Even industry leaders need an instantly recognizable visual identity that would help elevate its marketing for any new project or product in highly competitive markets. Rebranding the entire parent/head company may not be necessary for each roll-out or project, but differentiating a company's identity to make an impact across all channels is necessary to innovate and excel.
From his book Brand Admiration, C. Whan Park states that companies trade off "potentially strong extensions and feedback effects for lower risk of damage to the parent brand should the new brand perform poorly." There are four main options to extend your brand strategically so to maximize the potential of your new product or project.
When the parent brand's image, association, or qualities don't justly transfer to the new product being introduced to the market, the subbrand needs to be differentiated from the main parent brand. Developing a unique name and identity for the subbrand is an option for the new brand to have its own identity while saving costs when it comes to advertising, promotion, and distribution. It is important that the parent brand has enough exposure and time to develop a solidified reputation for the subbrand to thrive.
However, it will be strongly linked to the parent brand and the new brand will also have a tough time establishing an independent identity. The overall goal is to generate demand for the new product with the link between the parent and subbrand.
Examples: Coca-Cola vs. Diet Coke vs. Coca-Cola Zero, Toyota vs. Toyota Prius, Microsoft vs. Microsoft Xbox,
Taking a more supportive role, the parent brand exemplifies a strong extension of the new brand to offer a unique identity for the new brand while also using the help of the parent brand's credibility. The legitimacy and credibility of the parent brand is vital to the success of this strategy of endorsement branding, with the link being absolutely necessary for the success of the new product.
The two product brand will have their own brand attributes, with their own brand marketing - so they must rely on their own value proposition to succeed. The two allow for a high degree or freedom for each product brand, while also allowing for cross-selling. However, there are other
Examples: Nabisco vs. OREO & Ritz, Polo by Ralph Lauren, etc.
When companies want a less visible, yet supportive connection between the parent brand and their new one; an indirect branding strategy might be the right move. Developing a unique identity for the new business, as well as having the new brand being more prominent, is available here while providing some credibility from the parent brand. Some customers would be reassured with the parent brand being promoted, even if it is lightly promoted or displayed.
Examples: Unilever and Axe brands, General Mills and Cheerios.
Similar to endorsement branding, cobranding has two brands that work together. However, unlike endorsement branding, each brand endorses each other. With cobranding, two parties of brands attempt to benefit each other in their efforts, often at the expense of not knowing which brand benefits more. For example, if one brand is weaker the cobranding efforts will most likely benefit from the stronger brand.
This strategic partnership often builds the businesses, boosts awareness, and breaks into new markets if managed correctly.
Examples: Red Bull and GoPro - "Stratos"
The further you kick the can down the road when it comes to your branding strategy, the more leads you'll push away. Many of them will never come back if they get a bad impression of a business. Consumers will need to trust your company, and therefore how you brand yourself. Utilizing current trends, branding techniques and innovative strategies will help you get your brand in the right light and ahead of the competition.