What is a National Brand?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2019
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A national brand is a brand which is distributed throughout a nation, instead of across a small region only. Some national brands are also sold on an international scale in addition to being widely available in their home nations. This is in contrast with private label brands and regional or local brands, which are only available from certain sellers and only sold in certain regions. Marketing a national brand requires a big budget which is generally only available to very large companies.

The owner of a national brand may be a manufacturer or a distributor. In either case, the brand is marketed across the country with print, radio, and television advertising. Ads can also be customized for local markets and national brands typically pay for things like product placement so that members of the public get familiar with their brand. Some national brands are so well positioned that they become the default name people turn to when they are looking for a particular product.

Companies which sell national brands count on the reputation of their brands to capture market share. Depending on the product and the company, the company may try to position its brand as the most affordable in its class or the highest quality available. The areas of focus in advertising are determined with the assistance of research to find out what people are looking for so that the national brand can be targeted at the desired demographic.


National brands may appeal to consumers who are attracted by brand names. Consumers often look for what is familiar and national brands are easy to identify thanks to the fact that they saturate the market so thoroughly. National brands may play on distrust of regional or private label brands to get consumers to buy them, encouraging people to question, for example, the quality of “generic” or store branded products.

Most national brands started out as small regional brands which slowly grew over time. New companies marketing new products are constantly being established and some of these companies go on to capture a corner of the market and expand to a wider area, eventually becoming national brands. Other local or regional companies prefer to stay regional, marketing themselves as local companies and encouraging people to buy their products to support the local economy and to keep their money local. These brands contrast themselves with the national brand by arguing that they contribute more to the community.


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Post 2

I am curious as to how much a company might spend on a national brand advertising campaign. Is there anyone who can tell me how much a national campaign might cost?

Post 1

One of the best examples of a small regional brand that grew into a powerful national brand is Starbucks. Their flagship store on Seattle's waterfront became well recognized, and the way they presented themselves as providing a relaxed atmosphere for customers while implementing an Italian espresso bar feel really set them apart from other coffee shops.

Today there are Starbucks in more than 55 countries and they strive to keep up a feeling of coffeehouse intimacy on the grand scale. Their national brand image is built around this.

Can anyone think of any other smaller regional brands that have grown to be a successful national brand that is easily recognized?

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