Co-branding is a powerful way to reach new customers and build brand loyalty, and it’s a force to be reckoned with in the marketing world right now. Brands are teaming up more than ever before to take advantage of this win-win strategy that’s designed to boost sales and awareness for everyone involved. For example, Disney took co-branding to a whole new level with the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens last year, collaborating with dozens of brands from HP to Kraft Foods to promote the film and increase sales. I’ll be the first to admit that I purchased anything and everything Star Wars when the movie came out. R2D2 slice-and-bake cookies, Star Wars soup, Star Wars cereal…even Star Wars nail polish! (It is important to note here that all of these were complete impulse purchases of products that usually wouldn’t make it on my grocery list.)

You don't even understand how excited I am right now! #starwarsfood

A photo posted by Leann* (@awesome.ish) on Mar 29, 2016 at 3:38pm PDT

Multiply that by the thousands and thousands of other Star Wars fans out there, and you can see why so many brands jumped on the bandwagon.  With record sales at the box office, it’s safe to say that the approach worked pretty well for Disney and Star Wars, too. The Discovery Channel is also making some waves with its co-branding initiatives for Shark Week this summer, featuring everything from Shark Week Slurpees™ and donuts at 7-Eleven to sharks on a plane (a Shark Week-themed aircraft) taking flight with Southwest Airlines. Shark Week is still a few weeks away, but it’s already making national headlines, along with its co-branding partners. I’d be willing to bet that Shark Week will see a spike in viewership this year, and the other brands will enjoy increased sales, as well.

Figured you'd dig the livery on one of our new planes @mcgregor_ewan ! Saw this and thought of you and your love of sharks... #southwestairlines #sharkweek #sharksonaplane #boeing737

A photo posted by Tory Alonzo (@vdubber4life) on Jun 3, 2016 at 7:22am PDT


The entertainment industry isn’t the only business that can drive great co-branding initiatives. Domino’s teamed with Chevy to develop and launch its new DXP pizza delivery vehicle, using a well-known, trusted automotive brand as the foundation for its custom pizza-mobile. Even the Texas Rangers have launched “University Days,” teaming with local and regional universities to offer special fan nights and co-branded Texas Rangers hats in school colors to drive ticket sales.

#UNT TX Rangers mash ✅ #universityofnorthtexas #meangreen #MFG #Snapchat: Skysgos #University #College #CollegeLife #Uni #NorthTexas #gotocollege #untonthesquare #Denton #IAmUNT #eaglenation #meangreennation #Texas #TX #dentoning #RTVF #writing #creativewriting #radiofilmtelevision #Rangers #UniversityDays #TexasRangers #⚾️ #MLB #baseball #denton #dentoning

A photo posted by will-i-am (@hpeezydoe) on Jun 9, 2016 at 2:58pm PDT


I think it’s safe to say that this is a trend that’s here to stay, and I can’t wait to see more brands -- and influencers -- push the limit with creativity and collaboration.


 Cover Photo Credit: 7-Eleven/PR Newswire