The term sub-brand sound like an easily understandable concept, it refers to using an established brand to establish another brand. Bottom-line, this is why most brands were evolved; to give life to another and make it run far above competition.
The process of giving life is not an easy task, especially if you have been there before then you know the intricacies. It involves a lot of strategy formation and analysis; consumer analysis, product analysis and market analysis. This will give the new brand a strong footing where existence and competition is concerned.
The virgin brand makes it work well, there an established company with a big reputation name uses the name to establish other sub-brands. This thrives on the success of the mother brand, this strategy has its demerits as the negative image of the mother brand becomes operational on the sub-brands, the virgin group has gone on to grow very successful business in sectors ranging from mobile telephony, to transportation, travel, financial services, media, music and business. The Virgin Group sub-brands are Virgin Mobile, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Media, Virgin Holidays and Virgin Trains. But more often than not sub-brands using the same name don’t work well especially if your business is small.
The strategy taps the halo effect of master brands for sub-brands and cuts individual product advert cost. It takes the catalogue approach and usually showcases all the sub-brands under the overarching mother brand, this is referred to as umbrella ad. Multi product advertisers use this kind of strategy when the mother brand has higher recall and equity in the market than the individual sub-brands
Some small business usually don’t have the brand power to pull off a sub-brand but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the sub-brand work for you because you don’t have to trade directly off of the mother-brand.
There are quite a number of sub-brands that have gone further than the mother brand. The fame that comes with strategizing and brand positioning has made the sub-brands rising stars and has buried the mother-brands behind the clouds. The Jimoh Ibrahim brand; this is a personal brand that owns Global Fleet and other brands in other sectors of the economy, this brand has worked tirelessly with the government to rejuvenate Niger insurance and put it again on the map. The success of his antecedence has only rubbed off on his personal image and not on the image of his mother brand.
The Alpha Reach brand; is a brand Management inclined brand. Alpha Reach gave birth to Omojuwa.com the sub-brand platform that won the Best Nigerian Political blog of the year for 2011. The management of Alpha Reach is working tirelessly to create an aggressive brand, which has made it outshine the Brand identity of its mother brand. Japheth Omojuwa himself looks like a threat to omojuwa.com as a brand especially when he inevitably puts out his face, something he has been obviously avoiding. How long that will be depends on how long he wants to play it behind the scenes.
The Fela Durotoye brand; known as an international motivational speaker, this has risen to an indomitable height and placed the brand in the league of distinguished chartered brands. Nonetheless other brands have since evolved, but are not enjoying the penetration, extension, expansion and reach of the Fela Durotoye brand. Much is not heard of the other brands, Visible Impact, RAISE, Eden Speakers Corner and 2025 GEMSTONE amongst others. The Fela Durotoye brand is on the rise and the other brands are living in its shadows.
Another super brand that does well, it created sub-brands without the adoption of the mother-brand’s name as a leverage for the sub-brands is the Cocacola brand. This brand gave birth to Eva Water and Five Alive. These brands have risen to certain heights and conquered territories based on out of the shell marketing strategies.
Interestingly, world class brands that have really hit the runways are brands that celebrated and put a whole lot of intensity in not sharing the glory of the mother brands image with any other brand or platform; the Microsoft brand which is obviously bigger than its founder Bill Gates, the Apple brand which stands apart from the CEO, Steve Jobs. These companies understand how brand power for their platform works instead of celebrating personnel and individual relevance. Even when it becomes expedient for CEO’s to be visible and stand on the frontline, while showcasing themselves as pivotal and drivers of the image of the brand they head. They must at all times set the brands, give it a recognizable presence and celebrate the mother brands core characteristics.