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What is Umbrella Branding

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

Umbrella branding is referred to as a marketing practice which involves selling several related products under the name of a single brand. Umbrella Branding (umbrella brand) also known as (family branding) involves creating good brand equity for a single brand.

Practically, umbrella branding can be quite a challenging marketing practice for marketers as they will be required to coordinate effectively within every individual brand. However, when the marketing practice is implemented well, the results can reap great advantages as well.

The underlying idea behind this brand strategy is to enhance the marketability of products and it follows the psychological concept that whenever a product carries the same brand name, it will involve the same high-quality standards like other brands within the umbrella. So, brands can also have 5 different product lines, however, the trust in that particular brand leverages the attributes of all the 5 product lines.

Corporate umbrella branding is another similar type of branding strategy where the company utilizes its credibility in the event of developing a new product or service. This allows brand recognition to be attributed to several sub-brands. Consumers may not recognize these sub-brands however, they will recognize corporate umbrella branding for sure. Examples of this type of umbrella branding include Google, Virgin, and Starbucks.

Umbrella Branding Examples

Examples of umbrella branding include several and a concrete example is that of Apple Inc. Under this brand name, customers may find the iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac Air, Mac Book, etc.  Apple was originally known for its Mac computers and hence it becomes the top product of the Apple umbrella. The umbrella, thus, further divides into iPhones, iPads and other products rendering the strategy to be an umbrella strategy. 

Another good example of an umbrella strategy is that of P&G. under the brand name, there are various product lines which include Tide, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Crest Toothpaste and Pampers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Umbrella Branding

Advantages of Umbrella Branding

  • As all products within the umbrella are interdependent upon each other success of one product will give a boost to other products as well.

  • Umbrella brands have a pre-established reputation in the market and consumers are well aware of the brand and they can guarantee for the high quality. This renders the process of launching a new product for the organization easier and can reap benefits because of previous marketing efforts. In this way, products can make an inexpensive entry in the market.

  • Family branding allows companies to focus its resources and energy on the promotion of a single brand rather than investing in different marketing campaigns for different products.

Disadvantages of Umbrella Branding

  • Any organization, whether big or small, is unable to provide similar quality to all of its products. This creates chances of quality fluctuation. An organization which focuses on one product may sometimes neglect other products.

  • Umbrella branding is useful for those products which involve some logical connection with each other. For example, Starbucks started promoting snacks that are coffee or beverage related. This will be accepted as the products are interrelated; however, if Starbucks plans to promote tablets, laptops or desktops, consumers will be unable to relate with the product as they perceive Starbucks to be in the coffee-related industry.

  • A major drawback of umbrella branding is that if a single product has a poor reputation; it will impact other products that are within the same brand. This can result in the reduction of purchase of the brand.

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