Co‐branding as sub‐case of brand extensions and strategic alliances: Towards a framework for brand alliances

Christoph Nölke

Student thesis: Master thesis


In recent years, the practice of co-branding has attracted a large number of scholars and practitioners. While the body of work is growing, an underlying framework and common taxonomy are still lacking. Thus, research is undirected and fragmented with much attention paid to the interplay of the involved brands and their evaluation by customers, yet little room for other important issues. What does become clear from previous work is that co-branding apparently constitutes a hybrid of strategic alliance and brand extension. Accordingly, in this paper a framework for co-branding is suggested based on theoretical discussion of brand extensions and strategic alliances. The model reveals where in co-branding concepts and ideas from each of the other theories can be applied. Suggestions for practitioners are made to support initializing and managing brand alliances in an appropriate way. Furthermore, the model also offers scholars areas in which further research seems necessary to yield a more comprehensive picture on brand alliances. Additionally, an integrated taxonomy for brand alliances is developed based on previous work done in this area. Co-branding is defined, and different forms of brand alliances, classified as either symbolic or physical are identified.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2008
Number of pages82