Co-branding might seem like an industry buzzword for new marketers, but tried and true professionals know that partnerships can be a great opportunity for both companies to boost brand recognition, inspire consumer confidence and increase overall sales. Yes, we’ve talked co-branding before—but hey, there’s more! Co-branding isn’t just for the big boys (corporations and big businesses)—and it’s not only useful for brands with similar product lines. Almost any and every company you can think of, from large to small and across a variety of industries, could potentially benefit from a co-branding partnership with a like-minded business.

So let’s delve into the world of co-branding partnerships and take a peek at some of the most unique, fascinating and downright memorable brand partnerships out there today.

Everyday Partnerships We BET You Remember

  • Jack Daniel’s & TGI Fridays: This co-branding partnership has been going strong since 1997 and continues to appeal to Friday’s customers, en masse.
  • Michael Jordan & Nike: The very first pair of Air Jordans were created by Nike in 1984. They’ve since introduced 23 different versions, all sold at $100 or more.
  • Isaac Mizrahi & Target: The famous designer did Target’s ready-to-wear line for women from 2003 to 2008. I still think of his name every time I walk into a Target, even if I’m only there to buy toothpaste!

These examples are some of the more famous success stories that we’ve seen. But there are many examples of fruitful partnerships between businesses. Check out these two examples of not-so-famous, yet still very successful, co-branding partnerships.

Ultra-Unique Co-Branding Partnerships

  • The Puppy Wears Prada: Pet Helpers, the only no-kill shelter in Charleston, is a privately funded charitable organization that strives to end the euthanization of adoptable pets. Combine that with Crew LaLa, a designer dog-accessory store, and you have the perfect partnership for a Fashion Show event. Not only will it help boost adoption, it puts the puppy accessories in the spotlight, too.
  • Le Creuset & Ladles Homemade Soups: The Head Chef at Ladles Soups, Lauren Sternburg, will demonstrate how she concocts her She Crab Soup in a 12-quart enamel-on-steel stock pot from Le Creuset. The co-branding event reinforces the idea that “the coolest hot soups are made in premium cookware.”

Now that we’ve seen some examples of brand partnerships that are smaller and a little more off the beaten path, let’s look at some very high-end, somewhat outrageous (but definitely smart) co-branding partnerships.

Over-The-Top Luxury Brand Partnerships

  • Faberge + VistaJet = Egg Miles: In March of this year, the collaboration between Faberge jewelry and the private-charter airline VistaJet was launched. A special tail was designed for VistaJet planes that encompassed both the heritage of the airline and the Faberge tradition. Faberge pendants were even on sale aboard VistaJet flights for a short time.
  • Chef Michael Roth Designs Air France’s Menu: Michelin-starred Chef Michael Roth designed Air France’s new menu in February of this year. As an eight-month promotion, the passengers can choose between six main dishes, with choices that rotate bi-weekly.
  • British Airways Signature Blend Tea: English tea company Twinnings created a special blend of tea specifically for British Airways, commissioned by the airline. This airline blend is available to all passengers aboard British Airways flights. A very smart pairing for a market of notorious tea-lovers.

Co-branding partnerships are a great way to build mutually beneficial relationships between companies. Small businesses and big brands alike can come together to strengthen customer confidence in each other and boost the notoriety of both brands simultaneously. In the previous examples, you can clearly see how brand partnerships have the ability to increase brand awareness and strengthen overall brand perception, especially in specific markets.

Savvy co-branding partnerships can occur at many levels throughout the spectrum. For example, VistaJet knows as a brand their company appeals to customers that also likely have the means to buy Faberge jewelry. Budget airliners certainly wouldn’t be offering that tier of product on their flights, simply because their customers would be very unlikely to have the means to make that sort of purchase.

It’s about identifying your target market, honing in on what it is they’re looking for or missing in their lives (i.e. discovering what they need), and providing a convenient way for your brand, products or services to meet them in the middle.

So get inventive! Chat up your fellow business owners, really think on your mutual target audience, and you’ll be well on your way to boosting your brand and your business through creative co-branding partnerships.