Ask yourself this questions to see if co-branding is an option for you: Who do I know that has a business different than mine, but serves the same customer base as my business?
The answer to that question will lead you on the first leg of your co-branding mission! Co-branding happens when small businesses work together to reach the target markets they have in common.
If you can identify a business that offers products/services that your target market is looking for, and go hand-in-hand with the products/services you offer, that’s a great opportunity for co-branding!
Think: a landscaping company and a gutter-cleaning business. Both target homeowners in suburban communities who are interested in keeping their property neat and beautiful.
Think: a cupcake bakery and a catering company. The caterer doesn’t have time to worry about desserts and usually buys from another vendor. The cupcake baker is ready to expand and would like to cater larger events. They team up to share booth costs at a bridal show, landing wedding after wedding!
Think: a boutique store and a coffee shop. Many boutiques offer their customers beverages on-site, coffee being a popular option. Why not get it from the store around the corner? You can cross-promote by prominently displaying each other’s coupons or flyers in-store (best placement is by the register).
So think about it!
Do you know any like-minded entrepreneurs (or solopreneurs, or franchise owners, or other small businesspeople) whose customers could benefit from the services your business offers? If you can’t think of any off the top of your head, attend the next networking event! Keep these other questions in mind: What other products/services could my customers benefit from? How can we combine our expertise to create a stronger message and customer experience?
Co-branding isn’t just an option for better serving your customer base – it’s a low-cost option too! When you co-brand, you co-market, sharing all costs for advertising, sales materials, and in-store displays (providing all these things represent your co-brand, of course). Co-branding also makes it possible to expand your geographic footprint, reaching more potential clients within your target market.