Guide to Individual Branding Strategies with Examples
Unlocking Your Identity. Learn strategies for creating a brand that reflects you, and how to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Written by RamotionNov 23, 20239 min read
Last updated: Feb 6, 2024
Nowadays, people have thousands of options at their fingertips and branding has become more complex than ever. The only way to stand out and thrive is by developing and establishing a strong brand that represents a compelling and unique brand identity.
You can begin by identifying the right branding type according to your goals. For instance, if you want to grow a company offering products and services in multiple markets, you can implement individual branding.
If this sounds like you, here’s everything you need to know, plus tips and examples to help you launch your individual brands.
What is Individual Branding?
Individual branding is where the parent brand develops a unique brand identity for its sub-brands. Companies with multiple but unrelated products prefer this brand type because it allows flexibility in market reach and brand growth.
For instance, in the individual branding strategy, sub-brands can individually target distinct market segments and develop products with different levels of quality at varying price points. Individual branding protects the parent brand if sub-brands face backlash, scandal, and other crises, too.
Conversely, individual branding can be costly since you have to invest for each sub-brand. You’ll encounter in-house branding problems that may require separate teams for branding, marketing, product development, etc.
A unique branding does not shield sub-brands from consequences if the parent brand faces problems, too. Lastly, the timeline to establish multiple brands may vary. Thus, maintaining consistency can be a challenge.
Despite this, individual branding is still the safest and most strategic approach when growing a company and competing with rival brands. You can experiment and diversify your company in any shape and form, especially if you have a well-established parent brand.
Which Companies Use Individual Branding?
Individual branding strategies may vary from one company to another. Take your cue from some of the best individual branding examples below.
Procter & Gamble
The most popular example of individual branding is Procter & Gamble or P&G, as known by many. Under the corporate branding are popular names like Tide, Gillette, Bounty, Always, and Old Spice which many love and trust.
While each individual brand caters to multiple market segments and functions independently from others, its strategy still embodies the core of the corporate brand: reliability and innovation. Consequently, P&G has built a strong reputation because of its consumer-first approach. The brand continues to thrive and remains relevant for 186 years and counting!
Did you know that Coca-Cola offers other types of beverages, too?
You may have come across water brands like Dasani, Powerade, and Smartwater. Or how about refreshing juices like Minute Maid and Simply? The beverage giant also has a line of alcoholic drinks like Jack Daniel’s and Coca-Cola—a collaboration between the two brands—Fresca Mixed Cocktails, and Topo Chico.
Although Coca-Cola is the leading brand for soft drinks with flanker brands like Coke Regular, Coke Diet, and Coke Zero, it has expanded its reach in other categories through individual branding strategy.
Individual Branding versus Other Branding Types
|It is easier to build customer trust, especially if the parent brand has a good reputation. The success of one sub-brand impacts other brands.
|All the brands under the umbrella may suffer if one of them face a scandal. Consistency is difficult to achieve if you are targetting multiple markets.
|The use of the same brand name can help customers identify your products quickly. Branding and marketing efforts cost less.
|You are limited to introducing a new brand that complement the existing ones. The performance of one product can affect other brands.
|It can help you become an expert or authority figure in your chosen industry and grow a community of followers that resonate with your personal branding statement.
|It is a time-consuming journey to build and sustain a personal brand. Once a personal brand is established, it is harder to change careers.
Individual Branding vs Umbrella Branding
Companies that practice umbrella branding build their products and services under one brand name. It is the complete opposite of individual branding, where products are marketed separately from each other, targeting different segments.
With a cohesive branding approach, umbrella branding effectively builds customer trust, especially if your business is highly reputable. The success of one product can ripple towards your other products, which makes increasing awareness easier.
On the contrary, a single blunder can affect the performance and perception of your branding efforts in the market. It could also be challenging to remain consistent if you’re targeting multiple markets. That said, try to find your niche.
**Best Umbrella Branding Example: **
Kraft has graced millions of kitchens and pantries since the 1920s with savory condiments, snacks, and cheese. They even have candies, stuffings, and salad dressing!
So, how does Kraft unify its products?
The brand uses its red and blue Kraft logo on its packaging and other branding outputs. From bottles and boxes to tinfoils, seeing the 63-year-old logo guarantees high-quality products known by many generations. As a result, it strengthens brand recall even further.
Individual Branding vs Family Branding
Compared to individual branding, family branding entails using a single brand for products that complement each other. That said, if you sell products in multiple categories, you can create different brands for each.
There are many advantages to this branding type. Adopting family branding helps avoid confusion among customers as they can differentiate products per category. Branding introduction requires less effort if the company brand is already well-known.
While it is quite similar to umbrella branding, family branding differs by focusing on building a holistic brand across multiple related products.
Best Family Branding Examples:
General Electric boasts more than a dozen brands under its parent company. The company has successfully innovated niche products in lighting, security technology, home appliances, healthcare systems, gas, and renewable energy equipment and solutions through intensive research and design.
