One of the greatest benefits that has sprung up around social media is what it's done for brandscaping. If you're not familiar with the concept, you'll want to listen up. Brandscaping occurs when two (or more) brands get together and form a marketing partnership that increases demand for all brands involved. Typically the brands aren't direct competitors but instead have a shared customer demographic.
Think of it as a "hot dog and buns" approach to marketing. Sure, you can have one or the other on a plate but together they're an unbeatable combination. It takes finesse and a leap of faith to make brandscaping successful but the rewards are worth it.
Why is brandscaping such a successful strategy? Let's take a look.
Power in numbers. It's difficult to stand out in a crowded space but there's definitely power in numbers. Cross-promotional social campaigns that include both brands usually cost no more than a single-brand campaign but reach twice the audience. Brandscaping is also a way to pool resources to create collateral each company might not be able to produce on their own. The cost to produce set of videos or infographics can add up quickly but if more than one brand is pitching in, it's easier to share the investment.
Consumers like options. Customers love to find new ways to use their favorite products. Teaming up with a brand that compliments what you have to offer is a terrific way for consumers to find options they never knew existed. Brandscaping is also a great way to reexamine your own brand to see what new and added value you have to offer that you never noticed before. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
Your brand looks friendly. Much like political smear campaigns, customers don't like mud-slinging ads where brands bash a competitor. Marketing partnerships make your brand feel approachable and amiable instead of flustered and worried about competition. Brandscaping sends consumers the message that you're so confident in your product or service that you're even willing to share the spotlight with others.
Great for networking. You've heard the advice before: To really succeed on social networks, find and engage with the thought leaders in your industry. Brandscaping is a smart way to approach potentially valuable partners by bringing something to the table that's mutually beneficial to you both.
Many brands are reluctant to take a chance on connecting with competitors for fear of losing ground with their customers. When done right, however, brandscaping can take your business and customer relationships to a whole new level.