Cross Branding: Definition, Benefits and Examples

Cross-branding is when two brands work together to create a new product that uses both brands. Sometimes cross branding is called co-branding. In cross-branding, brands have agreed to work together, usually as a way of growing awareness of their individual brands through reaching the current customers of each brand.

‘Cross Cultural Branding’

Cross-branding vs. cross-marketing

Cross-branding isnt the same thing as cross-marketing, as cross-marketing is when two brands collaborate using existing products to market their businesses together. The brands involved in cross-marketing dont create a new product that uses both brands, instead, they find ways to market their individual brands in a way that complements each other. An example of cross-marketing is when a television model and a sound system model from different brands are marketed together. Because theyre complimentary products, it makes sense for the brands to collaborate.

What is cross-branding?

Cross-branding is when two brands work together to create a new product that uses both brands. Sometimes cross branding is called co-branding. In cross-branding, brands have agreed to work together, usually as a way of growing awareness of their individual brands through reaching the current customers of each brand. Cross branding is most effective when it involves two brands of similar stature, meaning that even if theyre in different industries that they have a similar amount of brand awareness and profits. Successful cross-branding can be very effective for the brands involved, but there are risks.

What are the benefits of cross-branding?

Cross branding can benefit both businesses that are involved. Here are the top benefits of creating a cross-branding product:

Increased brand recognition

Cross branding can grow the brand recognition for both brands. Because each brand is introduced to the customers and followers of the other brand, they can reach additional customers that might not otherwise be aware of them. The buzz around a successful cross-branding effort can also increase brand recognition among people who werent interested in or aware of either brand before the new product.

Extension of your business

Developing a new cross branding product with another brand can lead to extending your business into a new area. This is especially true if its a unique product for your brand. For instance, if a restaurant brand partners with a food manufacturing brand that traditionally only offers food consumers can buy for their homes, and the new product is something exclusively available in the restaurant, then the food manufacturing brand is reaching consumers in a new environment.

Enhanced credibility

Partnering with a well-respected brand can increase your brands credibility in the eyes of consumers. Ideally, both brands have similar reputations, but some customers may trust one brand more than the other. In that situation, the customer may begin to trust the other brand more because they respect and trust the first brand. Additionally, if one brand is more well-established than the other, it can provide the newer company with an opportunity to seem more trustworthy and credible.

What are the challenges of cross-branding?

There are a few challenges related to a cross-branding effort, which include:

Finding reputable collaborators

Ideally, a cross-branding promotion is done by two brands that are considered equals. They might operate in different industries or appeal to different customers, but they have a similar reputation and quality. However, one challenge can be finding a reputable collaborator for a cross-branding product. Some brands arent interested in a collaboration and others might not be the quality your brand needs. Finding exactly the right fit for your brand, with a reputable collaborator, can be challenging.

Customer reactions

Customer reactions to a cross-branding effort can vary, and existing supporters of your brand might not feel positive about the brand youve chosen to collaborate with, while the other brands supporters might not enjoy your brand. Its also possible that some customers might not like the product the two brands have created. Managing customer reactions, including making sure you understand what types of customers youre targeting and how to be most effective for them, can be a big challenge for companies working on a cross-branding project.

Examples of cross-branding

Here are some examples of how cross-branding might work in different scenarios:

Food brand combination

Smithtown Foods has a line of pasta sauces that sells fairly well and Amedeo Pasta has a line of pasta that is sold in boxes that also sells fairly well. The two companies have decided they want to collaborate on a cross-branding project because of the compatible nature of their products. After some research and discussion, the two companies decide the best type of product to use cross-branding on would be a line of frozen pasta meals with Amedeo Pasta as the base and Smithtown Foods as the sauce.

Each company then gets to move into a new area of the food market with convenient frozen meals, which may appeal to new customers that are looking for something different from what each company offers individually. Consumers who like one or both products are likely to be enticed to purchase the frozen meals as a convenient alternative to the other products each brand sells.

At-home combination

Magnificent Coffee is a coffee shop chain thats popular in many areas and Lexington Appliances sells a successful line of specialty coffee makers that require patented coffee inserts to brew. Magnificent Coffee and Lexington Appliances decide to collaborate on a cross-branding project, which includes multiple products. Some of the products they plan to launch over a set period of time include a line of coffee inserts for the Lexington Appliance coffee makers that are branded by Magnificent Coffee and feature their most popular types of coffee.

The two companies also decide to do a special edition Lexington Appliances coffee maker that has Magnificent Coffee branding on it as well as a few different coffee cup options with branding for both companies. Each company carefully monitors the result of this cross-branding effort in order to determine if they want to continue creating cross-branding products or if they want to create additional products.

Co-branded toy

Martin Brothers is a board game company that sells many types of games and Big Kitten is a famous cat with a brand managed by her owner that sells a variety of merchandise. Martin Brothers has an idea for a cat-themed board game and reaches out to Big Kittens owner to discuss cross-branding opportunities. Unlike a traditional licensing agreement where one company licenses the name of another for their product, this situation is more collaborative, as Big Kittens owner is involved in creating the game with Martin Brothers.

The two organizations create a new game called Cats Attack, where Big Kitten is a featured character. Fans of Big Kitten are interested in the game because they like her and fans of Martin Brothers who are interested in a cat-themed game are introduced to Big Kitten. This increases brand awareness for both brands.

Financial combination

Marx Bank is a successful financial institution that offers a few different credit card options for its customers. Adios Airline is a popular airline with a mileage program that benefits loyal customers who fly with that airline. The two companies decide to create a cross-branding opportunity by offering a credit card from Marx Bank that has mileage benefits for Adios Airlines loyalty program.

Customers who sign up for that credit card receive an instant miles bonus and also earn more miles as they use their credit card. Customers who want to maximize their loyalty program and need a credit card are likely to find this an excellent option for their needs. Some customers of Marx Bank may not be familiar with Adios Airlines until they see the credit card offering and decide it is a beneficial deal for them.


What are the 3 types of co-branding?

Co-branding Campaign: Soundtrack for Your Ride

Music-streaming app Spotify partnered with ride-hailing app Uber to create “a soundtrack for your ride.” This is a great example of a co-branding partnership between two very different products with very similar goals — to earn more users.

What is cross brand collaboration?

Types of co-branding strategies
  1. Ingredient co-branding. …
  2. Same-company co-branding. …
  3. National to local co-branding. …
  4. Joint venture or composite co-branding. …
  5. Multiple sponsor co-branding.

Why do brands do collabs?

So what exactly is cross-brand collaboration? It’s about a strategic union between two or more brands with the specific goal of creating a new and unique product or service. Thereby creating an entirely ‘brand’ new niche in the market and space for growth.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *