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5 co-marketing campaigns your brand should know about

by Khoros staff | Aug 17, 2017

Co-marketing is an effective way to cut through an often overcrowded social media environment and reach new customers. When two complementary brands team up to share both their audiences and resources they can, “execute a campaign that neither one could do as effectively alone,” writes Shopify.

Beyond the pooling of resources and audiences, co-marketing campaigns can capture the attention of new audiences by surprising and delighting them with a novel partnership. “Co-marketing campaigns allow both parties to enhance brand integrity and create a buzz around both brands.” writes Lucky Cart.

Here we have ten brands that do co-marketing well by capitalizing on market trends while still hewing close to brand values and identity.

Virgin America + Netflix

Virgin America and Netflix teamed up for the mutually-beneficial ad campaign #NetflixOnboard. Virgin America is known for their connection to younger generations and their partnership with Netflix only highlights their fun, hip reputation — they even emblazoned planes with ads for popular Netflix shows, like House of Cards:

The collaboration here between Virgin America and Netflix showcases each brand’s commitment to innovation. While Netflix usually requires membership fees, offering the service free on select Virgin America flights provides untold brand exposure and customer goodwill.

Airbnb + Art Institute of Chicago

Airbnb was born from innovation, and their latest co-marketing partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago is no exception. The two companies partnered to highlight an exhibition of Van Gogh’s three bedroom paintings by recreating Van Gogh’s famous bedroom: enter Van Gogh BNB:

The bedroom was created, say both companies, to help people become closer to Van Gogh because, “Looking at a painting only gets you so close to an artist.” The recreated bedroom is accurate in its whimsy and painterly qualities and the partnership proved immensely popular: the first block of nights sold out in just five minutes.

REI + National Parks

The partnership between outdoor retailer REI and the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s National Parks, had a stated goal of making it easier for Americans to enjoy and explore the National Parks near where they live. To help people discover nearby National Parks, the Foundation and REI created a mobile app. The partnership also promoted the 100th anniversary of the Park Service with merchandise in-store, guided tours in various National Parks, and #FindYourPark on social.

The brilliance of this partnership is that both brands are helping people get out into nature: the National Park Foundation with their detailed information about parks across the country, and REI with their gear and gadgets.

Lyft + Blue Cross Blue Shield

Lyft and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) recently joined forces to “ensure Americans are not missing vital health care appointments simply because they lack reliable transportation,” wrote BCBS in their press release.

Though Lyft is often seen as the closest contender to the rideshare giant Uber, Lyft’s personality stands in stark contrast to Uber’s: where Uber is corporate and sleek, Lyft is friendly and accessible, two qualities that make for a natural partnership with a healthcare company looking to do a few good deeds. With transportation barriers resulting in missed or delayed medical appointments for at least 3.6 million Americans, Lyft and BCBS are apt to commit more than just a few good deeds while enhancing consumer confidence in both brands.

Lyft + Taco Bell

Brands can have more than one side to their personality, as Lyft’s partnership with Taco Bell demonstrates so nicely. While the rideshare company’s partnership with BCBS was cause-oriented and quite serious, their partnership with Taco Bell allows their fun, playful, approachable side to shine through.

Both companies noticed social chatter of satisfied Lyft riders whose drivers agreed to take them through Taco Bell’s drive through and the partnership was born: enter Taco Mode.

Certain Lyft users can choose Taco Mode during the evening and early morning hours every Thursday through Saturday, writes AdAge. Not only do the car icons become tacos, but riders can be driven to a nearby Taco Bell (in a custom taco-covered car), get their orders (plus a coupon for a Doritos Locos Taco) and then head on home (or to their next engagement).

Not only does the partnership surprise and delight, it mixes humor with an actual useful service and, perhaps best of all, it’s ready-made for social media.

These lessons were taken to heart at Spredfast (now Khoros) when developing a partnership with charity: water, which was called Spredwater. Beyond their tremendous mission to bring clean drinking water to every person in need, they found a brand that was authentic to their own. They use technology to provide transparency, they leverage the impact of social media to connect donors with the cause, and they focus on their community by putting the spotlight on others instead of themselves. That mission and those efforts rang very similar to Spredfast's brand identity.

Co-marketing can be a boon for businesses of all types. It can inject new life into brands, showcase a side of your brand consumers might not have seen before, and in terms of cost and engagement, it can mean more bang for your buck. Just make sure any brand you partner with shares your brand’s essential values and that you have a handle on how the co-marketing endeavor will impact your brand’s image.

For more social media strategies, check out our Social Media Pocket Guide.

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