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As a new marketing method, cross-border co-branding has become a password for some brands to break the circle. Some brands are keen on cross-border co-branding in order to break the boundaries of differentiation and detonate consumer sentiment through IP, thereby stimulating consumption. But this is also a double-edged sword, and some cross-border co-branding still has problems such as vulgarity and sidekicks, which should be avoided.

Not long ago, Wujiang mustard, a product of Chongqing Fuling mustard, and Station B officially announced a joint announcement to jointly release the creative video of "Together, It's Really Fragrant", and launched the joint mustard of Wujiang and Station B. As the mustard brand with the largest market share in China, it has opened the exploration of the way of rejuvenation. The cross-border co-branding of Wujiang mustard and Station B has also made domestic brands and young people's favorite brands successfully achieve two-way running.

At present, as a new marketing method, cross-border co-branding has become a password for some brands to break the circle, and time-honored brands and new consumer brands have participated in it. In September this year, the cooperation between Luckin Coffee and Kweichow Moutai swiped the screen, making "Have you drunk the sauce latte" a greeting. In the new tea beverage industry, cross-border co-branding is a normalized marketing method. However, the situation of brand cross-border co-branding "overturning" has also occurred repeatedly. Recently, a new tea drink brand was interviewed by the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Ethnic and Religious Affairs for playing side ball marketing, and all the co-branded products launched by the brand have been removed from the shelves.

In this regard, experts pointed out that some brands are keen on cross-border co-branding in order to break the boundaries of differentiation, detonate consumer sentiment through IP, and then stimulate consumption. However, cross-border co-branding is a double-edged sword, which may give the outside world the impression of a brand that focuses on marketing and neglects products. In addition, efforts should also be made to avoid problems such as vulgarity and side-kicking.

There are very different views of consumption between generations

As a well-known brand in Chongqing, Dengkang Dental's cold acid toothpaste was once brilliant. But in the age of the Internet, development was once a bit "outdated". In April 2019, a "hot pot toothpaste" jointly launched by the brand and Xiaolongkan became popular on the Internet. The product was pre-sold on the e-commerce platform, and the first batch of 4,4000 pieces were sold out within half a day - Chongqing's time-honored toothpaste brand tasted the sweetness in the cross-border attempt.

"In the past, whether a product is popular and how to improve it requires companies to do long-term data analysis and user research. Now, through cross-border co-branding, the wall between 'Lengsouring' and consumers has been knocked down, providing market reference data for enterprises and saving research costs. The person in charge of Dengkang Dental told reporters that the time-honored brand has a good brand trust, and the new consumption has expanded the development space of the time-honored brand, and the combination of "new" and "old" has made the time-honored brand glow with new vitality.

Young consumers are the main target customers for new consumption. The data shows that the contribution of the post-90s and post-95s to the retail consumption industry has exceeded that of the post-70s and post-80s, and the post-90s, post-95s and post-00s pay more attention to consumer experience. This experience is not only a physical and sensory stimulus, but can also be a social value and spiritual satisfaction. Therefore, they are more willing to pay for hobbies, novelties.

It is understood that Dengkang Dental has found through big data research that the post-90s and post-95s are more interested in fresh tastes. In recent years, a series of IP co-branded cross-border products such as Transformers and Guobo Yanyi have been launched successively, which are widely welcomed by young people.

"The frequent linkage of new and old brands is related to the new round of consumption upgrading trend triggered by the rise of 'Generation Z'." Mo Yuanming, a professor at Chongqing Technology and Business University, said that there are completely different consumption views between generations. Chongqing, as an old industrial base, wants to revitalize time-honored brands, and it is not enough to blindly emphasize tradition and authenticity. It is necessary to create a new consumption model and effectively graft traditional products with the core demands of the new generation.

Cross-border co-branding of new consumer brands has become the norm

In the coffee market, cross-border co-branding is not uncommon. According to the "2023 China Catering Industry Annual Report" released by the China Hotel Association, the cross-border trend of the catering industry will rise in 2022, and there will be more than 20 cross-border incidents in the coffee category, accounting for nearly <>% of the total, the largest number.

Last year, the coconut cloud latte jointly launched by Luckin Coffee and Coconut Palm Coconut Water once became popular in the beverage circle to the advertising circle, and this year it cooperated with Kweichow Moutai to launch the sauce-flavored latte, which exploded the circle of friends.

According to the statistics of Nandu Big Data Research Institute, following the joint activities, these coffee brands have launched more than 100 new drinks, which is equivalent to an average of one new co-branded and new product every 3 days. Players who choose to cross over to the coffee track are not only special catering companies such as Goubuli, Taier Sauerkraut Fish, and Hefu Lao Noodles, but even companies whose main business is not related to catering, such as Neiliansheng, Li Ning, and Xtep.

In the new tea market, cross-border co-branding is a normalized marketing method. Cross-border marketing with popular dramas, popular IPs, international brands, etc., and the launch of co-branded products has become an important means for new tea drinks to gain traffic and create popular models.

Nai Xue's tea has even been co-branded 33 times in the first three quarters of this year. Brands such as Tea Baidao, Bawang Tea Ji, Lele Tea, Gu Ming, and Mixue Bingcheng have also launched many co-branding with various IPs this year.

Industry insiders pointed out that new consumer brands have set off a cross-border co-branding boom, covering movies, animation, games, trendy toys, luxury goods and other fields, and their intentions are very clear: they hope to tap the preferences of young consumers, seize the market of young consumer groups, and achieve mutual drainage.

Zhu Danpeng, an analyst of China's food industry, believes that new consumer brands are keen on cross-border co-branding, and behind it is the reality of increasingly fierce competition in the industry. At present, the homogenization of products of various brands is more serious, and unique products can be created through co-branding, so as to improve the differentiated competitiveness of the brand, so as to break the dilemma brought by homogeneous competition.

Consumers care most about the product itself

Cross-border co-branding is a double-edged sword, on the one hand, it helps to increase brand attention, especially for time-honored brands, which can attract the attention of young people. But on the other hand, many co-branded products are also short-lived, and how to continue to attract and retain consumers, especially young people, is the biggest problem faced by brands across borders.

There are many successful cases of cross-border co-branding of brands, but the situation of "overturning" has also occurred repeatedly. Some co-branded gimmicks are greater than the substance of "forcibly bundling" to cause controversy, some are questioned by netizens because of vulgar copywriting, some are interviewed by relevant departments for rubbing side balls, some are questioned about cutting leeks regardless of brand fit, and even more blindly pursue co-branding and ignore new product development and service quality, which is questioned by consumers. All of this has affected the public acceptance of cross-border co-branding.

In the view of Liu Junhai, a professor at the Law School of Chinese University, for brands, cross-border co-branding should be the icing on the cake, rather than a charcoal in the snow. While the brand continues to develop new products and improve the quality of products and services, if it is coupled with cross-border co-branded marketing methods, the brand can continue to attract consumers. If we pin our hopes on cross-border co-branding, instead of focusing on product innovation and quality improvement, we will put the cart before the horse.

Liao Chenglin, a professor at the School of Business Administration of Chongqing University, said that consumers may try to buy cross-border co-branded products because of feelings and curiosity, but what consumers care about most is definitely the product itself. For coffee and new tea drinks, it is still necessary to continue to launch high-quality, healthy and innovative products in order to attract young consumers in the long run.

Li Guo and Yang Zhaokui

(Workers' Daily)