Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Multi-branded approach

Welcome to my fourth blog post!

We recently finished a fabulous but exhausting logo design process – thanks to everyone who voted! We received and commented on over 1000 logo designs and I could never have anticipated having seen our "name" written in so many ways. It was awesome to work with over 100 designers from all over the world – all giving it their best shot! I would recommend this process to anyone – but remember to set aside the time – or employ someone to be interactive with the designers – they cannot produce what you want unless you are involved. It was also incredibly interesting to see how our "brief" changed over the 7 days. It is crucial to keep an open mind when having a logo designed – if you aren't – you could miss out on so many fabulous ideas you never dreamed possible – and that, my friends, is completely your loss. But that's for a future blog post. Yes - that was subtle marketing :-)

Onto the multi-branded approach – shall we? I'll use this term throughout because I feel it best describes what we are talking about – multiple brands in one strategy. Just know that there are many different 'names' for this approach – this just happens to be my personal favourite.

Multi-branding allows the holding company all the possibilities in the world when expansion is a key focus and cost is not a factor. Some examples are: Unilever, Proctor and Gamble and the Santan Der Group amongst many. A company can have varied products with varied lines under them, e.g. – most people are unaware that Unilever owns a variety of washing powders on the shop shelves, all separately positioned for different markets, with different values and selling points. It is not unusual with this approach to produce competing products in the same market – why – so that you can 'own' the markets, without being in your face about it. Some of the brands that use this approach have taken choice to a whole new level. A consumer looks at the shelves and feels as though they have this fabulous choice of product and if a certain brand becomes contaminated or a consumer doesn't like one of their brands, for whatever reason, they still may not lose that customer to a competitor because of their fall back brands.

The most obvious negative of this approach is the cost! It is very expensive to promote multiple brands and the performance of the products and services need to be monitored closely to ensure they are bringing in what they are spending to be alive or it is time to cut the product. This approach can be highly successful if each Brand is strong enough to support itself entirely and has a healthy advertising budget to boot. It is an extremely competitive market and not for the faint hearted. You are spending money just to fight for market share with another one of your own products - is it a brilliant or very expensive way to keep your competitors at bay? Probably both of those combined...

cozwecan.com does not really lend itself to being a multi-branded entity because we feel all the brand names are too similar – it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that pix.cozwecan.com and somethingelse.cozwecan.com are sister sites. So perhaps our fate is the Endorsed Strategy? We'll find out next week...have a good one!

Frankie

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