by Jen Johnston, CHHC, senior marketing services account manager, for the Resolutions blog series 

I smile ear to ear every time I see non-competing brands working together. It’s called collaborative marketing, and I love the definition in this Forbes article: “Collaborative marketing, in a nutshell, is the process of sharing resources to increase leads, brand, and influence.” It’s a tactic I wish more brands would employ for the following reasons:

  • Allows you to access new consumers
  • Increases awareness of your brand
  • Helps you enter a new market
  • Adds value for your consumersnoncompeting brands working together

Collaboration isn’t just for B2C; it can work in the B2B world, too. We had two larger companies approach HRG together about a joint multi-wave mailing campaign to 10,000 independent pharmacies. It was truly brilliant – one company had a diagnostic product that the pharmacist could use to test patients for a particular set of conditions, and the other had the ancillary products needed by a patient with symptoms of those conditions. They thought outside the box and shared the cost to reach these important influencers.

Retailers are getting in on the collaboration as well. In fact, just today Chain Drug Review released an article about an interesting partnership including “a new format and concept that combines Kroger’s role as America’s grocer and food authority with Walgreens global expertise in pharmacy, health and beauty.” It will be a one-stop shopping experience. According to Chain Drug Review, “Customers will be able to order Kroger grocery items online and pickup orders at the participating Walgreens locations. Kroger’s popular Our Brands grocery items…will also be available in-store at participating Walgreens locations.”

When approaching a brand for collaboration, make sure you have considered what is in it for them, particularly if you are the lesser known brand. The risk is that you are both going to rely on each other’s reputation. If one company has a PR nightmare unfold, it could affect the other. Work together to stay on the same page with your marketing efforts.

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