co-branding, brand alliance, brand extension, ingredient branding, brand strategies

Document Type

Proceedings Abstract



A Typology of Co-Branding Strategies

This presents a typology of co-branding (brand alliance) strategies. It reveals the complexity that is represented by the topic of co-branding, which has been researched to a relatively limited degree although the practice began to be commonplace in the early 1990s (Gibson, 1993; Helmut, Huber and Leeflang, 2008). Since then, academic research has been published on the subject, but has been somewhat limited in scope (Rao and Ruekert, 1994; Park, Jun and Shocker, 1996; Simonin and Ruth, 1998; Washburn, Till and Priluck, 2004; Voss and Gammoh, 2004; Walchli, 2007). This may in part be because most studies have interpreted co-branding through the lens of brand extension research, due to the historical popularity of that research stream and the emergence of the practice during the “golden era” of brand extension research (Aaker and Keller, 1990; Boush and Loken, 1991; Park, Milberg and Lawson, 1991; Keller and Aaker, 1992; Broniarczyk and Alba, 1994; Bridges, Keller and Sood, 2000). In fact, a recent conceptual piece makes the case that co-branding is merely a special case of brand extension (Hadjicharalambous, 2013). However, co-branding is quite different from brand extension in several important respects, among these that its application is more complex, it involves multiple brand identities, and it is relatively more difficult to properly conceptualize in a research context. It is hoped this typology will assist in advancing co-branding research by providing a comprehensive description of its application and possible explanations for the relative success or failure of various cobranding approaches.