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Category: Branding: Just Ask…

Branding: Just Ask...

Increasing The Appeal Of Your Brand


Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. BSI readers know, we regularly answer questions from marketers everywhere. Today we hear from Susan, a Vice President of Marketing in New York, New York who writes…

“How can we broaden the appeal of our consumer packaged goods brand?”

Thanks for your question Susan. Extending a brand to a new consumer segment requires innovation around a higher meaning. To extend the meaning of a brand to appeal to a wider consumer segment is more about meaning than products. Creating new value always involves proposing new or unexpected meanings that delight consumers. What matters most to people is not the function or performance of a given product, but their emotional, psychological and cultural connection to what the product means to them. New value is in the “meaning” not in the physical thing. People don’t just buy product, they buy into a higher meaning. This unexpected idea, unsolicited by user needs, once discovered, turns out to be the very thing people were waiting for, just not asking for. Increasing a brand’s relevance to a broader consumer segment requires insight to be out ahead of the customer’s stated needs and connecting with their unspoken aspirations and dreams. This is what people really care about. The products / brands that best represent these higher ideals are usually the ones that reshape their categories, change people’s behavior and lead markets.

Study those that are most important to the brands future, reposition the brand for higher meaning and develop the strategy for bringing this new meaning to life at every point of customer contact.

Have a question related to branding? Just Ask The Blake Project

Sponsored ByThe Brand Positioning Workshop, the Brand Storytelling Workshop Series and Brand Strategy and Customer Co-Creation Workshops

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

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Brand Architecture Branding: Just Ask...

Brand Strategy For Acquired Brands


Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. This is our reason for being. BSI readers know, we regularly answer questions from marketers everywhere. Today we hear from Robert, a Vice President of Marketing in Chicago, Illinois who writes…

“The insurance company for which I work recently acquired a much smaller, established company out of state to allow for geographic diversification into new markets. We don’t want to immediately rebrand everything to the parent company brand, but also don’t plan to keep using the acquired company’s brand as a DBA name much beyond a transition period that allows agents and policyholders to get used to the new company brand. Are there some broad strategies or rules of thumb about how and how quickly to morph from one brand to another?”

Thanks for your question Robert. Assuming you have already made the decision to transition all acquisitions to your brand’s name, the key thing is to communicate each transition in a way that the acquired brand’s target audiences have heard about the transition at least 7 to 12 times before it is fully executed. In this way, they will associate the new name and identity with the former name and identity.

This can be accomplished through communication or by that and linking the two names/identities for a period of time. For instance, you can render the acquired brand as a sub-brand of your brand or it can be endorsed by your brand for perhaps a year or two before the acquired brand is dropped and replaced by your brand. On the side of caution, I would also explore any associations the acquired brand’s target audiences have with your brand’s name/identity just in case there are any negative or confusing associations that need to be addressed prior to the transition.

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Branding: Just Ask...

Brand Architecture: Linking Sub-Brands


Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. To that end we’re happy to answer your marketing questions. Today we hear from Nafisa, a Vice President of Marketing in Khartoum, Sudan who writes…

 “I have a brand architecture question about creating the link between a sub brand and the holding company or group. What is the best or proper way to show that link in the logo, for example: 

(sub brand) from (parent brand) or (sub brand) part of (parent brand) group

 The objective is to clearly establish the relationship between the two brands while highlighting the parent brand as the holding company. Your advice is highly appreciated.”

Thank you for your question Nafisa. There is no one preferred way for a brand to be endorsed by its holding company or group. While many brands use the following phrases, there are notable exceptions: “A division of [parent brand],” “A subsidiary of [parent brand],” or “A [parent brand] company.” For instance Shoebox chose “A tiny little division of Hallmark” to imply a renegade or “skunk works” group loosely affiliated with Hallmark Cards.

They did this because Shoebox’s humor was much more edgy than the humor typically found on Hallmark cards at the time. When Raytheon bought the “Beechcraft” and “Hawker” aircraft brands (it subsequently sold both brands), it endorsed them with “Raytheon Aircraft Company.” I like this approach because it clarifies the exact nature of the relationship between the brands and what type of company the endorsed brands represent.

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Branding: Just Ask...

Moving A Brand Licensing Program In House


Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. To that end we’re happy to answer your marketing questions. Today we hear from Kim, a senior global brand manager in Los Angeles, California who writes…

“I’m frustrated with our brand licensing agency. The situation is the agency is not optimizing our program. The categories chosen are not reinforcing the brand’s positioning. The licensees are not fully exploiting their approved channels, limiting the distribution of the licensed product and the licensed products are not reflecting the brand’s attributes causing overall sales growth to languish and potentially damage the brand’s equity.
We are considering bringing the brand licensing program in house and discontinue agency relationships altogether, but first I want to understand the key factors needed to ensure a successful transition.”

Thanks for your question Kim.  Before making a switch you should have a good understanding of the following:

  • The pros and cons of managing a program in-house versus outsourcing to an agency
  • The players needed on a brand licensing team and their roles & responsibilities
  • The internal and external organizations that interact with the brand licensing function and what their roles & responsibilities are
  • The brand licensing process and how is it optimized within an organization
  • The area within the organization where the brand licensing function should reside and what resources are needed to build a best-in-class program
  • How to ramp up a brand licensing program and what would need to be accomplished in the first 90 days

There are good brand licensing agencies and consultants Kim, talk to other agencies and you’ll see what I mean.

Thanks for your question, we wish you much success with your brand licensing program.

For brand owners interested in brand licensing start here.

Have a question related to branding? Just Ask The Blake Project

Sponsored byThe Brand Licensing Workshop

Join us at The Un-Conference: 360° of Brand Strategy for a Changing World
Featuring John Sculley May 16-17, 2013 in San Diego, California
A unique, competitive-learning workshop limited to 100 participants
As in the marketplace — some will win, some will lose, All will learn

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Brand Licensing Branding: Just Ask... Derrick Daye

Brand Licensing Strategy


Brand Licensing Strategy

Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals like you build strong brands. To that end we're happy to answer your marketing questions. Today we hear from Kate, a business reporter for National Public Radio in Rochester, New York who writes…

"Kodak cameras and related products will be back in the marketplace this year, but they won't be made by Kodak. The photo pioneer stopped making digital cameras about a year ago. Now it is licensing its brand name to another camera maker. Please answer a few brand licensing questions for me."

1. What if any concern should Kodak have in licensing their brand?

As with all brand owners, Kodak should be aware that JK Imaging or any other licensee will have certain rights to the Kodak brand and through their licensing relationship, JK Imaging could adversely impact Kodak brand equity. This could result from the sale of poor quality products, the sale of the Kodak licensed products in an unauthorized channel or region, or from not ensuring the manufacturing facility used by JK Imaging complies with safe international working standards. To mitigate this risk, Kodak should have first vetted JK Imaging through a rigorous due diligence process to ensure JK Imaging can deliver against the Kodak brand promise in all products they manufacture. Second, Kodak should ensure they have a thorough approval and auditing process to affirm that all products sold in the marketplace meet their standards and that all facilities are compliant with government and trade guidelines. By picking a best in class brand licensee, Kodak will continue to reinforce their brand equities as they engage with consumers across all channels and regions where the brand is licensed.

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