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Multi-branding is by far the most popular brand strategy, and is used by many companies in all types of business. In spite of this, the volume of scientific research and papers on the phenomenon of multibranding is very small. The reason could be simply that companies are unwilling to have other people look into their strategy. It seems clear, however, that many companies are involved in adjusting/balancing their multi-brand portfolios, so that this kind of learning could be valuable. It is generally recognised that multi branding offers a fine opportunity to grow a business, simply because one brand cannot really cover all customer needs in all the various segments of a market. Multi-branding can, in fact, be considered as one of the most effective brand strategies, but it requires professional skills and ongoing management and marketing focus from companies. The brand as the ultimate business driver Branding strategies are always highly important for companies, as brands are regarded as the ultimate business driver. Brands today are acknowledged as the driver for better, more sustainable results and as an internal as well as external source of inspiration, which creates both high recognition and relationships. Companies also recognise more and more that brands can increase profits. As many companies over the past years have reviewed their core strategies, they have often discovered that a defined type of service or defined product group is driving their results. However, many mature markets today are strongly segmented, because of widely differing customer needs and, in addition, many customers today are no longer loyal to one single brand. So, multi-branding is the most frequently used brand strategy within many companies and categories. Looking at the various multi-brand portfolios, brands are often positioned with specific roles such as prestige brand, flanker brand or fighter brand. Since many markets are strongly fragmented, it makes sense to introduce extra brands in order to compete effectively across a category. Other strategic reasons for multi-branding are the coverage of various distribution channels, when the price range within a category becomes too wide, or simply in order to spread risks for the bastion brand. When to activate a multi-branding strategy? The basic choice between a mono-brand and a multi-branding strategy depends, of course, on quite a range of both external and internal factors. An elementary factor is the
or not? Similarly the status of the brand portfolio is very important. Market segmentation must allow each brand's positioning to be strongly differentiated and. One important factor influencing brand strategy towards multi-branding is the current economic situation in Europe. all are active and successful in penetrating different markets and segments. or even suffer from decline? And does the brand architecture make it possible to expand from existing brands and differentiate further? Most markets provide scope for multi branding operations but. As economic growth in most countries is negative or stable. further. resulting in cannibalization. a mono brand cannot cover all segments markets are strongly fragmented development of more defined brand offers to more differentiated consumer needs increase in variety of distribution channels price ranges within categories are often too wide spread company and brand portfolio risks. Analysing many brand portfolios. • • • • A clearly identified strategy needs to be in place and approved by management. do they lack growth. 3. Also important is the type of company: is it local or international. Is multi-branding always lucrative? Multi-branding is not a simple game of creating more brands within the same company the following points must be considered. One can. 6. There needs to be a firm commitment to compete fully with all (company) brands. 5.type of market the company is active in or planning to enter. to enter these segments. because of their (price) positioning. It may even be the case . and centrally directed and controlled. Is creating a multi-brand portfolio without risk? Of course not. I have concluded that the most important reasons for multi-branding are: 1. Many of the existing brands really cannot allow themselves. Are the existing brands already mature. it must be established that these segments are of sufficient economic interest. there is always the potential risk of overlap in the brand portfolio. when entering new segments. First. mono brands or global brands are vividly alive as well. The brand-owner organisation needs to be structured and aligned to this strategy. 2. we see in very many consumer markets a development or evolution into value or discount segments. and so we see more new brands from existing market players entering these segments. of course. debate the trend towards global branding and argue that in many markets a brand shake-out is on the way. and management must be prepared to invest in all the (multi)brands. 4.
