6 Points to Make in Any Co-branding Proposal


Last month we talked a lot about co-branding for realtors. We discussed how co-branding is being used by big brands to get others to do their advertising for them.  In Realtors, Widen Your Advertising With This Proven Technique, we also talked about how you yourself can find a co-branding partner to increase your advertising, even if you’re not Starbucks. The last step in that post was “Make an offer.”

This begs the question: How exactly should you make an offer? Here are six tips.


1. Keep it simple and small


Keep the offer small, at first.The best benefit of co-branding from anyone’s perspective is it is a low cost, low risk tactic. By keeping your first offer limited, you aren’t asking for more than your proposed partner can chew.

A great first offer is a small co-branded direct mail campaign. Offer to pay about 50% of a direct mail campaign that features both your businesses. Identify what customers you can reach, and why those customers would be interested in hearing from both businesses at once. Small, simple, and it clearly articulates why you’re talking to them.


2. Why are you approaching them?

co-branding-2Out of every other business you could approach, why them? Why approach Mikes’s Pizza Shop to sell your listings? (That’s probably a bad idea.)

A co-branding proposal invites your business partner to share your co-branding space. So articulate how your brands are complimentary. Speak of what their brand is, and how it compliments yours. Being able to clearly identify what makes up another business’s brand is a necessary part of any co-branding proposal.


3. What are the exact benefits to the arrangement?


In your proposal you need to detail some hard numbers of how you both can expect to benefit from the co-branding. What’s the specific return on investment you will expect to see? Can you name a number? How did you arrive at this number?

Most businesses don’t have a lot of experience with co-branding so having solid numbers will do much to convince them that your proposal has merit.


4. What’s the how-to?


Describe how it will work in as much detail as possible. For example, what will be the content of your mailings? How will you be using their logo? Where will you be sending the mailout? What are the logistics?

In particular, include details on how involved the other business will be in the arrangement. They’ll want to see they have some control over how their brand gets used.


5. How much will it cost?


As part of your numbers, you should include an accurate estimate of the costs. Calculate everything in advance, from production to posting. This number will be important for any potential co-branding partner when it comes time to evaluate your proposal.

However, do frame it in terms of the value they’re getting. It’s important to communicate that co-branding isn’t just like buying another marketing campaign. Show them that they’ll be receiving free advertising, and that you’re contributing to the cost, too.


6. How long will it last?

co-branding-6The last detail you want to provide is the length of the co-branding campaign. Make it short, and close-ended. Especially for a first experiment, no business wants to feel locked into an open-ended arrangement.

The most comfortable offer is a limited direct mail run, after which you’ll jointly analyze the results. If this goes well, you’ll be in a good position to run another.

If you want to learn more about co-branding for realtors, take a look at our white paper, Co-branding for Realtors: The top real estate agents are using co-branding to double their advertising reach, but without doubling their budget. It’s free to subscribers to our email list.

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