Marketing cooperation

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Marketing cooperation refers to the cooperation of at least two organizations on the value chain of marketing with the aim of exploiting market potential by bundling specific competencies and / or resources .

Marketing cooperations always make sense when the different marketing goals of two companies can be reconciled in a specific service / measure for the end customer . It is crucial that the cooperation creates a win-win situation, with clear benefits for the end customer and both partners.

Marketing cooperations thereby broaden the perspective of marketing: While marketing is generally about the optimal design of the relationships between a company and its existing and potential customers, marketing cooperations examine the marketing activities to determine the extent to which the relationships between companies change through the involvement of a partner and let customers improve.

In the same context, the following terms are also used: Marketing alliance , co-marketing , cooperation marketing and cross-marketing or brand alliances specifically related to brands .


The importance of cooperation has increased significantly in the past few years: companies recognize this as an approach to realizing growth potential that they cannot realize alone due to a lack of skills. In the course of the great wave of mergers and acquisitions towards the end of the nineties, it became clear that collaborations (especially at the value-added stage of marketing) are often a far more flexible and short-term more effective approach to joint growth than company mergers or acquisitions.

Studies show that companies continue to assume that marketing partnerships will become increasingly important - even in times of financial and economic crisis.


Essentially, four goals can be distinguished from marketing cooperation:

  • Establishing or strengthening the brand / image through joint communication measures
  • Access to new markets / customers by addressing the partner's customers directly or using the partner's distribution points
  • Increase in customer loyalty by addressing your own customers with value-added offers from the partner
  • Reduction of marketing costs by bundling marketing measures.

These goals are sometimes pursued individually, but in many cases in combination.


Marketing cooperations occur in a wide variety of facets, for example in the form of:


  • Unilever's ice cream brand Langnese Cremissimo cooperates with well-known food brands (e.g. Milka , Toblerone , Batida de Coco ) in order to assert itself against competitors and to be able to react faster to new trends. A successful strategy, as the example of “Milka Cremissimo” shows. One month after the start of the campaign, it was the best-selling ice cream in the grocery store in Germany.
  • The South Korean electronics manufacturer LG Electronics has teamed up with the luxury brand Prada teamed up with a branded Prada marketed product better serve the market of premium mobile phones to. The “PRADA phone by LG 3.0”, which is also marketed jointly by both partners, emerged from the collaboration.
  • Opel and Mango entered into a Europe-wide partnership with a focus on communication for the Tigra TwinTop campaign “Every street is a catwalk”. The cooperation includes joint marketing communication, events / PR activities and promotional activities.
  • As part of a long-term partnership, the two US companies Apple and Nike develop products under the Nike + iPod label and market them together. The “Nike + iPod Sport Kit” creates a connection between the Nike + collection and Apple's iPod nano MP3 player, over which time, distance, energy expenditure and speed can be transferred to the player.
  • 25 brand manufacturers in the PBS industry ( 3M , Acco , Avery Zweckform , BIC , Brother , Dahle, Durable , Dymo , edding , Elba , Exacompta Clairefontaine, Faber-Castell , Herma , HSM , Leitz , Magnetoplan, Maul , Mondi , Oxford, Pelikan , Pritt , Sigel, Staedtler , tesa , Uhu ) cooperated until 2020 in Germany and Austria under the name Office Gold Club. Under this common roof, they used various communication measures (road shows, PR, mailings) to address commercial purchasing for office supplies .


  1. Sempora Consulting, Noshokaty, Döring & Thun: Two out of three alliances fail , Handelsblatt, June 14, 2007.
  2. Noshokaty, Döring & Thun: operations in a crisis? - Results of a cross-sector study ( memento of the original from June 25, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Marketing Online, May 14, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Cremissimo public press, How Langnese Cremissimo came to Milka Kuhflecken ( Memento of the original of September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , January 2002. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. R. Willhardt: The strange pairing behavior of brands. In: Marketing. Journal for Marketing, July 2007, pp. 40–43.
  5. LG Electronics: PRADA phone by LG 3.0 , 2011.
  6. Opel website, Tiagracouture & Mango ( Memento of the original from July 16, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , 2007. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Apple website, Nike + iPod , 2007.
  8. red: Office Gold Club stops activities. May 15, 2020, accessed on July 20, 2020 (German).
  9. Handelsblatt, Handelsblatt , 2009.
  10. Deutschlandradio, Deutschlandradio , 2007.

Web links


  • T. Meyer, M. Schade: Cross-Marketing - Alliances that make you strong: Become successful faster with partners. Business Village, Göttingen 2007, ISBN 978-3-934424-85-2 .
  • S. Odenthal, H. Säubert, A. Weishaar: Strategic partnerships. More success with the new partnering approach. Gabler, 2002, ISBN 3-409-12327-X .
  • G. Schuh, Th. Friedli, MA Kurr: Cooperation Management . Systematic preparation - targeted structure - decisive success factors. Hanser 2005, ISBN 3-446-40036-2 .
  • A. Vilmar: Brand cooperations, cooperation marketing - strategies and decision-making aids for practice. Varus 2006, ISBN 3-928475-86-X .
  • J. Zentes, B. Swoboda, D. Morschett: Cooperations, alliances and networks. Basics - approaches - perspectives. Gabler, 2005, ISBN 3-409-21985-4 .
  • P. Branz: Efficiency and Effectiveness of Marketing Cooperations. Eul Verlag, 2009, ISBN 978-3-89936-771-3 .
  • C. Görtz: More sales through marketing cooperations: The cheapest and fastest strategy to win new customers. Gabal Verlag, 2010, ISBN 978-3-86936-124-6 .
  • N. Pickenpack, D. Beye, H. Jochims, B. Kollhorst: Brand cooperations, who does not cooperate - loses . Business Village 2013, ISBN 978-3-86980-224-4 .