Following my recent article on managing your brand during diversification, I wanted to go into more detail about things to think about when creating sub brands to ensure you protect and build your brand equity.
Sub brands can be created for a number of reasons and they are incredibly powerful when you need to focus your audience’s attention on something specific. In essence they allow businesses to explore new markets or products and services whilst also creating a benefit for the 'master' brand.
The first most important thing to think about is do you really need one? If the answer is yes, you will need to consider the impact this has on your existing brand equity and try and predict your future growth plans that may come later.
In almost all cases a sub-brand is a brand that sits under your main brand, essentially a spin-off. There should be at least one design component linking it back to the parent brand. But remember that it is a separate identity for a specific audience, sector or service and you will want to acknowledge this in the design.
A successful sub brand is a reflection of the parent brand but distinctive enough to stand on its own two feet. The end result for your business should be growth in new markets whilst also strengthening the entire brand portfolio.
How closely linked or separated in design style it is from your brand will depend on your business growth plan and brand strategy. But you will want to leverage brand equity that you already have to give your new sub brand a nice launch boost!
Your future Brand Architecture
If it is likely that your business will have even a handful of sub brands, you need to plan for this even before you start creating the first one. If you don’t, you risk ending up with an uncoordinated or indistinguishable set of brands. Failure to plan for this in your brand strategy will always prove costly as you need to spend more on maintaining and promoting the brands. Will you be a branded house or a house of brands? You can read more on this here.
Brand building should always be your focus and sub brands can do wonders for creating greater awareness and appreciation for your brand. They can also help demonstrate how innovative or responsive you are. Sub brands also benefit from a bit of freedom as it is much easier to experiment with services or markets without putting your hard earned brand equity on the line.
I hope this has given you some insight into the sub branding opportunities, please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.