This post is by Joshua Linham of Lookbooks.com
Co-branding presents heaps of advantages for both parties when performed properly. A branding partnership can double your readership and boost your brand awareness, among many other benefits. Though, it is crucial to know the ingredients that factor into a successful branding collaboration.
Here’s a look at seven steps to remember when jumping into a new co-branding campaign.
1. Consider the brand
This may sound obvious, but truly – it is the most important factor of all. If a brand is out of line with your own, it reflects poorly on your blog. For example, if your target audience is luxury and you accept a Wal-Mart co-branding contract – your readers may be confused after seeing buy-one-get-one-free tube socks.
On the other hand, brands that are in line with your own can actually legitimize your blog as a sincere style destination. Let’s say you strike a deal with Burberry. Readers will likely think, “Hey, if this iconic British fashion house thinks these guys are cool it must be true!” A good brand serves to strengthen your own blog presence.
2. Have a project or direction in mind. But be flexible
When two brands come together, a thorough game plan is paramount. Nothing causes frustrations to mount like two parties who’re both shrugging shoulders. Take care in meeting and planning out details of a deal to a T. Follow through with your plans.
Respect your co-brand’s ideas and opinions (even if they sound completely loony). A deal runs more smoothly when both parties are pleased.
3. Get an agreement together
Whenever money is involved, decide how things will be split up beforehand. And, put it in writing. While some view this initial process as a pain, it is 100 percent necessary. On the off chance a partnership turns sour you want to ensure you don’t end up in court!
4. Be intentional about the little things
Set a launch date and stick to it. Always meet your deadlines. And recruit others’ opinions to see what they think before the deal launches. Reputation counts for a lot in the blogging world, and it’s best to be known as a person who follows through and keeps his or her word.
5. Know the rules
Did you know the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has guidelines in place for non-disclosure of free blogger products, posts that are sponsored and affiliate links? The FTC put these rules in place to provide transparency to bloggers’ readership. To avoid any co-branding no-no’s, make sure to familiarize yourself with the FTC’s rules.
6. Understand what your co-brand wants from you
If a brand sought you out, it’s not by accident. Keep communication lines open to ensure you’re both pleased with the others performance. Ask your co-brand what its goals are, how you can help best achieve them, and don’t forget to voice your own opinions.
7. Continue Your Co-Brand Education
I sincerely hope to see you at the upcoming Evolving Influence conference. It will be chocked full of all kinds of panel brilliance, including one discussion called “Working with Brands Gracefully.” This is an excellent opportunity to further your education in co-branding, so if you haven’t signed up already, go for it! If you can’t make it, here are some additional editorials to boost your co-branding knowledge: