Co-Marketing allows like-minded brands to forge an alliance and pool their marketing efforts. This can work at any level of business, from Pepsi products at a sports venue, to consumer electronics. Do you remember Apple “giving away” a U2 album on 500 million iOS devices last summer? Both Apple and U2 were highly criticized for this. The critics were dead wrong. In fact, 24% of US iOS users listened to U2 in January of 2015, almost six months later!

In perspective, that’s just over double the number of iOS customers listening to Taylor Swift according to Retail Analytics firm Kantar. The question is what’s next?

While one example is not indicative of a trend, I suspect this is merely the beginning. Co-Branding has existed forever. A barber offering a shave is a great example of two good things that go together. Ladies, how many salons offer manicures AND styling? These go together like Brits and Oscar winners. If I owned a bun company, I would sell packets of ketchup, mustard, and relish packaged with the bun. It fulfills a need and benefits the consumer. Note: I am not promoting hot dogs as a dietary staple.

Looking around my semi-cluttered office, I see many opportunities in co-branding:

  • Why doesn’t Spotify team with car manufacturers to offer a year of Premium service with a purchase?
  • Why didn’t my keyboard come with a Touch Typing game?
  • Why didn’t my Yamaha MIDI keyboard come with a discount on Pro Tools?
  • Why doesn’t Iced Tea come with a discount on ice?

The point is this, find relevant companies to collaborate with you in YOUR Marketing efforts.

Do you remember AOL and Prodigy coming with your PC almost 20 years ago? That’s co-branding. Why should your company bear all the cost, and do all the heavy lifting, for its Marketing?

If the goal of Marketing is ultimately growing repeat customers through branding, advertising, etc., why not leverage as much help as possible. Every consumer facing company should be doing something like this. In fact, I believe nearly EVERY business can, and should, consider doing this. Lower your costs. Leverage other brands that share your demographics. In other words, Market smarter, not harder.