body care. Similarly. Nestl. FranPrix.that distributors only allow one brand per manufacturer to enter their business portfolio. chemical companies such as Akzo Nobel. beer. Not ignoring the possible risks. In the fmcg (food) business. Many markets today (and probably more in future) are multi-channel. snack food. airlines and tobacco. Groupe Casino with highly differentiated brands such as Gant. given a brand problem requiring serious product recalls. the ability to handle strategy in price segmented markets. . and sauces. the pros and possibilities for a defined multibranding strategy look very attractive. for example. Masterfoods. Champion and Monoprix. this does not have too much direct impact on the other brands in the portfolio. while fmcg market leaders such as Unilever. In practice one of the major risks is that the company and its management keeps too strong a focus on the core brand or parent brand. There is a further range of advantages that a multi-branding strategy can offer: • • • • enhanced opportunities for customer relationship management (CRM). the opportunity to position brands more clearly and build strongly identified brand values at the same time. P&G. in other big markets. haircare. In terms of distribution strategy too. such as drinks. and a defined multibranding strategy allows you to create a clearly differentiated offer to these markets which of course can be enlarged by further segmentation and product specialisation or innovation. In the same way. Leader Price. multibranding is often used to position other brands on different price levels as a response to other competing brands and private labels . In the banking and insurance field multi-branding is the mainstream strategy that is used by most companies. multi-branding allows you to offer brands to distributors who require exclusive brands for private label. It is a proven strategy for many companies to grow their business by opening up new segments and thereby gaining a lead over competition. and then withholds elementary support from the other brands in the portfolio. Interbrew. most manufacturers use active multi-branding strategies in order to establish strong positions in differentiated segments. enabling manufacturers to fulfill (individual) consumer needs more precisely. Multi-branding is everywhere Almost all sectors and most leading manufacturers have active multi-branding strategies in place. Bayer and DuPont have active multi-brand strategies. Even retailers run active multi-branding strategies such as in the consumer DIY markets and. L'Oral. Henkel and so on all use active multi-branding strategies for their very differentiated markets such as ice cream.
but at the same time it could become an internal competitor for the Audi brand certainly its claim 'Vorsprung durch Technik'. we see quite clearly differentiated multi-branded portfolios. perhaps. and therefore have also become a competitor for the core Volkswagen brand. 6. . and ongoing focus and support from management and marketers. The organisation must be structured and aligned to the strategy. the recent upscaling of Volkswagen with advanced models such as the Touareg and the Phaeton may help the Volkswagen brand to be more dynamic and challenging. Whether multi-branding also requires separate marketing and sales organisations depends very much on the structure of the company and on market complexity in terms of channel structure. On the other hand. Strive for excellence The brand battlefield requires many skills. Successful multi-branding A multi-branding strategy requires increased man-hours and budget. 2. plus R&D support for each separate brand. as with the Toyota group and BMW cars and motorcycles. Brands like Skoda and Seat have become higher quality brands by adjusting their quality. management ensures that the business is structured so that all the brands involved are managed and fully supported. is now. even creating a sort of internal competition between the brands but the ultimate focus must be on the battleground in the marketplace itself. 4. Management must be prepared to invest in all brands. New segments need to be of economic interest. but. by contrast. Also. 7. the extended brand portfolio of General Motors in the US has a considerable overlap in brand offers and brand values. The organisation needs to have and hold focus on all brands. Essential guidelines for successful multi-branding 1. but it is a business area that could actually see more concerns adopting it. one can argue that the VW group has some internal struggles with its multi-branding portfolio. There must be commitment to compete fully with all brands. which for many years suffered from limited innovation. Real excellence is found in companies (and their brands) that are great on differentiated aspects of consumer and customer engagement and their commitment to winning. so it seems. In the same way. 3. A clearly identified strategy needs to be in place. partially claimed by Volkswagen. the price differentiation is not always fully clear for consumers. the majority of car manufacturers use this strategy.Most importantly. 5. Segmentation and positioning need to be strongly differentiated. innovation and design and their pricing programmes. It is essential that when a pro-active multi-branding strategy is adopted. The seven most essential guidelines for successful multi-branding are listed below. On the one hand.
