Everything You Need to Know About Umbrella Branding

Tiago Santana

Whenever a new idea or concept arises in your company, it often poses the issue of how to merge it into your current brand. It may even make you feel like you have to start from scratch when marketing the release of the new product or service. But by using umbrella branding, it is possible to fit new items or ideas under one brand and still retain the same prestige for all your brands.

You can accomplish all of this without the need for extensive marketing or re-branding.

What is Umbrella Branding?

Umbrella branding is a marketing strategy which enables companies to introduce multiple products or services under a previously established brand name. This enables the new offerings to share the same logo and symbols as the current brand. It is also commonly referred to as family branding.

Umbrella branding is different from brand extension because the latter introduces new products in a different product category under the same brand. The opposite scenario is to a variety of similar products under the same brand name, in the case of umbrella branding.

Using an umbrella brand is often beneficial for companies in order to draw on their already established credibility when launching fresh products or services. Brand recognition promotes trust in the new product, while also trying to attract new customers.

Numerous companies that are currently using an umbrella brand for a few of their groups of products are widely known all around the world. Dove sells deodorant, body wash, soap, lotion, and more. While Sony sells everything from televisions and PlayStations to digital cameras. A few other popular companies that have built successful umbrella brands include Nivea, Google, Starbucks, Apple, GE, and FedEx.

Umbrella Branding Advantages

There is a vast array of umbrella branding advantages that can benefit your business. Here are some of the most common perks of using this form of branding:

  • It allows an established brand to use the same name for new products, which inspires respect, trust, and loyalty from shoppers.
  • It enables companies to develop major brand equity under a single brand name.
  • It boosts the marketability of new products, services, and concepts.
  • It projects to customers that the new product, concept, or service marketed under the established brand name is produced with the same standard as other items the company has developed.
  • The familiar identity of the main brand will encourage customers to try different products under the same name.
  • It does not require the additional costs that come along with new brand creation.
  • It enables advertising and promotional efforts to be combined for all products.
  • It helps give priority product positioning to the new offerings.
  • It makes new product launches simpler and less expensive.

Steps to Create an Umbrella Branding Strategy


1. Determine Whether Umbrella Branding is Right for Your Business

Creating an umbrella brand for various companies, such as Coca-Cola, comes with its fair share of work. So before embarking on this journey, determine whether this type of brand architecture is right for your company. Ask yourself if you have the additional time to devote your efforts and take that time to ensure your current products and services already inspire respect.

Be aware that there may be additional resources required, such as operational and administrative expenses, as well as other business costs. But as long as you are not unifying brands that are too unique under your umbrella brand, brand awareness, gaining credibility, establishing trust, and creating an inner connection with customers will be simpler and can ultimately produce high returns on your initial investments.

2. Choose Goals for Your Umbrella Brand

What solution do you expect your umbrella brand to provide for your company? The most common goal is to use an accomplished brand for introducing additional products or services in the same category. This tactic is often cheaper and easier than starting up a new brand or company with each new product.

Determine your reason for developing an umbrella brand. And then be specific with your goals. They will provide the base for you to build your next steps on.

3. Discover How Sub-Brands Will Relate to Each Other

Most sub-brands under an umbrella brand are marketed in a similar way, have similar standards, and provide similar benefits. When someone speaks about them, people will already be familiar with the logo as well as what advantages and general standards to expect.

Think about companies like Nivea and Eucerin. They are both known for personal hygiene products with specific benefits ranging from exfoliation to moisturizing lotions. But keep in mind, it is also possible to create products and services under an umbrella brand that are individually branded. While they are still under the same family company, these unique products or services appeal to other markets for a more innovative approach.

4. Learn the Core of Your Brand and How it is Different

Determining the true essence of your core brand as well as how it is different from others in your niche, will help set the stage for all sub-brands that follow. The more unique and exclusive your core brand is, the less likely your customers are to try a competing brand. If you opt to launch similar sub-brands, your core brand may be determined by your buyer persona.

Take the time to develop at least one standard category to focus on in your efforts. If your company prides itself on being creative with innovative products, then your sub-brands should project what your company represents. Use this info to design fun, responsible, and smart marketing strategies that target your audience.

5. Assess the Sub-Brand's Equity

To determine the perceived value in the market you are considering, a great deal of research is required. If you are using an umbrella brand, compare the new product’s potential to that of similar brands. Decide whether it will benefit or damage your core brand’s image.

In some cases, a sub-brand is effective enough to become an umbrella brand of its own. You can then create a new family brand of product extensions with new branding that is more fitting to its purpose.

6. Measure the Marketing Budget

Since umbrella branding can involve introducing a wide variety of sub-brands to the market, there may be a need for more than just one marketing campaign. These additional promotions will need to be factored into the budget, so you’re aware of the changes to your bottom line.

Be sure you have the resources available to support your brand before you start production. On the other hand, introducing sub-brands that are more similar to your established products offers a more cost-efficient structure. From a marketing budget viewpoint, you can include more than one product or service in your promotions to save some money.

