co-branding partner.

The same goes for your partner brand- if it feels like they’re angling to collect cash and pass marketing costs onto you, don’t be afraid to reevaluate the relationship. You should also keep yourself safe by recording meetings and sending recap notes in an email to ensure all communications and decisions are in writing. Don’t make any handshake deals or critical decisions over the phone.

Finally, ask for previous results from previous marketing efforts, especially other co-branding campaigns. The best indicator that a company will make a good partner brand is

good work in the past.

Examples of Good Co-Branding

Not only can co-branding campaigns increase your profits and brand awareness, but you can break records, too! When companies use the power and persuasion of two audiences, their campaigns have a better chance of yielding positive results.

Dell Computers & Intel Processors

Dell and Intel are so closely associated that you may not even have realized that they are separate companies participating in co-branding. Intel processors are acclaimed for their computing power and stand out as the most well-known and well-respected processor creator.

As a result, when Dell advertises that its computers have “Intel Inside,” this benefits its brand by creating the impression that its computers must be fast and powerful.

Intel also benefits because they ultimately do not create computers themselves. Their processors don’t have any benefit on their own- they must be built into a computer.

By advertising with Dell, they reduce their advertising costs and develop a natural market for their products. After all, they don’t have to worry about independent sales of their chips if Dell purchases them to use in their computers.

Taco Bell & Doritos

By some accounts, the “Doritos Loco Taco” saved Taco Bell.

The famous Mexican-style fast-food restaurant sold an estimated 1 billion units of this unique taco in only the first year it was introduced! While the brands had to work hard to perfect the product and ensure it represented their brands well, the hard work was ultimately worth it for both parties.

Taco Bell and Frito-Lay (the manufacturer of Doritos) advertised Doritos Locos Taco by wrapping the taco in Doritos-style packaging, connecting the two brands in the minds of restaurant visitors. After enjoying a Doritos Loco Taco, a customer would associate a craving for Taco Bell with Doritos, and vice versa, boosting the sales and reputation of both brands.

The Doritos Locos Taco’s extraordinary success is another example of why co-branding can expand reach and sales for cooperative partners.

Zoek and Trustpilot

Here at Zoek, we engage in critical co-branding activities as well. We are a Trustpilot partner and work together to mutually benefit each other’s companies. We educate other businesses on what it means to be a Trustpilot partner, we both gain additional reach and users, and Trustpilot

receives backlinks in exchange for interviewing with our blog.

Trustpilot is able to maintain its reputation for independence and reliability, while Zoek gets honest insight into client needs and shows the world what we’re capable of.

Key Takeaways

Finding the right co-branding partner takes time and careful consideration, but the results are worth it. Expanding your audience, breaking into new markets, and demonstrating your aptitude for partnerships can have a tremendous positive impact on your marketing and your business.

One of the most essential benefits of co-branding is creating social proof and demonstrating that your business commands a trusting audience. If you’re looking for other ways to create social proof and boost your website’s profile, we encourage you to reach out to us at Zoek.

Our marketing and SEO teams would be happy to help you find impactful solutions for areas where you struggle- and your initial consultation is absolutely free.


bottom of page