Co-branding as a lip-smacking awareness strategy

Written by Shanna Dennis, Brand Strategist

co-branding strategy

In 1975, two years after launching its flavoured Lip Smacker lip balms, Bonne Belle formed a partnership with Dr. Pepper. Bonne Belle invited its customers to try their “super shiny lip gloss with lip-smacking flavor… just like the world’s most original soft drink.” This was a brilliant co-branding relationship that mutually benefited both Bonne Belle and Dr. Pepper for many years.

Nike & Apple (similar target audience: runners and iTune listeners), Uber & Spotify (similar goal: both trying to gain more users), and GoPro & Red Bull (both lifestyle brands for adventurous people) are all examples of smart co-branding partnerships. When done right, co-branding can open businesses to new audiences and expand into new markets. Plus it’s just cool.

If you’re trying to grow your brand awareness, you may consider partnering with a brand that has similar values or goals. However, there are things to consider before you enter a co-branding arrangement. Lots of things. You probably should hire a lawyer.

But here’s a start:

  1. How’s the other brand’s integrity? Dig deep. Does the other brand have similar values as yours? Who else do they partner with? What’s their brand personality? What are their brand messages? Where do they want to be in the future? Do your homework and make sure you have a very carefully worded co-branding partnership agreement. (And probably call that lawyer we just mentioned.)
  2. Does a partnership make sense? Yes, you want to open yourself up to new audiences through a co-branding partnership, but make sure you can find a tie-in that will benefit you and the potential co-branding partner.  How will you both stand to benefit from this agreement?
  3. How will consumers benefit? Once you’ve established that you’re entering a partnership that can benefit two brands, stop for a minute to see what your partnership will bring to consumers. Like Dr. Pepper Lip Smackers. Or Uber users having the ability to be their own Spotify DJ while they wait for their ride. Or Tim Hortons locations that are paired up with Cold Stone Creameries… (mmm…coffee and ice cream).

Put some thought into it. A co-branding arrangement could bring you the awareness you need to elevate your business.

Photo by Zino de Groot on Unsplash

Many established companies have evolved, but their messaging and marketing have not kept up with them. We help solve this with our rebrand process.
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Shanna Dennis

Brand Strategist

We are a strategic brand agency located in Barrie and Toronto Ontario, focusing on spreading our passion for branding within Toronto and the GTA. We love working with small to medium sized businesses looking to brand or re-brand their company. We also love working with entrepreneurs who are passionately shaping our economy with their innovative visions for our future. If you are an entrepreneur, a business owner, or a marketing director, we’d love to work with you on your brand strategy and discover ways to heighten your consumer’s experience. Our Discovery Session and our Define Before Design® strategic brand process has been developed for you.

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