Co-branding is the practice of combining two or more brands, creating more value, differentiation, and therefore bucking up consumers to avail of a best-of-both-worlds kind of offering. It is an often-overlooked strategy that could generate a new level of interest and excitement from your customers.
In digital publishing, co-branding works best if rolled out with a bundling strategy, which should be anchored on the idea that readers give the combined package more value than the individual items. The key to this kind of digital strategy is to be selective and think smartly and creatively about content that complement your title in some way and that will enhance the appeal or credibility of your publication.
If the brand combination is right and the bundled products complementing, the decision to co-brand often leads to valuable benefits. First, it enables your publication to benefit from the title affinity that belongs to the other publication. It is also a powerful way to introduce your title to the other’s dedicated subscribers. And something that can’t be ignored in every business is actual financial value. A title represents the money that a publisher has invested in content. By combining multiple content under a single title, a publication is able to take advantage of its precious investment.
Take for instance, the Iowa-based Quad-City Times. Announced this week, the publication has embarked a partnership with The Washington Post that is bound to open doors not only for increased readership but also advertising revenues. We thought this is a smart move that illustrates importance of alliances and strategic relationships in publishing industry’s market environment today.
While local newspapers are a significant authority for the local public in covering demographic events and current topics, local content remains a small niche in the broader web. For the Times, they considered the benefits of linking up with The Post as well as their readers. And from my end, it’s looks sunny how good of a fit they appear to be.
The newspaper industry as a whole has adapted well to digital publishing in order to keep its doors open in an information climate that not only offers free news via the internet, but that competes with internet news for up-to-date accuracy. Digital publishing has offered news outlets the opportunity to continue to reach subscribers and readers while still offering the advertising that keeps their operations affordable for consumers.
One demographic of news outlets that has been hardest hit in the shifting news behaviors of the public has been the locally-owned newspapers. These papers rely on a dedicated subscribership and local businesses for advertising revenue, while providing a valuable service to the local public that major internet news companies cannot provide, namely coverage of local events and topics of interest.
The Iowa-based Quad-City Times, which grew from its first publication founded in 1848 and changed hands over the years until it was bought by its current owner, Lee Enterprises, in 1915, provides coverage of portions of Iowa and Illinois, and has subscribers across nine adjacent counties in those two states. But even with a large area to report and subscribers in a variety of locations, the need to adapt to the changing landscape was just as important for this paper as it was for any major news source.
That’s why the Times has announced a digital deal that’s too good to pass up. Subscribers to the print edition–who by default are now subscribers to the digital edition–are also entitled to a full digital subscription to the Washington Post, one of the most prestigious newspapers in the country and the property of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
According to a post from Jan Touney, executive editor of the Quad-City Times, “You’ll get the news from Washington and around the world, including features, sports and political commentary. The Post is putting considerable resources into covering the Iowa political scene in this year leading to the 2016 caucuses, and you’ll get additional insights to complement the coverage the Times provides from political reporter Ed Tibbetts, Des Moines Bureau Chief Erin Murphy and Lee Enterprises’ four other Iowa newspapers.”
Read Mercy’s full article (Digital Newspaper Bunding for Added Value) here.
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