Co-Branding: An Innovative Success Formula

2 min read


Recently, two seemingly unlikely business leaders from different industries united to form a phenomenal partnership. Starbucks and Spotify established a multi-year relationship that links its “7,000 company-operated stores in the U.S. and 10 Million My Starbucks Rewards® loyalty members with Spotify’s more than 60 Million global users to offer a first-of-its-kind music ecosystem”. Talk about a strategic partnership.

There are many advantages associated with Business-to-Business partnerships (B2B) such as the enhancement of your value proposition and access to an extended customer base. In particular, co-branding has become a major phenomenon in the business world today and companies across various industries are partnering for success. If executed correctly, B2B partnerships can help increase your sales and revenue while giving you additional exposure.

In order for your co-branding campaign to succeed, there are several tips you need to keep in mind:

Shared Purpose

Before considering a B2B partnership, you must clearly define your company’s purpose and value proposition. It is of utmost importance that your business has aligned objectives with your potential branding partner, even if the partnership extends across multiple industries such as in the case of Starbucks and Spotify. You don’t want your brand image to be damaged because you are partnering with the wrong company.

starbuck-spotify-co-brandingImage Credit: Starbucks

Through your brand, you have most likely built a significant emotional connection with your customers. Always make sure that your partnership has a clear and shared purpose for continued influence within your existing customer base.

Exclusive Offering

The general purpose of branding is to portray your business in a unique manner in order to attract an extended audience that will convert into a customer base. Therefore, co-branding requires you to search for a partner that will create an entire unique offering in order to garner this interest, especially if you are extending outside of your core industry. Co-branding is meant to increase audience awareness of your brand while simultaneously positioning you ahead of your competition. Focus on creating a unique offering that is exclusive to this co-branding opportunity.

Legitimacy and Reputation

Conduct due diligence to ensure that you are partnering with a top marketing company. This might include running background checks, reviewing financial statements, or conducting research on their marketplace reputation. This while help you avoid any alliances that might be potentially detrimental in the long run. It will be difficult to disentangle your brand and business from a partnership once it is established. Be relational in your partnership, but also be strategic. If your B2B partnership is successful, it will serve to strengthen your influence in the marketplace while increasing your revenue.

The partnership between Starbucks and Spotify was extremely strategic on many different levels. From increased exposure, to added customer value, to increased revenue, these two powerful brands are great examples of a successful B2B venture. Next time you hear the music in Starbucks, consider how this type of venture might benefit your own business.

Image Credit: Spotify/Starbucks

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