I have read somewhere that “Products are created in the factory, Brands are created in the mind of the customer.”
It is a definition that perfectly adapts itself to the topic of this article: the co-branding.
Made the product, how is it possible to make sure that someone wants to get it?
If the research and development work is fundamental, you can’t underestimate the phase 2.
I am talking about all that job that is commonly called “marketing”.
The “marketing” is that job that determines 2 important aspects for your company: the number of loaded pallets which get out from your warehouse and the transfers which arrive on time on your bank account.
If these two things don’t happen in a constant and natural way, I am sorry to tell you that you are making something wrong in your marketing.
Let’s take stock of the situation: the market is crowded and in some categories it is full beyond all limits.
How could you differentiate your product from other competitors, get away from the war price and make your market quotes unassailable?
Here is the answer, and it is always the same: you must have a good marketing that should directly work in the mind of the customer to make something more than a purchase impulse.
You have to make a reserved space for your brand!
You certainly know that the most important aspect of your marketing in order to make perceive your product to the customer and to convince them to buy it, is the packaging of your product.
Furthermore the packaging has to be done, the packaging of the product is a mandatory component.
You have got two solutions: making a good packaging or making a mediocre one.
Be careful: this doesn’t mean nice or ugly, it means right or wrong.
Right → finalized to sales
Wrong → irrelevant on sales or even harmful
But know follow me because we have entered in the mind of the customer and we have to move ourselves carefully in order to activate the right gears.
Today I want to speak to you about an idea which has been strongly catching on and that recently I have followed up in person with several brands as Barilla, Molinari and Alce Nero.
I am talking about the co-branding, a commercial operation born from the union of two different brands which give life to a new product.
The first example that comes up to my mind and you could know is EstaThé and Nutella, in this case we are talking about the same company (Ferrero) even if the brands are different, then reasoning with customer’s eyes they are distinct brands.
The co-branding is not just a funny commercial gimmick, when it is used in the right way, it can help you to gain a space in the mind of the customer, the one that any product needs to stay on the market and the benefit is double because it make revenue for two companies.
How co-branding works
The first condition to respect is the complementarity.
When I have a break with EstaThé and Nutella happens exactly this, I am in front of two complementary products.
When I eat a ready sandwich by Beretta with inside Leerdammer’s cheese that is the case, and it also happens when children put some Smarties inside Fruttolo as a snack.
A good using of co-branding helps your product and your brand on three fronts:
1) Associate my product to a leader product of my category
The mind of the customer (where your brand has to gain a space) reasons according to categories. There are several product categories and for each category there is a brand leader.
Associating your product to a product leader of another category helps you to be perceived as the leader of your category
2) I reach a new target on which I had not yet the leadership
Associating 2 different brands in a commercial operation helps to reach a new target.
I love Leerdammer and for this I get a ready sandwich by Beretta with speck and Leerdammer cheese, or I love Beretta’s ready snack and so I buy the same sandwich discovering the Leerdammer cheese which till that moment was one among a number of cheese.
Two perspectives, those of two different targets, which lead to the same conclusion: the purchase.
In a clever way, Fruttolo and Smarties create a product making discover the Smarties to many children who until that moment hadn’t tasted yet (and vice versa making discover Fruttolo).
3) I make a new category
In some cases it creates a new category and this is the situation I prefer. I am thinking about Philadelphia with Milka chocolate. Technically it is Philadelphia chocolate, but indeed it is a new category. A fresh spreadable chocolate cheese which didn’t exist. Do we put it in the cheese counter or in the sweet counter?
Without packaging there is no co-branding
In all these operations the packaging plays a crucial role. Through a single packaging you need to communicate the presence of two different brands with their distinctive aspects. Here the game gets really tough, because you are working with two bulls in a china shop, if you move badly you make a massacre.
The experience in mandatory, don’t risk to make a multiplied massacre, you’d better keep still.
It also serves to transmit clearly the concept of the new product and to respect the perfect balance of characteristics, also aesthetic, of the two brands.
Banally the social colors and the 2 logos having to coexist on the same packaging have to find the magic formula for a happy marriage.
We can quietly say that the success of a co-branding operation depends on the characteristics of the packaging. I repeat what I have said before, making a mistake in this case is doubly harmful.
I have made some well known examples to make it easier, but I think that the co-branding is not just a solution for big brands, indeed, in very many cases small specialized brands are perfect for targeted co-branding operations.
Many times it happened to me to suggest this kind of solutions to my customers literally doing a connecting bridge.
As usual, the more you can create the conditions to make your product perceived like unique and different, and the more your possibilities of success increase. This is an operation that entirely happens in the mind of the customer, and the use of co-branding can help you to achieve this goal.
Everything we have just said is useless if you are not able to communicate it properly through the packaging.
Contact us without any commitment, we can help you to understand how a dedicated packaging can increase the sales of your product also thanks to a co-branding operation.
In 1996 enters in the world of marketing, in 1999 founded Ardigia Marketing Funzionale (Ardigia Functional Marketing), in 2013 founded Packaging in Italy, Design Agency for Packaging Positioning™