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How to Design a Co-Branded Data Sheet

Thursday, September 15th, 2016 by Todd

datasheet_blogCo-branded data sheets are exceptionally popular marketing assets, and it’s easy to see why. These one-pagers not only make it super easy for partners to sell your products, they also make for a great leave-behind with prospective customers. But it can be tricky to co-brand a piece that conveys your core messages—summarizing your product’s features and benefits and the challenges it helps your customers to overcome. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when developing this high-value asset.

Protect Your Brand

One of the most common mistakes made when creating co-branded material is to try to combine the two brands. Simply put, don’t do it. The resulting “Frankenstein” of fonts, colors, and competing styles only dilutes both brands, ultimately confusing the customer.

The Number One rule of thumb when co-branding is to choose the dominant brand and use that brand’s guidelines to drive the design. Add the secondary brand’s logo in a prominent position—usually alongside or directly opposite the primary brand’s logo—but do not try to incorporate other elements of the secondary brand. This can be a delicate negotiation, as both brands may want primary billing. But it’s critical to establish a clear hierarchy.

Typically, you will be the primary brand, since you’ll likely have an existing data sheet to which you can simply add the partner’s logo. This makes it easy to work with multiple partners without having to fundamentally rework assets each time. But your partner may have existing collateral as well, and in that case, you can take secondary placement and add your logo to their assets.

Protect Your Content

A frequent request we receive from clients is that we create an “editable” co-branded data sheet that allows partners to easily add their logos along with some copy (information about the partner, a promotion they are running, etc.), and can be saved as a PDF. We strongly advise against this approach. While it may seem like a good way to save time and provide flexibility to the partner, the compromises are just too risky.

The most common way to provide such an editable piece is to create it in Microsoft Word (while it is possible to directly edit a PDF, the options are very limited and require skills and/or software that the typical partner will not possess). But once you provide a partner with an editable version of your data sheet, you lose control over the quality of the final piece. The partner might edit your core messaging, introduce typos or other errors, modify the layout in unattractive ways, introduce new colors or fonts, or otherwise compromise your branding. Instead, ask your partner to provide you with a logo and any content they want to include, and add it yourself.

While it requires more resources to manage this process, it’s imperative that you retain full control so that you can be confident that your marketing materials always appear exactly as you intend.

Protect Your Partnership

Your partners are incredibly valuable. They allow you to reach more customers, growing your business faster than you could ever do alone. Most partners have limited marketing resources, so show them how much you value the relationship by providing them with co-branded assets that look great and are ready to use.

 

Thanks for joining us for our Partner Marketing Blog Series! And don’t forget to nose around our blog for great information that can help you with marketing and much more.

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How to Create a Co-Branded Case Study

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016 by Lisa S.

You’d love your partners to put their all into marketing your shared offering, but the truth is that they’re as busy as you are. Add to that the possibility that they’re less than well equipped to produce professional marketing collateral—and your path is clear. To help partners sell your products, we suggest creating co-branded case […]

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How to Create a Partner-Facing PowerPoint Pitch Deck

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 by Allison

To make it ultra easy for partners to sell your products, we suggest giving them a ready-to-use, co-branded sales deck. This asset includes logos from both of your companies, as well as customized information about how your products work together to benefit your target customers. Objective: Generate interest in your joint solution, and spark a […]

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Play Nice: Write the Perfect B2B Sales Playbook for Partners

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 by Lauren

If you sell B2B products through partner channels, a sales playbook just might become the most effective marketing asset in your arsenal. That’s because a good playbook gets partners talking about your products directly with their customers. Some playbooks are massive tomes focused on product details and corresponding messaging. Chances are, your partners will find […]

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How to Create Great Partner Marketing Messaging

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016 by Ruth

You’ve got partners eager to sell your latest offering. Before they head out the door to talk to their customers on your behalf, make sure you arm them with the foundation to speak intelligently (and on message!) about your solution. The best way to accomplish this? Give your partner some purpose-built, clear, and concise partner […]

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The Five Most Useful Partner Marketing Assets

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 by Allison

Partner marketing is smart. Selling products through distributors allows you to reach many more customers, and grow your business exponentially. But partners need the right tools—different tools than those you’d share with your customers—to successfully sell your services and maintain the integrity of your brand. The Content Bureau has helped numerous clients develop core partner […]

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Throwback Thursday—How to Create a Great Customer Video, Part I: The Case Study Interview

Thursday, July 7th, 2016 by Dan

Compelling customer video testimonials are an important part of any modern marketing campaign. Yet superior case study video interviews require equal parts planning and magic. In a YouTube world, how do you capture the best customer sound bites on camera? Before I learned to interview customers on camera, I hired experts. I watched and learned. After working […]

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Digital Storytelling as a Way to Build Corporate Communities

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 by Reka

Have you heard of the International Day for Sharing Life Stories? It’s May 16th, the day that Pulitzer Prize-winning Studs Terkel—known best for his oral histories of everyday Americans—was born. It’s a day to celebrate the power of telling personal stories as a way to build community—any community, from rural to corporate. Personal stories—first-person stories […]

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When It’s Not Super to Use Superlatives

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 by Laurel

So you’re supposed to be all casual and authentic when blogging. You might feel comfortable throwing around a few superlatives, like “our product is just the best,” or it’s “best in class,” which you’d never do in more buttoned-up content like eBooks or white papers. You’ve been told that headlines containing superlatives get better results. […]

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Four Steps to More-Viral Marketing Content

Thursday, June 16th, 2016 by Eric

Going viral is the content marketer’s holy grail. By making audiences feel compelled to share your content, you can multiply the impact of your marketing spend by orders of magnitude. But how do you make that happen? How do you create viral content, like the Old Spice Guy video campaign . . .   . […]

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