Wenlock.Many people believe that winning companies are great on all aspects. access or experience. price. because it allows companies to create a more optimally differentiated brand portfolio which can and will fulfil consumer and customer needs more closely. multi-branding could very well be one of the most relevant building blocks for competitive marketing. service. was unveiled alongside Mandeville. but in practice one can become or remain a successful market leader by clearly dominating one or two very relevant aspects. In addition. never mind whether this is established in the product. the Para-Olympic mascot. 2010 Brand Design: A Penis For London's Olympic Games? They’ve done it again! Three years after the 2012 logo united England in disappointment. June 07. Locog – the organisers of the London Olympics – delivered another body blow for British design. the superficial . With the usual Locog flair for impending disaster. Given this global reality. if a dominant market share is achieved. a multi-brand strategy is a serious option to increase sales and profits. the mascot for the Olympic Games.
It was an indelible image. Today. horrifically. I was struck with a single.g. would or would not have a significant effect on a brand?” Thanks for your question Barbara. multicultural children playing harmoniously together against the backdrop of a graffiti rainbow. the more the brand will have made a firm impression on people and will be easily recognized by people. Are you aware of any research that shows that a slight departure from a brand.elements were all stage-managed perfectly: a London schoolyard filled with happy.C. Consistency truly is the name of the game in brand identity. white phallus who proceeded to frolic with the children in a quite alarming manner. D. a slight departure from a dress code of a retailer. horrifying realisation: yes. The more consistent the brand is across all customer touch points and over time. writes… “I am looking for articles that address the question of how consistent must a brand be in order to still be effective. How Important Is Brand Consistency? Regular readers of Branding Strategy Insider know we welcome and answer marketing questions of all types. they were joined by a man dressed as a large. Suddenly. Barbara.. a marketer from Washington. e. single eye and dual appendages around his base was Wenlock. . I know this from years of experience with brands that have done this well and brands that have done this not as well. but he looks like a penis. As a voiceover explained that the figure with the helmet-like head.
I have encountered brands that make the following types of claims: • • • • We are the quality leader in the X category. not one of many striving to be top. or worst of all. Is Innovation important? Absolutely. Is quality important? Yes. We are the service leader in the Z category. We are the innovation leader in the Y category. so much so that the claims have become hollow. #1. in more and more categories. #1. Don’t claim an aspiration unless you can uniquely deliver on that aspiratioMay 24. 2010 Too Many Brands Make Hollow Claims Increasingly. 2010 . However. We are the leader in the XYZ category. Is it desirable to be the industry leader? Sure. Is service important? Of course. “Leader” means top. I find that large numbers of companies in many categories make these claims. as I perform brand audits.June 01.
why would a company choose to forgo its consumer driven innovation process or marketing principles only when it comes to extending their brands through licensing? Some of the best and biggest brands around the globe have been actively and successfully licensing. P&G. what CEO in their right mind would choose to risk the company's crown jewels to a group of third party manufacturers which don’t have a clue about how to build a brand. These programs not only enjoy strong royalty income. but its poor or improper execution? After all. Furthermore. After reading about Pratt & Whitney and Pierre Cardin. Jack Trout makes a compelling argument for why not to consider licensing as a method of brand extension. only those CEOs that are either reckless or desperate would consider licensing. they enhance their brands' attributes in the process. . Disney. he backs it up with multiple examples of established brands with flawed licensing programs that serve to prove his hypothesis.Don't Blame Brand Licensing Here on Branding Strategy Insider. Coke and Harley Davidson each have outstanding licensing programs. Right? Maybe the problem isn’t licensing. let alone manage one? With so much at stake.
