Since the RIO Cocktail & Liushen co-branded in 2018, the co-branding product got viral, and the co-branded models of the entire e-commerce industry have sprung up in China.
What is co-branding?
Co-branding is commonly said as cross-border cooperation, through cooperation with other brands, IP, and celebrities to produce new products. The influence of both parties can help to enhance the commercial value of the new product and brands.
This model is consistent with the “product is marketing”. It is not only product innovation, but also the creation of events and brand building.
When a cultural symbol cannot interpret a lifestyle or reproduce a comprehensive consumer experience, several cultural symbols need to be combined for interpretation and reproduction, and the carriers of these cultural symbols are different brands.
— Baidu Baike for cross-branding
At present, the co-branding is mainly in several categories:
- Co-branding of brand and celebrity;
- Co-branding of brand and IP (Intellectual Property);
- Co-branding of two brands.
1. Co-branding of brand and celebrity
Celebrities include four types: stars, well-known designers or artists, virtual characters, and industry bloggers.
This method is more commonly used. For example, sports brands like to find sports stars, fashion brands prefer traffic stars and foreign brands are keen on well-known designers and artists. There are also several ways of cooperation. Some are printed with the image of celebrities, some are designed by celebrities, and some are combined with celebrities’ peripheral products to form gift boxes for sale.
What GMA has done for Smiley is this kind of cooperation. Smiley and the Chinese celebrity in fashion wear Grace Chow have launched together with a co-work.
Advantages of this model:
- The brand can use celebrities’ fans to increase sales;
- The event of celebrities can easily lead to the spread on social media;
- Celebrities can also get more close to their fans.
2.Co-branding of brand and IP (Intellectual Property)
This type is very popular recently in China. IP includes movie IP (Marvel), animation IP (Pikachu, Peppa Pig), cultural IP (Forbidden City, British Museum), game IP (King of Glory, League of Legends), etc.
As the picture shows, in 2018, after the release of Avengers 3 and the appearance of the strongest villain pushed the Avengers series to a climax. Anta, the Chinese sportswear giant, has launched a cooperation with Marvel. A full series of 6 styles of shoes, all of which are limited to girls, and each shoe design corresponds to a superhero. This launch has heated the market!
There are many others, For example, Mac has worked with the video game – Honor of Kings to roll out new series of lipsticks!
Advantages of this model:
- Brand and IP co-branding can make IP more affinity and no longer empty;
- If IP peripheral products are done well, it can also increase its popularity;
- Stars have scandals, gossip which can cause damage to brands, however, IP perfectly circumvents these problems.
3. Co-branding of two brands
This is a way that has got viral on e-commerce in the past year, and most of the two brands that have cooperated are completely unconnected cross-border “marriage.” This total unrelated cooperation can attract a lot of traffic in a short time and viewers feel it interesting to purchase.
Without exposure, cognition cannot be generated; without topics, communication cannot be built. The essence of e-commerce is the transaction of commodities. A topical product itself has the ability to attract traffic and thus lead to transactions, especially now that the traffic is difficult to find.
The co-branded product can be an explosive appearance, maybe by the cross-branding with a traffic star/top IP, or maybe a product produced by two cross-border brands.
As long as you achieve success in one of these points, it will bring brands a lot of traffic, increase exposure, and the ultimate goal: increasing sales.
Are you interested in co-branding? If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.
GMA is an expert in Chinese digital marketing since 2012. We have worked with many big or small brands with our expertise in SEO, social media marketing, PR, etc.