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Family branding is a type of marketing tactic. It involves using one brand name to market multiple products. For example, a company may use one brand to market soap, lotion, hair shampoo, and nail polish. This differs from branding individual products, which involves giving each product its own name and image. For example, a company may sell lipstick and nail polish, giving each product line a separate marketing identity.
The idea behind family branding is that a company can make a wide range of products both desirable and profitable by giving them all one recognizable name. Then, by building recognition of this brand name, a company can also build customer loyalty. When the company introduces new products or even makes changes to existing products, it can depend on customer loyalty to ensure its market will purchase the new or altered product. Additionally, family branding, makes it possible to use an advertising campaign to successfully market a range of products instead of just one at a time.
Often, companies in the food industry use family branding techniques to market their products. For example, a company may make and sell bread, potato chips, frozen food, and condiments all under one highly recognizable name. This umbrella branding may mean such companies will sell more than they would with individual branding. Some consumers are more likely to choose a product with a familiar name over one that is less well-known, even if the known brand is more expensive.
There is a downside for companies that use family branding, however. In order to keep sales up, they have to maintain consistent levels of quality across their entire product line. If one of the products is perceived as being of lesser quality, this consumer perception could cause sales to drop for the whole family of products. Likewise, a brand that does have consistent quality could suffer if the company that makes it experiences bad publicity.
Interestingly, some companies use both family and individual branding. For example, a company may have a strong brand name, yet choose to market some of its products with individual branding. This may occur, for example, when a product is introduced to a new market. In such a case, individual branding can prevent problems for the family of products if the new product fails. Sometimes an individual brand may be more appropriate because the product is being introduced to another class of consumers; introducing a product designed for budget shoppers under the same brand intended for affluent shoppers may not produce the desired results.