What are Brand Categories

The history of branding is an interesting one, especially if we take into account how it started. Back in the day, branding was used to identify cattle and isolate it from the rest. However, it’s safe to say that brands have changed quite a bit since then. Nowadays, they are useful tools that help us recall various services and products, as well as distinguish them.

But can we limit branding to just products and services? Of course not. Nowadays, businesses and organisations are using brands so as to strengthen their identity and stand out, as well as to allow consumers to successfully recall them. That’s why brand identity includes some form of a visual logo that conveys a particular message, culture, traits, and values the brand owners have.


Product and service brands

Nevertheless, we most often think of services and products when talking about brands. Why? Well, it’s because the most famous ones are centred around them. Take Coca-Cola for example, or Johnnie Walker.

Those brands are strong and able to attract a ton of interest. What’s more, consumers immediately think of their products when they hear their name. In fact, a brand called Xerox is so influential and powerful that today, people use its name to refer to any kind of photocopier machine.

We also have line brands that, as their name says, refer to a brand’s product lines. A good example of where we could find those is the computer industry. Dell has two particularly significant series: Studio and Inspiron. You might think that they are the same, but in fact, they are targeting a different audience with each.

The Studio line is meant for creative users who delve into multimedia, graphic design, and animation. Meanwhile, the Inspiron product line offers affordable computers to everyone.

We also have a good example in the beauty industry — L’Oreal Studio Line.


Brand, product, and line extensions

When talking about different kinds of extensions, most people are confused. In fact, simple products like the Diet Coke have even inspired serious debates. Is Diet Coke a product extension, or is it a brand or a line extension?

The jury’s still out on this one, but we can agree that people in Coca-Cola know what they’re doing. Furthermore, there are also range brands, like the ones that Oral B and Toyota have. Under these range brands, Oral B has released several ranges of products. Meanwhile, Toyota has the well-known car series called Lexus.


Umbrella branding

One of the most successful branding methods is umbrella branding. Its purpose is to emphasise one core value proposition across many products that are using the brand name. For example, Nivea, Virgin, and Sony. Their products lines are secured under a strong brand image, which brings about many benefits and sales.

But what about corporate brands? Building a corporate brand is yet another successful branding strategy. In fact, it’s so successful that we have tons of examples. Think Nestle, Samsung, IBM, P&G. These are all corporate brands that have a strong corporate identity, which allows them to have an advantage in certain categories.

However, all of these also have product brands that enjoy an equal amount of success. For example, Nestle has some products that have their own brands and labels. In a similar way, GE is a classic corporate brand that’s famous all over the world just because of its strong corporate identity.


And that’s not all

There are also many other brands as well. Experts say that designer labels are also brands, and so are exclusive stores and boutiques. Furthermore, we also have media brands, as well as e-brands, which are a new thing on the every changing market.

In the end, there’s a thin line that separates brand categories. Moreover, we can also sometimes categorise products by dividing them according to the category, the brand itself, and other important factors.

Related content:
Brand Management Knowhow – learn more about branding with our collection of educational articles.

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