You’re one of those people who just have the hustle in your veins and entrepreneurship in your blood.
You’ve successfully launched one business, and are now keen to do another – OR you want to launch multiple businesses at the same time. Whichever stage you’re at – I’m in awe!
When launching multiple brands – officially making you an entrepreneur – you step into a realm that requires larger strategy and forethought into the future of your businesses. No longer will you be able to just putter along, you’ll need to think deeply about where you are, where you want to be and your mission and purpose in the world.
Those who have one brand / business and are totally happy with that – look away now as we’re just about to dive deep!
So – what in the schnitzel is Umbrella Branding and why the heck should you care?
What Is An Umbrella Brand?
Also known as a “Family Brand”, an Umbrella Brand is a parent brand over a collection of sub-brands or child brands that are marketed together. Basically, it’s a marketing strategy employed by clever people to leverage the brand equity built up in their parent brand to launch other awesome brands.
Umbrella Branding works best when customers know exactly what kind of quality to expect from your Umbrella Brand.
Each brand within the umbrella may have different characteristics but they will all be united by the shared mission of the Umbrella. Whilst they are united by the shared mission, they don’t lose any personality that makes them each an individual brand.
From a design perspective – it’s important that all brands within the Umbrella Brand share a common sense of quality but do not always need to mimic each other. This will depend on the strategy opted with how closely the brands are linked to each other, which I discuss further below
The purpose of Umbrella Branding – in a nutshell – is to gain customer trust and loyalty then introduce them to more brand and product lines they may love. A win/win for you, the marketer or business owner.
What Are The Advantages vs Disadvantages of An Umbrella Brand?
- Introduction of new brands – is easier, with an already trusted Umbrella Brand. They know what kind of quality to expect.
- Reduced marketing costs – smaller spend on individual brands as the Umbrella Brand is more recognisable.
- Perception – if a brand is known for it’s amazing quality, then adding another product or brand under the same umbrella brand is also perceived in a similar light.
- Easier for customers to find (and therefore fall in love with) your products/brands.
- Customer response – Customers are more accepting of new brands within the umbrella, as they trust the parent brand.
- Cross-promotion – an ability to easily cross-promote between sub-brands.
- If one brand fails under the umbrella, this may (or may not) impact the brand image of other brands and products under the umbrella brand.
I would not recommend you use an Umbrella if you have brands within the umbrella with competing missions or belief systems. You need to manage the perception and brand image of the umbrella, first and foremost. To gain trust you need to be consistent with your beliefs and bringing a brand under the umbrella with a conflicting belief will only form an uneasiness or wariness.
via GIPHY // Under my umbrella-ella-ella
Examples of Umbrella Branding
Apple is a perfect example of an Umbrella Brand. They pride themselves on being a high quality brand that then supports products beneath. For example, if you have purchased an Apple iPhone before, you then know what to expect and you will be more open to purchasing a MacBook Air (when your PC breaks!).
The costs of marketing each new brand are kept low as they instead push to promote the parent brand Apple while introducing new products.
Apple even have the advantage in their nomenclature (naming conventions) as they adhere to strict guidelines to keep a uniformity even through their child products.
Mazda are another brand that do a bloody good job at this. Their cars have a uniform look and feel. They are all similar quality – all pitched at different audiences. Their naming methodology is similar to Apple’s in that there are Mazda 2, Mazda 3, Mazda 6 and so on.
While Apple and Mazda’s approach to naming is awesome, amazing and cool – it’s not always the methodology used in naming brands within the umbrella.
It is extremely common to find Umbrella Branding within FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) lines.
Branding The Umbrella
When branding the umbrella, it’s important to keep the mission and “why” front and centre and align the brand with these.
Where are the commonalities within the collection?
What are you trying to achieve?
What is your mission for the future?
A Side Note
A child brand doesn’t have to be closely linked to the umbrella. It can be – but doesn’t have to be.
A company might launch a new brand within the umbrella but with some distance from the umbrella – this way there is less risk involved to both the emerging brand, the rest of the brands within the umbrella and the umbrella itself.
Let’s say for example that Apple launches a product and it is a big. fat. dud. That has major implications for the parents and other brands within the umbrella. On the other side of the coin though, if a brand like Nestle launches a new line of lollies that are a big. fat. dud, the risk of damage to the surrounding brands are minimised as they are not as closely linked to each other.
Hope that helps!
Hello there. If you’re wondering what just happened to you, you just finished reading my post on Umbrella Branding. Dazed? Need more help? I’m here for you. Just get in touch over on my contact page and I’ll see if and how I can help you make this fly! Leah.
PS. Have you seen my FREE Business Naming Kit? I’ll teach you where to start, which mistakes you should avoid and how to move forward! Click here to get access now.