7. Bring Your Umbrella Brand to Life

Once you have determined the basics for your umbrella branding strategy and you are clear on your objectives, you are ready to begin developing the new sub-brand. Put together a timeline to build, test, and introduce your sub-brand. You should also create a marketing strategy to support the new product.

When you add a new product to your current brand, it is important to create visuals to help customers understand its uses and how it will benefit their life. Promote the new product using all available channels, including your social media accounts, company website, and press releases. Hire an experienced marketing team or contract freelancers to assist you with the content.

8. Maintain Your Umbrella Brand

Once your umbrella brand is in place, one of the best ways to maintain it is to create a decision model or decision tree. This is a tree-like support tool which asks questions that help you stay consistent with the company's overall brand strategy. Having a decision model ensures you are prepared when confronted with various branding issues, such as internal readjustments, brand development roadblocks, new acquisitions, and more.

The brand alignment strategy


When many people think of an umbrella brand they automatically assume that it is a family of brands. Sometimes this is true. But it need not be the case. What we think of as an umbrella brand can also be a master brand or even a master franchise brand.

The main concept behind an umbrella brand is to create a brand structure that is modular and scalable. Plus, it should have flexibility built in to meet the needs of different market segments.

When you do decide to use an umbrella brand strategy, every element in the system must work together. This is how you build a consistent and cohesive impression in the mind of your customer.

Maintain consistency across your brands

The best way to achieve this consistency is through a well-thought-out brand alignment strategy. Your brand alignment strategy will ensure the visual design of the product, packaging, marketing collateral, and website all work together. Thus, they should deliver a consistent message about your company and your products.

We have all seen companies that have tried to cut corners in their design by using similar logos across their products and marketing collateral without paying attention to how they will come together in the eyes of their customers. This is just one example of poor planning. And this does not make things clear to the target right away. You don't want to confuse the customer.

How to expand your brand without risking your business

There are a lot of things to consider when you’re trying to grow your brand and expand into new areas. I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs struggle through the process. Mostly, they aren’t sure what to think about each area or how to prioritize. So they sometimes end up trying to expand into too many things at once.

And I’ve been there too, to be honest with you. Whether it was spreading the company too thinly across multiple areas or trying to tackle everything at once. The key is making sure you don’t take on too much.

For many eCommerce entrepreneurs, the biggest challenge is brand expansion. It is easy to grow a single brand into multiple marketplaces. But entrepreneurs are unsure of how to expand their umbrella brand beyond just their one product.

Also, they're afraid of diluting their brand with too many products and losing their original identity.

Well, there's no need to worry about that anymore.

As you know already, there are two popular methods to expand your brand:

  1. Sell your products or services on other marketplaces
  2. Sell other people's products or services on your website

Most businesses start with one product or service. But if you want to scale, you need to expand your brand. Here are some of the most common mistakes I see when I talk to new entrepreneurs about brand expansion:

  1. They don't do it early on
    Most entrepreneurs concentrate on what they're good at. They avoid areas where they're weak and where it would be riskier. Unfortunately, this can be a big mistake. In reality, it limits your growth potential and your ability to increase your bottom line. So if you want to grow, you have to think outside of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself, now. Even if that means those initial attempts aren't as successful as those that come later.

  2. They pick too many areas to expand into
    Given enough time and resources, you could probably make and market multiple products and services. But no one really has that kind of time or money (and what would we do with it anyway?). The best approach is to pick the two or three areas where you can demonstrate success. And then focus on building those out to start.

An Effective Umbrella Branding Team


In the end, while diverse product branding may be good for more prominent companies with huge budgets to spread across each brand, small businesses have a small number of products. Either way, using an umbrella branding strategy that incorporates similar sub-brands may be the best way to increase your marketing potential and ultimately boost your product sales.

There are many different types of branding when it comes to digital marketing. It may be difficult to understand every one of them and which would be most effective for your business. Here at gardenpatch, we believe you shouldn't have to know them all. We are here to help take the guesswork out of which is the best branding option for your service or product and can even implement the proper techniques to ensure a successful campaign.

When you hire our digital inbound marketing and creative solutions growth agency, we take care of all your digital advertising needs. This includes creating umbrella brands, social media marketing, SEO, and more. Our full range of digital marketing services are designed for businesses and product lines of all types and sizes. We even provide ongoing support to ensure your brand remains reputable and up-to-date on the most modern tactics. As part of this process, we can create and share content on various social platforms to help with your branding and marketing objectives.

Trying to implement and manage your own marketing and branding campaign can place added strain on you and your team, which can take away from the excitement of your product launch and the things you really care about. But with the aid of our experienced growth agency, you can indulge in the release of your new brand and enjoy the impressive results that come from it.

For more information on the best digital inbound marketing agency for your company or to learn more about umbrella branding advantages, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

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