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  1. #1
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    TH Media is working on starting it's own affiliate/reseller program. We are bouncing around many ideas, but I do have a question for something that has come up. How would affiliates feel about a co-branded site. This is one of the things we are thinking about setting up, but wanted some feedback first. We would offer a branded site to our affiliates, including sign-ups, etc. Affiliates would be able to set their own prices, etc. It will take a little more work from the affiliate side, but I think this may work better for all parties...Any thoughts..

    Tom Pyles

    [ 02-18-2002: Message edited by: TH Media ]

  2. #2
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Is this for the webhosting Tom?

    The cobranded option would appeal to me.

  3. #3
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    Yes it is...for webhosting and our submission service. We are also getting into internet access from a 3rd party (which already has a reseller program). I welcome your feedback as I would like to develop this from an affiliate/reseller point of view (there's a new one [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] )

    Tom Pyles

  4. #4
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    The only thing I don't like about cobranding is the commitment.

    For instance I built a page on a site that offered web registrations. It was a cobranded deal that never told anyone that it wasn't really me they registered with.

    That was all great until I decided one day to remove the page. I was unaware that there were people who depended on that page to manage their urls.

    To make a long story short I received various emails from rather unhappy people saying how in the hell do I change my website info.

    So I had to replace the page and let them know how to directly go to the merchants site.

    So cobranding is nice but I think it should be done in a way that doesn't depend on the affiliate. They will come and go on a whim and you don't want to loose customers when they do.

  5. #5
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    Personally, I like cobranding a lot. I have a couple of sites that use it and it really works well for me. As long as customer support is taken care of by someone else, I'm all for it.

    Kip [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the feedback. Heyder, I know where your coming from. I had something similar with a company ubrandit.com...they dissapeared one day and I was left without a book, music, video store. We are hammering out the details, and I encourage all to offer a little feedback. The thing about co-branding is, if we are completely in the background without the customer even knowing, you could run into a situation like you previously did. If the customer is made aware of us, then there is the pricing issue. If you charge 25 a month and they see we charge only 20 a month (even though your cost would actually be 15), there could be some issues. There are some of our current customers that this would work best with. For example, we have a band manager that hosts 10 sites with us. He gets a discount on those sites and charges the musician whatever he wants. In most cases, the musician doesn't know about us. OTH, he helps manage all of their accounts, so there is no need for the customer to know who we are. One thought (sorry for thinking out loud) is to offer a sign-up form for you to put on your site...make the customer aware of who is hosting their site. The price stays the same and you get the referral...Again, bouncing ideas around and nothing is final....

    Tom Pyles

  7. #7
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    Another HUGE pitfall of co-branding is LIABILITY EXPOSURE. An affiliate who simply advertises a merchant's site can often escape when something goes wrong without any concern about exposure. But someone who puts their own company name on a supplier's product through co-branding is opening the door for FULL liability exposure. I'm not sure if affiliates want to get involved with this kind of risk.

    Co-branding also exposes the affiliate to State-specific laws. For instance, here in New York State, I can classify my websites as
    advertising entities because all I am doing is advertising other merchant's products. However, in this State co-branding falls under the umbrella of laws that govern Resellers. In addition to state licensing/business registration issues with the Department of State, resellers in New York are responsible for collecting sales tax from any customers who are New York State residents. This includes INTERNET sales.

    I'm not up to speed on the laws in other States, but I am almost certain that you will find similiar snags across the Country.

    Co-branding = Massive Responsiblity.

  8. #8
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    Seaslug...thanks for the info, and you pointed out something I had not thought of...I want to make it best for the affiliates (I know we've all heard it before, but we stand by it..if the affiliate succeeds, then so do we)...I thought most would be happy with branding instead of a banner or just a link...We are still working on a few things, and again, I appreciate the feedback...

    Tom Pyles

  9. #9
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    For co-branding I like being able to have own header/footer, etc to encapsulate the content, and also be able to customise text size/colour, etc. Hiding the brand of the merchant would be nice. Most co-branding things I've seen just let you have your logo on the page, they're rubbish.

  10. #10
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    All that's needed would be a powered by link.

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