With its iconic monogram logo embedded on all its products, the company’s growing portfolio includes new brands like:
- GE Healthcare
- GE Vernova
- GE Aerospace
- GE Appliances
GE ranked 20th out of 100 global companies by Forbes in 2022. Interbrand estimates that GE also has a USD 19 billion brand value. And with its current market standing, consumers remain confident when they buy all these brands from GE.
Another successful example of family branding is the German brand Nivea. While it focuses on providing skincare products, it has refined its products in face care for all ages, men’s grooming products, deodorants, and sun protection.
Below are the products under the Nivea family brand:
- Nivea Face Care
- Nivea Body
- Nivea Deo
- Nivea Sun
- Nivea Men
- Nivea Haus
Individual Branding vs Personal Branding
Personal branding pertains to establishing a brand centered around a person or an individual. For instance, celebrities, influencers, and industry leaders often rely on personal branding to refine and market their unique identities.
Even your everyday professionals—consultants, designers, writers, etc. —must establish personal branding to increase opportunities and their chances of getting hired. It is important to note that personal branding expands beyond popularity, however.
Your success is not only based on the number of followers and engagement you receive. Instead, your brand efforts should be anchored on a personal brand statement, ideally encompassing your values, audience, and unique selling proposition.
Personal branding can be demanding, especially since digital platforms are highly saturated. And as your personal brand becomes stronger, it takes more work to pivot into other endeavors. You risk confusing your followers and may have to start from scratch.
Successfully done, you can become an authority figure in your industry, ensure career longevity, and even grow a loyal community of followers and advocates. Just look at business mogul Richard Branson, Tesla founder Elon Musk, and Hot Ones host on YouTube Sean Evans.
Best Personal Branding Example:
Sean Evans and Hot Ones
What started as a humble web series on YouTube has become a success. But getting there took a while as Sean built his personal brand. As his opening spiel says, “It’s the show with hot questions and even hotter wings.”
So, how did Sean Evans and Hot Ones establish a unique brand in the entertainment industry?
While the premise of interviewing people while eating spicy wings smothered in hot sauce is enough to attract casual viewers, Sean Evans decided to take it up a notch. Aside from passionately curating hot sauce with varying spiciness and diverse flavors, he spends a chunk of his time thoroughly researching his guests.
And with disarming questions, celebrities have fun digging deep and sharing genuine things about themselves that fans may not know. Sean Evans’ consistent and authentic approach to connecting with his guests and viewers established his brand and catapulted him into fame.
The show is a hit with more than 3,000 wings eaten, 300+ episodes, and millions of views. Iconic figures like Kevin Hart, Gordon Ramsay, Billie Eilish, and Neil deGrasse Tyson have also graced the show. And they were even spoofed on Saturday Night Live!
How to Create Your Individual Brands?
1. Differentiate Goals for Each Brand
Understanding your goals for each individual brand can help you create a clear branding strategy.
Think of each brand as people with varying beliefs, personality traits, strengths, etc. Each brand will appeal to different target audiences, too. That said, your approach will be diverse.
But, before doing so, you need to identify what makes each brand unique compared to other brands. You can refine your target customers by learning about their interests, needs, and expectations. This information is vital in building your individual brand strategy.
Your objectives may be to:
- Increase new leads by 10 percent
- Boost your market share
- Improve brand reputation
Remember that your brand goals or objectives should align with your brand positioning to maintain consistent customer experience and messaging.
2. Identify a Cohesive Theme Across Brands
The individual branding journey can be chaotic and confusing, especially when you juggle multiple products. And having a cohesive theme that will guide your brand identity is a massive help at this stage.
Start by defining your brand’s core values, mission, and perception. Through target market research, you can tailor your brand to resonate with your audience. Consistency is critical when implementing brand themes across all touchpoints and crafting brand messaging.
3. Weave a Compelling Brand Story
A compelling story can be powerful enough to evoke authentic emotions. And these emotions are the foundation of a lasting relationship with your customers.
It's easier said than done, but an effective way to achieve this is to go personal and share your branding journey. For example, you can show how you started the business, communicate your vision, and emphasize your values.
Take the opportunity to touch hearts by sharing stories from your community that resonate with your brand, too. Having a narrative that intertwines powerful and concise messaging with captivating stories makes you relatable and helps you stand out from rival brands.
4. Build Your Individual Brands
You’re ready to build your brand!
While having an aesthetically pleasing design in branding is essential, a brand identity that visually communicates what your brand is all about can help establish your company. Meaning, craft logos and picking color schemes, packaging, typography, imagery, etc. that resonate with your brand personality and brand image.
You must also establish your culture, melding beliefs, visions, and attitudes of your unique brand. In effect, you create your tribe. Think of Harley-Davidson, Red Bull, and Nike as having distinct brand cultures that cultivated decades-long relationships with their customers.
5. Confidently Take Your Next Branding Step
Individual branding can be a powerful strategy to grow your business. You can successfully differentiate yourself from your competitors and build a community of loyal followers. Just take a look at P&G and Coca-Cola.
While you don’t need to be a corporate giant to implement individual branding, the process can be complex, especially for startups. That’s why you’ll need a team of expert brand designers to bring the best branding outputs.
Explore your potential, and let us guide you through our individual branding services to get you closer to your goals.