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Family branding is a type of marketing tactic. It involves using one brand name to market multiple products. For example, a company may use one brand to market soap, lotion, hair shampoo, and nail polish. This differs from branding individual products, which involves giving each product its own name and image. For example, a company may sell lipstick and nail polish, giving each product line a separate marketing identity.
The idea behind family branding is that a company can make a wide range of products both desirable and profitable by giving them all one recognizable name. Then, by building recognition of this brand name, a company can also build customer loyalty. When the company introduces new products or even makes changes to existing products, it can depend on customer loyalty to ensure its market will purchase the new or altered product. Additionally, family branding, makes it possible to use an advertising campaign to successfully market a range of products instead of just one at a time.
Often, companies in the food industry use family branding techniques to market their products. For example, a company may make and sell bread, potato chips, frozen food, and condiments all under one highly recognizable name. This umbrella branding may mean such companies will sell more than they would with individual branding. Some consumers are more likely to choose a product with a familiar name over one that is less well-known, even if the known brand is more expensive.
There is a downside for companies that use family branding, however. In order to keep sales up, they have to maintain consistent levels of quality across their entire product line. If one of the products is perceived as being of lesser quality, this consumer perception could cause sales to drop for the whole family of products. Likewise, a brand that does have consistent quality could suffer if the company that makes it experiences bad publicity.
Interestingly, some companies use both family and individual branding. For example, a company may have a strong brand name, yet choose to market some of its products with individual branding. This may occur, for example, when a product is introduced to a new market. In such a case, individual branding can prevent problems for the family of products if the new product fails. Sometimes an individual brand may be more appropriate because the product is being introduced to another class of consumers; introducing a product designed for budget shoppers under the same brand intended for affluent shoppers may not produce the desired results.
There are a number of cosmetics and clothing companies that tend to launch a line of products under an individual brand identity, but are still supported by the family brand.
A good is example of this is OPI nail lacquer. They create a very individual feel for each of their lines, but also make sure to keep their family brand supporting the product.
This is especially useful for teaming up with different companies or other brand identities. For example, they produced a line for Disney's new movie Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides, which uses OPI's materials and family brand, but promotes an altogether different item.
I find that Pepsi and Coca-Cola do a lot of family branding, as well as a ton of individual branding.
You would be surprised at how many beverages and products these two companies control. There are literally thousands of products. They do an impressive job of promoting new items under an umbrella of a recognizable name.
Are there any other companies you can think of that do a good job of family branding?
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