Cross-branding is the new Gadget Black

The power of cross-branding is taking the technology and gadget world by storm, in every sector and in every product from items as small as a low-powered smartphone all the way up to six-figure automobiles. You'll notice it in some of our most popular reviews, you'll see it in the cars we've had our hands on in the past few months, and you'll see it on billboards for power objects of desire all across your city. One brand has something that another brand knows will, with their help, make them both look powerful – and it's taking our consumer culture by storm.

In the News

First let us walk through the stories we've got on the front page of SlashGear right this moment. You'll find that more than half of the posts have a cross-branding tie-in. These posts were not posted with this cross-branding column in mind, mind you. Have a peek at this list:

Google Drive leaked: 5GB cloud space for free

MGM Movies come to YouTube and Android *

HP Z1 all-in-one workstation now shipping

Pew's 6 year top 7 Adult-owned gadgets pumps mobile

Samsung Galaxy S III editions tipped with Olympics tie-in *

Motorola ditching TI in favor of Qualcomm's Snapdragon *

Conan O'Brien playing big part in Halo 4 launch *

Sony PlayStation Vita is struggling, big time

Microsoft Office 15 video: "It goes where you go"

Microsoft E3 press conference to be held first *

Mini-golf course inspired by Minecraft, Portal, et all *

Out of 11 posts, 6 of the posts deal with more than one brand-name product, these products tied to one-another for press power beyond that which the both of them equal one by one. One brand promotes the other while that other promotes the first.

Consumer Products

In our front-page reviews currently, you've got a set of mostly mobile devices. The mobile space has benefitted greatly from cross-branding – apps being the most obvious example, not existing without the devices they're made for, but hardware crossovers have made their way into the mainstream as well. Have a peek at our frontpage entries right now here:

HTC One X Review

Apple TV 1080p Review

New iPad Review (3rd Gen)

HTC One V Review

Element Case Vapor Dock for iPhone Review

Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 Review

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Review

The HTC One series of smartphones work with processors so powerful that their manufacturers – NVIDIA and Qualcomm for example, are mentioned by name in both our reviews and the advertisements and press materials sent out to the public. HTC has also been working with Beats by Dre audio with their smartphones for several months – the whole HTC One series literally has the Beats "b" on the back and when the devices are plugged into headphones on the front screen so you know that Beats loves HTC and HTC loves Beats.

The Apple TV thrives on the iTunes content you can purchase for it as well as the apps you can run on it to make streaming content happen for you on your gigantic HDTV. As yet, Apple doesn't make their own Apple TV-integrated television, so you're also relying on whichever television Apple tells you to tie the Apple TV onto to make it a reality for you – 1080p now! The iPad is a similar situation, with demonstrations of high-powered apps being Apple's gateway drug into an experience made all the more powerful with iPad-optimized applications.

The Element Case Vapor Dock is the most obvious product in this range, it and a million other iPhone-specific accessories being allowed to live off of the popularity of that omnipotent device. The Samsung Galaxy Player and Galaxy Tab 2 both rely heavily on the apps they come with right out of the box to promote themselves as media-controlling magic-makers. Without these apps, these devices don't stand up to the competition: with them, they're more diverse than the competition in an instant way.


The most interesting crossover in this space in the past few months has been the integration of mobile chips into high-powered cars. Take for example the Audi and NVIDIA Tegra 3 announcement from CES 2012. Audi believes in the Tegra 3 quad-core chip so much that they've decided to use it for their future smart-panel systems in their fabulous new line of vehicles. Another example is Ford's adoption of Telenav's Scout app for integrated GPS action for the very near future. Telenav is making a big push for brand recognition with a switchover to the Scout app, and crossed with Ford you've got consumer trust that you cannot just attain with one or the other.

Follow the brands

Pay attention today to the tech headlines and see for yourself – many brands still choose to bring just their own product to the public, but there is a trend of them adding on a partner for each launch. Apple's Siri, Galaxy Note's Angry Birds, and even Viddy's summoning of their competitor Instagram – it's all in the same vein.