Embracing co-branding with the “powered by” approach

11Sep09

Many websites are quick to tell you how their system is “powered by” one company or another. The structure of these partnerships and supplier relationships surely vary a lot. But in general, showing that you’re associated with a larger firm can help a smaller website build credibility, while getting your logo placed on a well-known site can drive traffic and build brand equity. Some vendors might even provide significant discounts to larger customers who are willing to put a “powered by” logo on their site.

If this works so well online, why can’t local businesses do the same thing? Here are a few common venues and the type of supplier or partner they could team up with:

– A restaurant could talk up their favorite brand of cookware by adding pictures of the chefs using it to the menu
– A car rental company could promote the brand of tires they put on their cars
– A housewares store could show customers which cleaning products they use to keep the place clean

I’ve seen this done quite a bit with coffee: those signs that say “We proudly brew Starbucks coffee” are everywhere. But there’s definitely an opportunity to take it many steps further in virtually every brick-and-mortar business. Just figure out which products and services make your organization tick, and see whether it makes sense to tell customers why you like those products so much. And if that messaging leads to a formal partnership or gets you discounts with your key suppliers, all the better.



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