Partnership marketing, or co-branding as it’s sometimes referred to, is the strategic marketing and advertising partnership between two brands wherein the success of one brand brings success to its partner brand too. Partnering allows established brands to reach new markets, gain greater distribution and dovetail on their partner’s previously established momentum. But for a partnership to truly work, it has to be a win-win for all players in the game. There are plenty of great partnership marketing ideas out there but we’ve picked five of our favourites.
Spotify & Starbucks
Starbucks is the original coffee-shop-with-music venue, so it seems only natural that it would partner with Spotify to bring music into its franchises in new ways. Starbucks employees received a premium Spotify subscription that they used to curate music to playlists featured on Spotify. Customers also earned My Starbucks Reward points through the music app. This partnership marketing campaign certainly kept both brands relevant throughout the day, from the morning coffee to an afternoon pastry and playlist.
Ikea & Dreamworks
Known for its Swedish meatballs as much as its affordable furniture, IKEA launched a line of products called Lattjo, which aim to bring more fun into everyday lives. By partnering with Dreamworks to animate the collection of toys, instruments and costumes through a series of short films, IKEA got a boost from one of the most imaginative film studios around. Creating stories about Lattjo’s characters not only gives the collection a greater context, but it also served as a digital gateway as IKEA rolled out its first children’s digital experience with a Lattjo-connected app. Dreamworks has established credibility among children, while IKEA has already won over parents with affordability, making a powerful duo for promoting play.
UNICEF & Target
UNICEF’s Kid Power partnership with Target merged a philanthropic initiative with a wellness-wearable device. As kids in the U.S. complete fitness-based missions, they earn points that can be used to unlock therapeutic food packets that UNICEF delivers to malnourished children around the world. Partnering with Target to sell the fitness tracker allowed UNICEF to reach a projected audience of 70,000 kids. The combination of encouraging healthy living with greater global awareness was band on.
Covergirl & Lucasfilm
As the world geared up for the premier of the seventh Star Wars movie, brands hopped on the bandwagon of George Lucas’ record-breaking space saga with products marketed around the franchise. Covergirl’s Star Wars makeup line is interesting because the franchise has been marketed in the past more to men than to women. The limited-edition makeup set features two product lines that embody the Dark Side and the Light, proving that Star Wars has equal draw for both sexes. Designed by legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath, the 19-piece collection features quotes from the film that target a beauty audience that may have been there all along!
BMW & Louis Vuitton
Car manufacturer BMW and designer Louis Vuitton have a few important things in common. If you focus on Louis Vuitton's signature luggage lines, they're both in the business of travel. They both value luxury. And finally, they're both well-known, traditional brands that are known for high-quality craftsmanship.
These shared values are exactly why this partnership marketing campaign makes so much sense. In their partnership, BMW created a sports car model called the BMW i8, while Louis Vuitton designed an exclusive, four-piece set of suitcases and bags that fit perfectly into the car's rear parcel shelf.
Partnering strategically with another business in your marketing can be wildly successful for everyone involved. However, if the relationship isn’t constructed properly, a co-branding campaign could turn into an epic failure. Both companies have to be on the same page with their target audience, vision, promotion, and price to create a successful campaign.
The whole point of partnership marketing is creating an agreement that will make both parties more successful than they could have been on their own by finding a partner that complements them well.