New Market Trends in The Era of Co-Branding

Co-branding has Entered into Every Aspect of Our Lives

Childhood favorited cartoons and coffee co-branding quickly out of the loop? A high-end watch brand collaborating with a popular watch to launch a new model that sparks the market? Or is it the old luxury fashion houses and fashion brands that are making a splash? Interested in the story behind co-branding? Let's take a look!

The Rise of Co-branding

The concept of "co-branding" has been receiving considerable attention in recent times, with numerous significant collaborations, such as the one between the coffee chain Luckin and the luxury liquor brand Moutai. Just consider that on the first day the product was launched, 5.42 million cups were sold. These partnerships have not only resulted in substantial revenue for both brands involved but have also attracted valuable consumers.

Ever since 1934, when Converse collaborated with Disney to launch the first pair of Mickey Mouse espadrilles, countless marketing experts and designers have crafted products that are either hilariously amusing or so daringly unconventional that they might be deemed today as genuine marketing marvels. This raises a couple of questions: why has co-branding become such a popular trend? And why is it that certain products, despite not being embraced by the market, continue to attract passionate consumer interest?

Co-branding originates from innovation and novelty

Co-branding frequently targets consumers' curiosity, and cross-brand collaborations between two seemingly unrelated brands often offer a sense of novelty that stands out in a market saturated with conventional products. For instance, the fusion of coffee with milk, and even with coconut milk, has become quite commonplace. However, the pairing of coffee with liquor, not to mention a luxury liquor brand, ignites a unique sense of novelty in the Chinese market. Despite the possibility of it not being to everyone's taste, it hasn't hindered the success of this unconventional partnership.

The True Success Comes after The Collaboration

There is a prevailing concern that when two consumer target groups are markedly different, the strength of the higher-tier brand might be compromised. For instance, the introduction of a joint product from a luxury watch brand and a more budget-friendly watch brand might potentially diminish the perceived exclusivity of the luxury brand.

However, both in terms of financial reports and actual market performance, the market for luxury mechanical watches has been dwindling as they have become synonymous with old-fashioned and impractical. These co-branded watches have injected new life into the market, allowing young people to experience their charms without having to spend so much money, which will make consumers willing to learn about the history and story behind them.

Is Co-branding Truly That Powerful?

From artists to designers, and celebrities to brands, co-branding has evolved to permeate our daily lives. However, brands must be cautious when engaging in excessive collaborations that could potentially overwhelm consumers. Brands that don't harmonize well in their co-branding efforts can suffer negative marketing consequences, and excessive co-branding can even dilute the historical significance of a brand, even those with a well-established heritage.

In a world saturated with consumer goods, the preferences of young consumers have grown more sophisticated. Therefore, it is essential, before engaging in co-branding partnerships, to delve into the cultural and historical legacy of a brand rather than merely appropriating cultural symbols. Failing to do so may lead to a backlash and erode the brand's intrinsic value.

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