Umbrella branding Vs Individual branding


What are the benefits/disadvantages/difficulties of umbrella branding, i.e.,

"overarching brand used across multiple related products" (wiki )
vs individual branding.

We are looking for a strategy for branding our web services that, at the moment, are targeted to at most 2 countries. However, we have not yet established any of our web services, and it wouldn't be a problem to place them under a single name:

ABC Name - Maps

ABC Name - Yellow Pages
ABC Name - Eshops
My main concern is: Since we have only recently started, would a single "top-name" benefit us or do we risk a branding failure.

Strategy Branding

asked Feb 11 '11 at 06:52
Dyn Zack
216 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

3 Answers


Umbrella branding can be a great way to build on success. Starting out I'd go for independent branding.

  1. You can develop, market test and optimise each proposition at full speed
  2. You can split test branding variants (and even run multiple parallel brandings to test major differences for instance in price structure)
  3. If one proposition goes wrong, you've insulated the others
  4. You can experiment with cross-linking/cross-promotion asymmetrically (e.g. one site promotes the other but not vice versa) or symmetrically, and build up a knowledge base for a later decision to integrate
  5. It's a lot easier to introduce an umbrella brand at a later stage than to split two propositions that have been under a single umbrella
answered Feb 11 '11 at 18:40
Jeremy Parsons
5,197 points
  • That are some good arguments. Let your market dictate the branding. Experiment with various marketing strategies in the beginning and adapt on the way. – Dyn Zack 13 years ago


That's a tricky one since umbrella branding you are thinking big (but can also flop big) and individual branding you are focusing narrow at the expense of possible expansion.

I tend to think it's a good idea to have an umbrella brand with sub-branding just because it allows some more flexibility in your product offerings. The classic examples are Google, Yahoo, Apple, etc.

An umbrella brand does take a little longer to develop/think about but it has the advantage of consistency on point products (e.g. Google Maps, Google Analytics, Yahoo Groups, Apple iPad, etc.).

The main disadvantage for umbrella branding is that they really need to be well thought out in order to work well.

answered Feb 11 '11 at 08:39
Jarie Bolander
11,421 points


If you go with umbrella then keep the names short. Did some marketing work for a company that wanted to use Company name - Product Name on everything to "build the brand". So we ended up with "Company name - product name - addon module name", "Company name - product name V2 - Network edition", "Company name - product name V2 - for Mac"

Brochures, trade show signs, web pages were a nightmare because you could never use just the product name.

answered Feb 11 '11 at 13:41
1,231 points

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