In part one of this two-part blog series, we introduced some of the most common branding categories and gave examples of how well-known companies leveraged them for success. Here we explore some additional branding categories you may recognize.
5. Geographic and Cultural Branding
Geographic and cultural branding are distinct but closely linked.
Geographic branding emphasizes a sense of place to attract people to visit or invest. Cities, regions, and countries use geographic branding to highlight the aspects that make them distinctive, such as unique points of interest, areas of scenic beauty, or a general vibe.
An example of geographic branding is the Eiffel Tower. The landmark is instantly recognizable, which is why many French or Parisian brands use it as a symbol to connect them to their geographic location.
Cultural branding builds a positive shared identity and reputation for the people living in a specific place or belonging to a nationality. It’s closely linked to geographic branding, since geography often influences culture, though not always.
A cultural brand can be tied to a location and its culture, such as New York City, or a distinctive subculture. Harley-Davidson® is a brand that relies on the subculture of bikers and a sense of community. It sells the adventure, freedom, and romance of the open road with a touch of rebellion.
Cultural branding can backfire and lead to branding mistakes, however. Though Harley-Davidson embraced the idea of freedom and power for everyone with a bike, some audiences began to associate Harley-Davidson motorcycles with outlaw gangs and middle-aged white men. In fact, this perception was so strong that Honda® marketed its bikes with the slogan, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” to contrast the negative Harley notion.
Source: Motorcycle Classics
6. Retail Branding
Most people engage with retail stores in everyday life. Retailers may sell products from multiple manufacturers or in multiple categories, so they don’t have a particular product to leverage. Because of this, retailers need to create distinct retail brands.
With a strong retail brand, the store is turned into an experience that shoppers desire. It permeates every aspect of the in-store customer experience, including the décor, lighting, displays, music, and more. Trader Joe’s®, a US-based supermarket, is a good example of a retail brand that creates an intimate feeling for shoppers.
Though each store across the country is recognizable as a Trader Joe’s, the décor and food samples offered within are tailored to the location. Each store carries unique and interesting products, as well as everyday basics and branded products, offering both quality and convenience.
The essence of co-branding is creating a brand that is greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a relationship between two brands that share a set of values to bolster their respective positions.
Co-branding is an effective way to boost brand awareness and penetrate new markets, but it has to be done well. The two brands must have an overlapping customer base, a similar brand identity, and aligned brand values, and they must be compatible.
For example, the co-branding between Taco Bell® and Doritos® was a win. Together, they created Doritos Locos Tacos, a highly successful food product and marketing campaign that resulted in over 100 million tacos sold in the first 10 weeks.
Source: Taco Bell
This co-branding worked because Taco Bell and Doritos share an audience who loves bold flavor and fast, inexpensive food. They also have similar brand personalities and use silly or edgy humor in their brand messaging.
8. Offline Branding
There’s a lot of focus on online branding, but offline branding is still relevant. Offline branding leverages more traditional marketing methods like event appearances, print ads, billboards, trade shows, and vehicle wraps to boost brand and product awareness.
The key with offline branding is keeping consistent with the online brand to build customer trust and loyalty. Chanel®, a brand notorious for refusing to sell most products online, combines offline and online strategies to maintain its successful brand image and fuel growth.
Though Chanel is active on social media, it doesn’t sell clothing or most accessories online. Instead, customers need to make an appointment with a consultant to complete a purchase in person, giving the fashion house control over the brand experience – and by extension, the audience that can represent its brand.
This brand strategy is layered. Staying offline also gives Chanel a unique angle. The runway looks and print or online ads for haute couture draw attention to the products it does sell online – namely, cosmetics.
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!