Three Principles to co-brand like a pro

At Citrix, we’re big supporters of joint marketing with our partners. Do it right, and you can tell a compelling story about the value of combining your business’ expertise, experience, and services with Citrix technology. But if you’re not careful, poorly executed co-branding can lead to customer confusion. 

In our latest Partner Kickstart Webinar, Strengthen your marketing materials through effective co-branding, we show you everything you need to know how to avoid those pitfalls. Let’s take a closer look at what co-branding is all about and the key principles you should keep in mind to maximize your efforts.

What is co-branding anyway?

Co-branding is just what it sounds like: Citrix and our partners coming together in the marketplace to communicate a joint value proposition to our customers.

It’s about showing how our strengths combined deliver unique value, either to enhance an existing offer or to bring a new one to market.

In practice, co-branding involves positioning each company’s logo, identity, and message in a way that clearly communicates that relationship. There are a number of ways to do this. You can:

  • Write a white paper describing how our solutions come together to solve a specific business problem.
  • Produce a case study showing how we work together to help a joint customer.
  • Post social media ads promoting your services and expertise delivering Citrix solutions.
  • Create signs for an event we’re both attending that highlight our relationship together.

There are a few basic principles to follow when it comes to co-branding. Remember: the goal is to make the joint relationship and offer as clear as possible to customers and showcase the value we deliver together. The last thing you want is for customers to get confused about who’s delivering what, who they’ll have the relationship with, and what to expect from each brand.

Principle 1: Partners first

The most important thing to remember is that, when it comes to co-branding, all parties are not equal.

If this is your co-branding initiative, in almost every instance, your business should be in the lead position. Whatever materials you’re creating, they should reflect your brand’s look and feel, and have your corporate logo in the dominant position in the layout.

If that seems like bad manners, that both partners should be represented equally, ignore that instinct. You’re delivering the offer or service, you’re the one who will own the customer relationship. When branding makes it look like an offer is coming from two places at once, you’re asking for customer confusion: What exactly is being offered here, and who’s offering it? Who owns which part of this relationship? Who do I contact for more information?

Do this…

Not this…

Principle 2: Use your Citrix Partner badge the right way

When creating a co-branded asset or promoting your partnership with Citrix, you may be unsure whether to use the standard Citrix logo or your Citrix Partner badge. Here’s the rule of thumb:

  • If you’re just listing Citrix as a partner (for example, on a web page showing logos of all your technology partners) the standard Citrix logo is fine.
  • If you’re communicating to customers specifically about your Citrix partnership (say you’re promoting a solution based on Citrix SD-WAN or advertising a training you’re conducting on Citrix Workspace), use your partner badge. As with the principle above, the badge should be in a secondary position, so it’s clear that this is offer is coming from your business, not Citrix.

Principle 3: Keep your message clear

The first two principles cover the visual look and feel of co-branding, but messaging matters too.

The goal is to communicate the value of Citrix and your brand together, while making sure there’s no confusion about each company’s role.

For example, here’s the kind of confusion you want to avoid:

Together, Citrix and Alpha-X present a better way to work with unified workspace, networking, and analytics solutions. Through implementation, education, and managing service delivery to end-users, we create a seamless work experience for those users while giving IT a unified platform to secure, manage, and monitor diverse technologies in complex cloud environments.”

Put yourself in the shoes of a customer reading this. Who exactly is doing the implementation and education here? Who manages the service delivery to end-users? The language makes it sound like Citrix and Alpha-X are jointly doing these things, when that’s not the case. Alpha-X is the one actually delivering the solution, albeit using Citrix technology.

Here’s an example where those roles are more clearly defined:

Alpha-X helps implement, educate, and manage service delivery to end-users, while making sure that companies get the most from their technology investments. We’re pleased to present our partnership with Citrix, whose unified workspace, networking, and analytics solutions power a better way to work. Alpha-X can help you create a seamless work experience for users with Citrix solutions, while giving IT a unified platform to secure, manage, and monitor diverse technologies in complex cloud environments.”

There’s no confusion that Citrix is providing the technology, while the partner will be delivering it to the customer and end-users.

Find out more

Co-branding is one of the easiest and most effective ways to promote your company’s unique value and expertise. By following a few basic principles, you can clearly communicate the power of your partnership with Citrix and your ability to help customers succeed.

For more tips and guidance from the marketing experts, plus links to Citrix co-branding resources at SalesIQ, check out the webinar: Partner KickStart: Strengthen your marketing materials through effective co-branding

Ready to kick your overall 2020 digital marketing strategy into gear? Check out our Partner Kickstart Marketing Strategy Webinar Series. You’ll learn the latest techniques from digital experts to help you market like a pro. On-demand webinars cover topics like:

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