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The 8 Most Common Branding Categories – Part 1

Brand Categories 1

Thanks to strong branding, about 94% of the world’s population recognizes the iconic red and white Coca-Cola® logo.

Source: Coca-Cola

Without a clear branding strategy, a company doesn’t have a focus or direction to shape its growth or future. Branding is more than a nice logo and catchy tagline like Disney’s® “Happiest Place on Earth.”

A brand encompasses everything that creates a visual identity and messaging, which feed the emotion and experience customers come to associate with the brand. And that happens with a proper brand development process, whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to relaunch your brand.

There are several common branding categories, which are appropriate for different kinds of businesses. In this two-part blog, we’ll look at the most common types of branding with examples of how well-known companies leveraged them to strategize for success.

1. Product Branding

Product branding is the most common type of branding. It focuses on creating recognition and distinction around a specific product using images, designs, and colors.

Creating an effective product brand starts with understanding the customer, their pain points, and the competitive landscape for the product category. From there, you can combine design, experience, and messaging to give the product a unique identity and attract customers.

One of the strongest examples of a product brand is Apple®. The products are immediately recognizable, not just in the logo but the product design itself and its packaging. Everything about Apple says “sleek” and “innovative,” reinforcing the core values of the brand.

Source: Apple

The advantage of successful product branding is that people not only recognize the product among competitors, but the product becomes a symbolic representation for the category. This happened with the iPhone® for smartphones, Coca-Cola® for soft drinks, and Hershey’s® for chocolate.

2. Corporate Branding

Brand reputation is a big factor in the success of a business. It encompasses all that a company does, including the product it sells, its target audience, how it treats employees, how products are priced, and the brand name.

An effective corporate brand seeks to display the mission, personality, and core values through each interaction with current and potential customers.

Nike® is an excellent example of corporate branding. The core values and mission are immediately recognizable across all products and platforms. The company’s mission statement, “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world,” is further reinforced with the famous swoosh logo and slogan, “Just Do It.”

Source: NPR

It’s a brand for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, whether they’re the winningest pro athletes in the world or an average person with a new gym membership. The message is that everyone has an athlete in them.

3. Service Branding

Service branding focuses on a company’s efforts to provide world-class service to customers, rather than a specific product. The service is defined by the customer experience they provide, whether that’s in a store, an in-person meeting, or a customer service phone call.

In some ways, service branding is more challenging than product branding because it’s branding something that isn’t visible and doesn’t provide immediate results. This requires a long-term strategy to generate a feeling of trust in the minds of the target customers, even if the outcome isn’t immediately obvious.

Amazon®, a name that’s practically synonymous with online retail, is an excellent example of a service brand. Though it offers retail products, Amazon is not a retail company but a services business – with Fulfillment by Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Amazon Prime, Amazon Kindle Store, Amazon Music Unlimited, and many more.

Amazon develops services for itself and then expands to the market. It uses its own cloud computing infrastructure, warehouses, fulfillment, advertising supply, and payments processing software, creating a built-in demand for its products.

4. Personal Branding

Personal branding is for an individual instead of a company. It is used to establish a person’s character, personality, or work as a brand. The concept of personal branding is associated with public figures like politicians, movie stars, athletes, and influencers.

An obvious example of someone with a personal brand is Elon Musk – a brand that has both benefited and harmed his businesses: Tesla®, SpaceX®, and Twitter®. Though he may be polarizing, millions of fans follow him and view him as an expert, creating automated support for future business ventures.

Source: Twitter

Another example is Richard Branson, a public figure with a strong personal brand that exudes fun, adventure, philanthropy, and disruption. He’s known all over the world, and his own personal brand has impacted his companies under the Virgin® brand.

Source: Twitter

Strategize For Success

When you shape your brand, you can nurture strong relationships with your customers, differentiate your products and services, manage your reputation, and boost your revenue. Whether you’re building a brand from the ground up or relaunching your brand, Rocket Launch is a world-class branding agency that can help you create your brand development strategy based on your business category and needs. Contact us today to learn about our branding services!

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