Lesson 2: What’s branding?

Branding is the art of building and maintaining a brand. There are five different branding strategies:

  1. Individual branding: Giving each product a distinct brand name. Unilever makes Close-Up, Pepsodent, and AIM, but by giving each a distinct brand, Unilever can position them differently.
  2. Family branding: Giving each product the same brand name. Heinz makes ketchup, mustard, and relish, and they’re all called…Heinz! By giving each product the same name, Heinz can achieve economies of scale with advertising and product acceptance. However, if one product isn’t up to par, it can hurt the others.
  3. International, national, regional, and local branding: Deciding how to market your brand based on geographic location. Coke has an international branding strategy in which the product is always marketed the same way. Kleenex, however, is used differently in the U.S. than it is in Japan, which means it must use independent national branding strategies. Some products are only available regionally or locally, so it doesn’t make cost sense to market the product on a larger scale.
  4. Private label branding: With private-label branding, manufacturers sell their product to distributors, dealers, or retailers, who then put their own brand name on the product and sell it as a lower cost alternative to name brands. In Canada, a good example of a private-label brand is Superstore’s President’s Choice label.
  5. Licensed branding: If you’re a brand owner, you can sell its use to another company who wants to extend your trademark or character onto its own products. Examples: licensing Mickey Mouse from Disney to make watches, or Flintstones characters to make vitamins.


TASK: Think of one more real-life example of a product for each of the above strategies.