Choosing a branding strategy is fundamental to properly marketing a product. How you decide to brand your product or service will affect everything from advertising to pricing. You may already have a branding strategy and not realize it, but here are some of the options:
- Corporate Brand – Many companies, such as Target, offer only one type benefit to the customer (“design for all”). Even though they sell a wide variety of products, there is only one value they add. In this case, the brand is the same as the company.
- Distinct Brand – Some companies produce a wide variety of products that each have distinct benefits to the customer. There is no value in using the same brand for each product since the brand would then stand for a mishmash of benefits. Companies such as Proctor & Gamble (P&G) us this type of strategy as they brand each of their products distinctly (Ivory, Pampers, etc.).
- Hybrid Brand – Sometimes it makes sense to leverage the company name or an overall brand in addition to a separate name for the product. This usually works best when the product brand extends the benefits offered by the overall brand, and is very common in the automobile industry (ex. Ford Taurus).
- Umbrella Brand – When your company offers multiple products that each have a distinct benefit, but together offer a shared value to the customer, you may want to consider an umbrella brand (ex. Nike – athletic gear).
Whatever branding strategy you pick, be aware that it may affect the branding and marketing of your company and other products. If you only have one product right now, your choice will mostly be whether you are going to brand the product with your company or not. Once you have a branding strategy in mind, it makes marketing and advertising decisions much easier.
(photo by HikingArtist.com @ Flickr CC)