As a small business owner, you have probably had networking sessions and referred work to others in either the same or different field of work. When I worked as a boy for my father’s construction company, I would notice that for some jobs that were either outside of his scope of expertise or that he just did not have time for, he would refer them to another contractor in town. Developing a relationship like this with other companies is a key component to small business survival, and if the referrals are returned in favor, then it can lead to a prosperous referral partnership.
Co-Marketing and Co-Branding are different from networking and referrals. Let us look at the difference and line up a Co-Marketing Vs Co-Branding analysis:
Co-Branding is when two separate brands come together to form a new product or integrated product.
An example of co-branding would be Oreo and Dairy Queen and their famous Blizzard! ,
Co-Marketing is a partnership between two separate brands that will use their combined efforts to market each others products. A new product is not created, but because there is commonality between the two products, a co-marketing venture makes sense.
Some common examples of co-marketing are KOHLS with the Food Network
and Honda with the NHL.
As a small business owner you may wonder how these multi-billion dollar organizations can be similar to your company. The fact is that there are co-marketing opportunities around you all the time. For example, while looking for new opportunities to increase market share and brand awareness for a very small water treatment company, I developed a relationship with a solar company. Bringing the two owners together, we found there was a common interest in providing top of the line products and services to homeowners. So they entered into a co-marketing agreement that allowed them to sell both company’s products across the floor, promote each other in their materials, and increase brand awareness to each others current and new customer base.
If you have a pool service company, maybe you may utilize a co-marketing agreement with a landscaper, since you are both offering a service that many homeowners require. You love maintaining pools, but cannot stand the thought of doing landscaping. So why open another part of your business? Just find a reliable, reputable partner to duel invest your marketing dollars with and you will both benefit from this partnership. If you are a hairdresser and you have a friend who does nails, you could both market each others’ services and draw in additional customers that way. You do not need to relocate or set up shop next to each other, just a nice link on each others website, some promotional materials describing your partners business and why you recommend them, and perhaps a video ad showcasing how fabulous your clients look after a visit to your hair salon and their nail salon. The opportunities are endless, but they are time consuming and require finding the right partner. If you would like a free consultation on how to set up a co-marketing or co-branding strategy, please contact us.