Co-branding usually involves a strategic decision between two companies to jointly brand and promote a product or service. It can be an incredibly beneficial relationship for both companies, as the attributes of one brand can then be associated with the other. There are also risks, of course, if your co-branding partner develops negative associations or publicity.
A virtually risk- free and cost- free means to co-brand for small companies is to market themselves as “local” (assuming, of course, that the company/brand IS local). Where local may have connoted “small” or “provincial” in the past, it has morphed to become a positive badge of honor, and many consumers and businesses regularly go out of their way to purchase a local product or service, whether for ecological, economic or community support reasons.
A few considerations:
- Be careful about using the actual name of your town, area or state in any advertising, as there are certainly trademark restrictions.
- If your long-term plans involve world domination – or at least national distribution – this is not a good strategy.
- Walk the walk; ensure your company is purchasing as many local products and services as possible.