Solo Branding can best be explained by a parent company launching stand-alone individual brands. For example, Procter and Gamble (P&G) brands like Pampers, Tide, and Gillette are all stand-alone brands. Rather than branding Tide as “Tide by Procter and Gamble,” P&G strategically allows each brand to have its own identity. Simply put, Tide is Tide and Gillette is Gillette. Similarly, Toyota owns Lexus but allows Lexus to be branded independently of Toyota. One advantage to this strategy is that a brand can be tailored to different customer segments and can take a different strategic position (e.g., differentiation vs. cost-leadership). Toyota aims at cost-leadership and provides lower prices to customers, and Lexus focuses on differentiation and improving customer perceived value to seek premium pricing.
Hallmark Branding is when a company uses one brand for all products and services. In the 1980’s Beatrice Foods Company utilized Beatrice to brand all of its products. Beatrice was using the corporate name as an endorser brand for its products and services. The problem with Beatrice’s strategy was that it was difficult for customers to see the similarities or shared values among the various brands. While the Beatrice Food Company hallmark branding strategy was not successful, it is a prime example of the hallmark branding strategy. The goal of hallmark branding is to leverage the strong corporate brand name to increase a new product’s legitimacy and adoption.
Family (Umbrella) Branding is when the parent company launches products/services under the corporate brand and eliminates individual brands’ need. Firms that utilize family branding can benefit from being associated with a strong parent brand name. Kraft is known for its umbrella branding strategy, where its products all have the parent company name. Some Kraft products include Kraft Real Mayo, Kraft Singles, and Kraft Cool Whip. When the parent brand has a strong brand image and loyalty, launching umbrella brands can help transfer some of the brand associations onto each product.
Extension Branding is when a company leverages its existing brand to enter a new product category. An example of brand extension is when Colgate extended its brand portfolio from offering toothpaste to toothbrushes. Brand extensions reduce promotional costs and help with the customer acceptance of the new product. Brand extensions tend to succeed when customers have favorable associations with the original brand, when customers see a match between the original brand and the new category, and when the new product does not damage the original brand. It is important to note that companies cannot succeed in all brand extensions. For example, in the 1980s, Colgate launched a Beef Lasagna brand. (Food and Wine). The Colgate Beef Lasagna brand was unsuccessful. One reason could be that the brand extension was so far removed from what customers expected of the Colgate brand. Extending into a new product category that is not tied to the existing brand associations can pose significant risks that may hinder product adoption.