Whether you are enhancing a brand or defining one, you need to understand the relationship of various types of brands. For B-to-B companies, especially technology firms, here are four types of brands you may routinely encounter.
Product—these relate to a specific product or service, or perhaps a family of similar offerings. iPhone, iPad, iTunes are all product brands of Apple.
Technology—this is typically proprietary intellectual property that is embedded inside end products. It can be exclusive to the creator and/or licensed to third parties. For example, Dolby Digital is a technology brand of Dolby Laboratories and you may see it in products from a variety of audio equipment.
Market—these are brands that relate to specific market segments, designated by application or by geography. For example, you may create a brand of optimized products just for the mobile handset industry.
Company—these are the attributes of the company as a whole, often a culmination of all products and services they offer.
There is a hierarchical relationship between these brands. The implication is that each brand on one level needs to support the strategic intent of those company brands above it.
Further, if you are weighing the option of creating, funding or managing a brand, you should understand that each type has its own lifecycle. Product brands typically have the shortest life and take the fewest cumulative resources to support. Conversely, company brands can last for decades and require the greatest resource commitment over time.
A solid understanding the brand relationships will help you to effectively build each one.
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