Devising a Branding Strategy (Philip Kotler Summary)

A detailed explanation to Devising A Branding Strategy with examples as stated by Philip Kotler


While devising a branding strategy, a firm may choose to pick existing brand elements common to other products or line of business or may choose to completely pick up new and distinctive brand elements. At times, firms use a combination of both.

The firm has 3 choices while devising a branding strategy:

  1. Develop new brand elements for new product
  2. Apply some of its existing brand elements
  3. Use a combination for existing and new brand elements

Devising a Branding Strategy # 1: Creating a Sub-Brand

While devising a branding strategy, marketers might choose to create altogether a new brand for the product. At the same time, marketers may combine the new brand with an already established brand. This helps build a quick association of the new brand and also helps the new brand to en-cash the equity built by an already established existing brand. The existing brand which gives birth to the Sub-Brand is the Parent Brand.
E.g. Hershey’s Kisses Candy. Here Kisses Candy in itself is as good as a new brand but has associations with an already established existing brand in Hershey’s.

Devising a Branding Strategy # 2: Brand Extension

When the firm uses an established brand to introduce a new product, the strategy is referred to as Brand Extension.
Brand Extension falls into two categories – Line extension OR Category extension. The existing brand which gives birth to the Line OR Category Extension is the Parent Brand.

a) Line Extension

Line extension refers to the parent brand covering a new product within the same product category. The new product in this can be a new flavour, a new colour or even a new size packet. Importantly, the new product should be in the same product category.

E.g. Nestle Maggi original product has seen many line extensions. The new products added to the line fall into the same product category and fulfil the same need of the customer with some variations.
Below is how the different variants look like in India as on date.

Nestle Maggi - Example of Line Extension

b) Category Extension

When the parent brand is used to enter a new product category altogether, it is referred to as a Category Extension.

Example: Victorinox is well known for its high-quality swiss army knives. However, the company has used the same brand to enter into different categories like Watches, Cutlery, Fragrances,  Travel Gear, Pens, etc-

Victorinox - Example of Category Extension

Similarly, brands like Honda, BMW are in both 4 and 2 wheeler mobility business and carry the same brand in both the categories.

A Brand Line refers to a range of the original and all variants of the product.

A set of all Brand Lines is referred to as the Brand Mix (or Brand Assortment) offered by the company. The brand mix/brand assortment comes into picture primarily because of catering to needs to various channel partners. e.g. Pepsico makes an entire range for the B2B channel priced at a premium.

Devising a Branding Strategy # 3 – A Licensed Product

A product whose brand name has been licensed to other manufacturers to make the product. In this case, the owner of the brand gets paid a licence fee for using the brand. In turn, the brand owner decides some minimum quality criteria to be met to sell products under his brand name.  E.g. Jeep sells license to manufacture apparels, to strollers. The product quality should be as per their standard and they should communicate the Jeep philosophy of ‘Life Without Limits’. In such cases the Licensing revenue because a metric to track of the parent brand.

Read More concepts as stated by Dr. Philip Kotler HERE


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here