Make A Milli from co-branding: A Blueprint to make your brand Stronger

Have you ever considered a co-branding strategy for your brand?  No?  Well grab your Rocawear, Nike Airs, mean bucket, an Armadale in the club, couple o’ duckets and couple chicks by your side and read about how hip-hop can help guide a co-branding strategy for your brand.

Co-branding commonly involves combining two or more well-known brands into a single product, which has the potential to achieve a “best of both world’s synergy” by capitalizing on the unique strengths of each contributing brand (Leuthesser et al. 2003 p 36).

Co-branding is an extremely popular method of promotion and product design in the hip-hop industry – typified by 2011’s two most hotly anticipated releases: Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV and Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Thorne.

Weezy’s new LP for instance, does not just promote the Lil Wayne brand.  Rather it is an impressive exemplification of co-branding, featuring guest appearances from a who’s who of up-coming and established hip-hop ‘brands’: Cory Gunz, Drake, T-Pain, Rick Ross, John Legend, Jadakiss, Bun B, Nas, Shyne, Busta Rhymes, Bruno Mars, Kevin Rudolf and Birdman.

Lil Wayne: his brand value is so high it can vomit on a comet

However, co-branding is not embraced in a lot of industries.  You simply can’t walk into KFC and buy a Big Mac or phone Dell to purchase an iMac.  Evidently a lot of firms seem focused on promoting their own brand whilst attempting to devalue so called competing brands.  (Does this sound your your company?).  Do you think of other brands in your category as competitors, or possible collaborators?

Jigga and Yeezy are hip-hop’s two self-proclaimed, obscenely-talented kings.  However, if they were Microsoft and Apple or Coca-Cola and Pepsi, collaboration would be the last thing on their mind.  They would continue to proclaim their sheer awesomeness, but ground such assertions on distinct differences, and attempt to grow their brand and sales relative to the other.

However, it is likely that both the back catalogues of Jay-Z and Kanye will experience a surge in sales due to the success of Watch the Throne.  Thus, their collaboration is an opulent demonstration that two brands, which would be thought of as competitors in most other industries, can combine to successfully and grow both the broad hip-hop category and their personal brands simultaneously.

Hova and Yeezy: Not businessmen, they’re a business… man.

It is likely that most hip-hop fans don’t buy only Jay-Z or Kanye albums.  Rather, it is likely that the buy both.  Furthermore, people don’t simply buy McDonalds OR KFC, Coca-Cola OR Pepsi or Apple OR Microsoft products but likely buy both.  Although unprecedented, all of the brand in these examples may benefit from an effective co-branding strategy, which would grow the category and the specific brands.

Thus, co-branding could be an effective method of promotion and/or product design for your brand which, in tandem with a competitor, could help grow both the broad product category and your brand.

Let us know if your interested in using hip-hop to guide some outside the box thinking to make Mo Money* for your brand.

// Alec Schumann

*which may lead to Mo Problems – but that’s another issue for another day.

About AnthonySchumann
Subtle Bravado // Creative Boutique. Ted Anthony - Vision Alec Schumann - Creative Follow @AnthonySchumann

2 Responses to Make A Milli from co-branding: A Blueprint to make your brand Stronger

  1. Steven Smith MP says:

    Hi Alec. Long time reader first time commenter. Is there a risk that jay hova or weezy might dilute there own brand image by collaborating to create this “super” brand?

  2. Pingback: Lulu – Lou Reed & Metallica: 5 reasons why it shouldn’t work. A marketer’s perspective « AnthonySchumann

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