When Brands Unite: How co-branding can pay off


Looking to increase your brand reach in an out-of-the-box way? Why not try a brand collaboration? Brand collaborations are nothing new and many times some of our favorite products are a result of co-branding. Co-branding isn’t limited to any industry in particular which means brands looking for a partner aren’t constrained by their vertical. We see it happen all the time in the fashion, music, food, and tech industries. Why not your brand, too?

A recent collaboration has raised more than a few eyebrows: Adidas and AriZona Iced Tea. The collaboration came out of left field –yet even more surprising, the sneakers and slides that resulted from the partnership were incredibly successful. What began as a pop-up shop in New York City selling shoes for 99 cents quickly transpired into large crowds forcing the event to be shut down by police before the doors even opened.

You might be wondering who would even want AriZona Adidas sneakers? Well, both brands have their own extremely devoted fan base so when you put the two together, you have a viral phenomenon.

Adidas and Arizona Iced Tea Co-branding

What is Co-Branding?

the marketing of a product or service under two or more brand names.

Co-branding is when two businesses team up together in order to create one product or service. Each brand contributes its own unique identity to their strategic partnership and together their market strength, brand awareness and the positive associations with each brand are strengthened.

There are two types of co-branding: ingredient co-branding (Dell computer using the Intel chip) and product/service co-branding (Adidas collaborating with AriZona on a shoe line).


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What are the Benefits of Co-Branding?

If it’s done properly, co-branding can be hugely beneficial to both parties. The following are a few reasons why you should consider co-branding:

  • Increase your brand awareness.

If you partner with a respectable or well-known business, it can help increase your brand awareness.

Customers who may not have heard about your brand before may be more willing to try out your product or service because you have a relationship with a brand they already know and love.

In 2012, Taco Bell partnered up with Doritos to make the Doritos Locos and instantly became the most popular menu item. While both of these brands are already very popular and well known, by teaming up, Taco Bell now has a crazy popular menu item and every time someone goes to Taco Bell they think of Doritos.

  • Expand your reach

One of the biggest benefits of co-branding is the opportunity to get your product or service in front of a new audience.

Instead of just reaching your original audience, both brands can appeal to a broader audience. Let’s take a look at KFC and Beyond Meat’s co-branding partnership. If you asked KFC’s President Kevin Hochman 6 months ago if he would consider selling plant-based fried chicken, he would have said “Never.” As the demand for plant-based products has continued to grow because more people want to reduce their meat consumption due to health and environmental concerns, KFC realized it was time to explore the possibilities.

This August, KFC tested out their new Beyond Fried Chicken in one of their Atlanta locations and it sold out within 5 hours. The likelihood of a vegan or vegetarian eating at KFC before this release would be extremely rare if not impossible. By co-branding, both KFC and Beyond Meat have increased their reach significantly.

Beyond Meat and KFC co-branding


  • Double the marketing budget

When you co-brand with another company, you split the marketing cost.

While this could make marketing more affordable, it can also double the budget of your marketing efforts, which in turn can help increase brand exposure significantly as well as boost sales. By partnering with another company, you’re essentially doubling your resources. This can be extremely beneficial if you are a non-profit with a low marketing budget.

Recently Williams Sonoma has partnered up with No Kid Hungry, to promote a new line of spatulas that donates 30% of the retail price to fight childhood hunger. By co-branding, the marketing budget doubles, as does the brand awareness, and the reach.

William Sonoma Co-brandingNo Kid Hungry Instagram Post

Additional Tips to Keep in Mind

It’s very important to consider who you’re co-branding with because partnering with the wrong company could damage your brand reputation. Lending your name to a poor quality product or service that gets bad reviews can result in a decrease in sales. Make sure that if you co-brand a product that the business you partner with is known for high-quality products or services.

When done correctly co-branding can have many benefits. If you’re looking to expand your reach and increase your brand awareness, this can be a great way to achieve those goals. Just make sure whatever brand you choose to work with shares the same ethics, core values, and vision as you. If you’re thinking about co-branding and want some insight on where to begin we’re here to help!