Google Android and Nestle KitKat: The Ultimate Co-Branding Marketing Takeaways

Modern Marketing


Recently, Google and Nestle blew away the tech scene by announcing the Android KitKat, the name of Android’s next operating system. This unprecedented co-branding partnership between Google and Nestle fueled buzz for both brands and started a discussion around the future of similar arrangements. What marketing tips could we glean from the Google and Nestle partnership?

Partner with the right brands.

Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Who you partner with is a reflection of your brand. As you’re considering which brands to partner with (or to include in your partner ecosystem) think about their business ethics, including how they treat their employees, customers, other stakeholders, and even their competitors. Do your due diligence to ensure your co-branding partnership doesn’t end up in a huge PR fiasco that reflects negatively on your company.

Prepare your press release.

Develop a press release that helps validate/refute any rumors and answers questions that will likely be asked. It’s an opportunity to shape the way customers think about your brand.

For example, in Nestle’s press release, Nestle states that the co-branding partnership is a good opportunity to connect with their customers with digital technology. They want the world to know that they care about their customers and that they’re an innovative company. The press release also notes that Google selected KitKat because Google’s engineers love the chocolate. This makes Google look like a thoughtful employer – they even know what kind of chocolate their employees like.

Leverage social media.

By announcing news socially, you’re making it easy for people to share the news to their network. In a sense, you’re initiating virality.

android kitkat social

Google’s Sundar Pichai (SVP of Android, Chrome and Apps) tweeted, “We now have over 1 billion Android activations and hope this guy in front of the building keeps that momentum going,” with a photo of an Android KitKat statue in front of Google. The result? Nearly 4,000 retweets and over 1,000 favorites. And, of course, he also shared the announcement on Google+.

Make it easy for people to share by publishing the news on all of your active social media channels. Well-executed social marketing will facilitate discussions and encourage users to share as well.

Use an all-hands-on-deck approach for launch via multi-channel marketing.

Let media and consumers know that your new partnership is huge. Important. Not-to-be missed. Do this by investing your marketing efforts across different channels for launch. For example, Google and Nestle did not hold back on their announcements on their websites.

android kitkat website

The entire KitKat website was dedicated to KitKat 4.4, “The future of confectionery.” The brand marketed the KitKat as if they were only talking about the chocolate, but consistently made references to technology and the partnership. For example, the website reads that KitKat is mobile because, “with global coverage, you can take it literally everywhere.”

android kitkat website 2

Hershey’s and Android’s websites were just as simple, advertising the KitKat Android and the candy wrapper. As part of their partnership, Nestle KitKat will produce over 50 million Android KitKat bars in 19 countries. On the website, users are able to check if they are one of the lucky winners of a Nexus 7, Google Play credits, or an Android-shaped KitKat bar. It’s stated clearly that you can win a prize by purchasing KitKats.

android kitkat outdoors

Create a “cool factor” that will go viral.

As part of this partnership, Google revealed the Android KitKat statue in front of their offices. As friends and family visit the office, they are bound to take a photo with the statue and share it with the world on several social media platforms. Develop something that people want to talk about and share with their friends.

There are plenty of marketing lessons to extract from the Android-KitKat partnership — which stood out for you? And which brands would you like to see partner up?