But there is. One mile from the surface. It has also said it has no clue what the final cleanup bill will come to . 2010 Rebranding: Not Beyond Credibility The bad news mounts for BP as the petrol giant has admitted that efforts to plug its Deepwater Horizon well and prevent any more crude oil escaping continue to fail. of course. a very specific reason why BP.except that it will be in the billions and that BP will be liable for every penny. of all companies. . now stands for “Beyond Petroleum”. BP. And you can forget the estimates of how many gallons of oil are being pumped into the Gulf of Mexico each day. its name and its positioning to reflect the fact that the company was now actively “exploring new ways to live without oil”. Any oil company finding itself in this situation would be in trouble. These uncertainties add to the growing list of major imponderables facing the beleaguered British oil company. is going to suffer more spectacularly than any other from this disaster. In the most famous repositioning case of the century. Ogilvy and Landor helped BP to change its logo. the implications are so inestimably huge at this stage that the only accurate bellwether of the kind of trouble BP now finds itself in has been the ashen.May 21. Indeed. as we now all know. and 50 miles from some of the most beautiful and valuable coastline on Earth. All the media training in the world cannot disguise the enormity of the problem now facing Hayward and his company. horrified look on chief executive Tony Hayward’s face. the leak continues unabated. nor does it have any idea what the long-term ramifications for local communities and industries will be. because BP has also conceded it has no clue exactly how much oil is leaking out. BP has said it does not know when the leak will be stopped.
The following table is not purely scientific. at purchase decision time. . The first column comes from a page count of letters in a dictionary that does not include proper names. 2010 Brand Naming: Consider the First Letter of the Name Should you start your new name with an S or a C? Why not a J or a K? In other words. Getting consumers to “think” about your brand more often. The second column shows the frequency in two long lists of brand names.” Unfortunately. but it shows how letters which begin “ordinary” words differ in frequency from those beginning brand names and trade names. The third shows the frequency of trade names on the New York Stock Exchange. 2010 Brand Salience: Why It's Important For Your Brand Woody Allen once said that “80 percent of success is just showing up .May 18. does the first letter of your product. service or company name really matter? – aside from the gambit of leading a directory category with an “AAA Plumbing”-style moniker. is one of the most under-rated marketing challenges that brands face today. the vast majority of brands never show up at all. and in more buying situations. May 17.
. Moment of Truth . This helps explain to some degree why big brands are big and small brands are small: if no one thinks about you at the moment of buying truth. Brand Salience is different. Top of mind awareness is simply what brands come to mind when consumers are asked to recall brands within a category. your brand is going to be relegated to the dustbin of small and unnoticed brands. Brand Salience is the memory of your brand and its linkage to other important memory structures. The buying situation ”mindfulness” and linkage to memory structures is what differentiates Brand Salience from top of mind awareness. Why? Because it is what brands come to mind when consumers are in a purchase situation.Does Your Brand Have Salience ? Brand Salience IS NOT the same thing as top of mind awareness.Brand Salience — What is It? Brand Salience is the degree to which your brand is thought about or noticed when a customer is in a buying situation. More specifically. Strong brands have high Brand Salience and weak brands have little or none.
For example. In fact. Tiffany has consistently delivered on this promise for almost two hundred years. you know the brand is synonymous with the highest level of quality. most consumers have no problem differentiating a Coke from a Pepsi. One of the best examples of this is the Tiffany brand. By giving their products a brand. Over time. a Tiffany consumer will not buy from any other jeweler. service and reliability in jewelry. 2010 Expanding the Licensing Value of Your Brand To best help you understand how to expand the licensing value of your brand. For this reason. companies can begin a dialogue with their consumers about their products’ attributes. most women enthusiastically proclaim the Tiffany name. Moreover. They become brand loyalists and advocates – buying the brand more often and recommending it to others. Companies brand their products to differentiate them from their competitors'. if ever asked where her jewelry was purchased. they begin to bond emotionally with the brand. This behavior serves to build the . When consumers are delighted by a particular brand experience. let's take a step back and reflect on why companies choose to brand their products in the first place. Whether or not you have every bought from Tiffany.May 13. a consumer learns she can rely on the brand to deliver a consistent and expected value.
brand's reputation. The stronger a brand's reputation. adds value and certainty to an otherwise unknown product. the higher likelihood that the licensed products will sell in and sell through. therefore. consumers will often purchase a brand for the first time because of its reputation. . In fact. The stronger the brand. Prospective licensees want to license brands with the strongest reputation as these are the brands consumers demand and retailers prefer most. The brand. the higher the value of the brand and the greater revenue it will drive for its owner.
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