7 Examples Of Successful Umbrella Branding Strategies

7 Examples Of Umbrella Brands

Companies must go the extra mile in today’s highly competitive market if they’re determined to stand out. There are numerous ways for brands to leave a lasting impression on customers, from creating unique brand designs to enticing incentive programs. Above all, your main ticket to success is designing products that meet customers’ needs and build brand loyalty.

However, developing new products that gain favor from your customers can be challenging. There are numerous costs involved in the product development process, but many risks could cause your idea to fail. This is where umbrella brands come in. Here’s what you need to know about umbrella branding and how you can learn from famous examples of this marketing strategy.

Interested in growing revenue while reducing costs? Propr is here to help with Creative and Advisory Services designed to maximize your marketing ROI.

What Is an Umbrella Branding Strategy?

An umbrella branding strategy is a single brand that sells multiple products under its brand name. These products are typically related to each other in some way. For example, the Apple brand sells several items marketed as Apple products, such as the iPhone, Mac, iPad, Apple Watch, etc.

The main goal of an umbrella brand is to coordinate all of its products seamlessly and cohesively. Customers should recognize all the products sold under the “umbrella” and know which company is marketing them. When executed correctly, umbrella branding can also help boost brand loyalty and expand a company’s target audience.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Umbrella Branding

Umbrella branding can benefit your company in many ways but may also present certain challenges. Learning about this marketing strategy’s advantages and disadvantages can help you determine whether it’s right for you.

One of the biggest advantages of umbrella branding is a greater chance of success across your entire brand. Because all of your products are housed under a single brand name, a boost in sales for one product will likely lead to a boost for your other products. This creates a ripple effect that nourishes the success of your whole company.

Umbrella branding can also help you save money on marketing campaigns. Instead of designing a separate campaign for every product you release, you can invest in a single promotion for your brand as a whole. This dramatically reduces the resources you have to use to market your products to customers.

However, there are several potential drawbacks to take into account. One of the corporate umbrella brands’ biggest obstacles is a lack of consistency. Customers expect the same quality level for all the products you sell, and they will be disappointed if you fail to meet this standard. Umbrella brands are disadvantaged in this respect because they have multiple products to manage at once. On the other hand, non-umbrella brands can focus all their time and energy on a single product without neglecting the other products under their brand.

Finally, if one product develops a bad reputation, it will affect the other products sold by that brand. This can pressure companies to succeed in their product development and branding efforts.


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Examples of Umbrella Branding Strategies

To effectively implement umbrella branding, learning from past examples of success and failure is important. Here are six of the most well-known umbrella brands and what they did right or wrong.

1. P&G

P&G logo
Procter & Gamble (P&G) is one of the most recognizable umbrella brands in the United States. This giant consumer goods corporation owns several product lines found in households throughout the country. Some of the most well-known brands under the P&G umbrella include Pampers, Tide, Gillette, Crest, Pantene, and Bounty.

2. Kraft

Kraft logo
Most consumers know Kraft for its classic Macaroni & Cheese dinner. However, this umbrella brand also houses several other products that span various categories. The most popular examples include Kraft 100% Parmesan, Kraft Singles, Miracle Whip, Caesar Salad Dressing, and Shake n’ Bake Chicken Seasoning. Not only do all of these products fall under the food category, but they also maintain the same quality that customers expect from Kraft.

3. Nestle

Nestle logo
Nestle is an example of an umbrella brand that took a major hit. After Nestle released a flagship product called Maggi, it was discovered that it contained high lead levels, a toxic element that can cause brain damage, kidney failure, and even death. Due to Maggi’s catastrophic failure, Nestle earned a large stain on its reputation, affecting the company. To this day, Nestle remains one of the largest umbrella brands in the world while consistently engaging in highly questionable business practices. When it is only about profit, such things become acceptable, unfortunately. 

4. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson + Johnson logo
Like P&G, Johnson & Johnson is a widely recognized company with many product lines under its belt. The most well-known products under this umbrella brand include Tylenol, Benadryl, Neosporin, Band-Aid, Aveeno, Neutrogena, and Listerine. These items belong to the personal care category and have been trusted by Americans for years, making J&J an established leader in umbrella branding.

5. Unilever

Unilever logo
Unilever differs from most umbrella brands in that its products span many categories. Whether shopping for body wash or green tea, you’ll likely see Unilever’s logo plastered onto your product of choice. However, because Unilever maintained a consistent quality across its entire brand, it succeeded despite branching into various categories. Examples of product lines that belong to Unilever include Dove, Axe, Breyers, Lipton, and Magnum.

6. Kellogg’s

Kellogg's logo
Walk through any cereal aisle in the US and find Kellogg’s famous cereals lined up across the shelves. However, this umbrella brand doesn’t limit itself to breakfast foods. Kellogg’s has also embraced many other delicious snacks with the same crunch and great taste as their cereals. Some of the brand’s most popular products include Special K, Pringles, Pop-Tarts, Froot Loops, Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Nutri-Grain, Cheez-It, and Rice Krispies.

7. Reckitt

7 Examples Of Umbrella Brands

Reckitt has many brands, whether you are shopping for Lysol, Mucinex, or Woolite, or you are a savvy “baby-maker” looking to support your family’s health with UpSpring, a Propr client. Reckitt has many brands that we use in our daily lives. The British consumer, once known as RB (Reckitt Benckiser), has since rebranded to Reckitt.

Achieving Success as an Umbrella Brand

Forming an umbrella brand is a great way to make your products more recognizable to customers and promote quality across your entire brand. In addition, umbrella branding can help you save money in the long term, as you don’t have to invest in multiple ad campaigns for each one of your products.

Simultaneously, various risks go hand-in-hand with umbrella brandings, such as a lack of consistency and a bad reputation associated with your entire brand. It’s crucial to be aware of all of these potential disadvantages to know what to expect.

Consider these examples if you’re considering implementing umbrella branding into your marketing strategy. Learning from real-life examples of umbrella brands can help you build a strong umbrella brand strategy, whether you learn from companies’ successes or failures.

Above all, be sure to prioritize quality and consistency when forming an umbrella brand. Releasing products that speak to your values as a company will help you build brand loyalty. In addition, you’ll have the chance to help your products reach a much wider audience in the long run. If your brand joins a large corporation that uses umbrella branding, Propr Design can help transform your brand. Our process helps our clients be better leaders and more confidently prepared for the growth and results we deliver.

Interested in growing revenue while reducing costs? Propr is here to help with Creative and Advisory Services designed to maximize your marketing ROI.

Bobby Gillespie

Bobby Gillespie headshot photo

With 24 years of creative experience in leadership, planning, and executing performance-based branding and web design strategies, Propr and I help small and medium-sized companies and organizations grow revenue, attract new customers, manage and scale their brands, and improve marketing performance.

I’m also the author of Build Your Brand Like You Give a Shit.
Connect and follow me on LinkedIn.

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