Family branding is a marketing strategy that involves selling several related products under one brand name. Family branding is also known as umbrella branding. It contrasts with individual product branding, in which each product in a portfolio is given a unique brand name and identity. There are often economies of scope associated with family branding since several products can be efficiently promoted with a single advertisement or campaign. Family branding facilitates new product introductions by evoking a familiar brand name, which can lead to trial purchase, product acceptance, or other advantages.
Family branding imposes on the brand owner a greater burden to maintain consistent quality. If the quality of one product in the brand family is compromised, it could impact on the reputation of all the others. For this reason family branding is generally limited to product lines that consist of products of similar quality. 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.
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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.
Brand names - Introduction
How should brand names be chosen? Is the name important? Marketing theory suggests that there are three main types of brand name:
Family brand names
A family brand name is used for all products. By building customer trust and loyalty to the family brand name, all products that use the brand can benefit. Good examples include brands in the food industry, including Kellogg’s, Heinz and Del Monte. Of course, the use of a family brand can also create problems if one of the products gets bad publicity or is a failure in a market. This can damage the reputation of a whole range of brands.
Individual brand names
An individual brand name does not identify a brand with a particular company. For example, take the case of Heinz. Heinz is a leading global food manufacturer with a very strong family brand. However, it also operates many well-known individual brand names. Examples include Farleys (baby food), Linda MacCartney Foods (vegetarian meals) and Weight Watcher’s Foods (diet/slimming meals and supplements).
Why does Heinz use individual brand names when it has such a strong family brand name?
There are several reasons why a brand needs a separate identity – unrelated to the family brand name:
- The product may be competing in a new market segment where failure could harm the main family brand name
- The family brand name may be positioned inappropriately for the target market segment. For example the family brand name might be positioned as an upmarket brand for affluent consumers.
- The brand may have been acquired; in other words it has already established itself as a leading brand in the market segment.
- The fact that it has been acquired by a company with a strong family brand name does not mean that the acquired brand has to be changed.
Combination brand names
A combination brand name brings together a family brand name and an individual brand name. The idea here is to provide some association for the product with a strong family brand name but maintaining some distinctiveness so that customers know what they are getting. Examples of combination brand names include Microsoft XP and Microsoft Office in personal computing software and Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Heinz Pet Foods. What are the features f a good brand name? Brand names should be chosen carefully since the name conveys a lot of information to a customer.
The following list contains considerations that should be made before making a final choice of brand name:
A good brand name should:
- Evoke positive associations
- Be easy to pronounce and remember
- Suggest product benefits
- Be distinctive
- Use numerals when emphasising technological features
- Not infringe existing registered brand names
- Family branding is type of marketing tactic which involves the use of one brand name for the sale of several related products.
For example, a company may use one brand to market soap, lotion, hair shampoo, and nail polish. It differs from the individual product branding which gives a unique brand name and identity for each product. Family branding aids the introduction of new products by invoking a popular brand name, which can lead to trial purchase, product acceptance, or other advantages. It also promotes lower marketing costs and market acceptance of its products. Family branding is also known as umbrella branding.
The concept of family branding allows a company to make a wide range of products both desirable and profitable by giving them all a single brand name. The popularity attained with the brand name helps the company to 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. Furthermore, family branding allows a company to successfully market a range of products by just one advertising campaign.
Family branding inflicts on the brand owner a greater burden to sustain consistent quality. Family branding is mostly limited to products that have similar quality, because any damage to the quality of one product in the brand family will affect the reputation of all the others. When a group of products are given the same brand name, it becomes a case of family brand/umbrella brand. In this case, different products of the company are marketed under one brand name.
The examples given below are details of some family brands. Family branding/umbrella do not mean that entire product mix of the company should go under single brand name. A company may resort to different branding approaches for different product lines. Amul is an example of family/umbrella brand. Amul is the common brand name for the company milk powder, butter, ghee and milk chocolates. Vijay is the family brand name for the products of Vijay Electricals, Mixer-grinders, electric irons, electric kettles, water heaters and other products of the company go under?
Vijaya brand. Videocon is a family brand name for a variety of products of Videocon Corporation. Its TVs, VCRs, refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners go under the Videocon brand name. Godrej is another family brand. Several product lines of the company and several products in each of the lines go under the brand name Godrej. The products include locks, steel cupboards, office furniture electronic typewriters, desktop printers, refrigerators, air conditioners etc. The company also uses separate brand names for some other lines.
In soaps, it has individual brands like Cinthol and Ganga. In detergents, it has individual brands like key and Biz. Johnsons is another family brand. The company Johnson & Johnson sells many of its baby care products under Johnson's brand name — Johnson's Baby Powder, Johnson's Baby soap, Johnson's Baby Shampoo, etc. BPL is another noteworthy family brand about five dozen products of the company go under the brand name BPL. It also happens to be the company name. In the case of Amul, it is an umbrella /family brand name for one line of products of the company.
As mentioned earlier, Amul is an umbrella brand for NDDB milk and milk-related and milk-related products. And Dhara is an umbrella brand for the company cooking oil line. Dhara is an umbrella brand for seven types of oil marketed by the company — Dhara mustard oil, Dhara groundnut oil, Dhara sunflower oil etc. Benefits of Family branding It is convenient to adopt a family brand for related products. Promotion of such products becomes easier and less expensive under a family brand. But the marketer in such cases has to ensure that all the products offered under the family brand maintain the same standards of quality.
If one product in the group becomes a low quality product, it will affect the entire range of products under it. In other words, in family branding, there is a composite responsibility among the products coming under the brand. A major benefit in giving family brand name is that advertising and promotion effort can be combined for all the products falling under the family brand; the advertising budget can be stretched over several over several products. For example, Johnson and Johnson, with a wide product range in the baby care segment and medicare segment runs an ad campaign every year to promote its products.
The same campaign takes care of all diverse products of the company. It is the Johnson brand name that is advertised ad all the products get covered. The campaign lasting for new months every year ensures high recall value for all Johnson & Johnson products. Another advantage is that under family branding, new product launch becomes easier and cheaper. New products would enjoy a ready recognition and market set-up retailers too would find it easier to push new products under a popular ongoing brand name.
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