What is a market umbrella?
A market umbrella, or umbrella branding, is when company’s sell different types of products under the same brand name. Market umbrellas are often used by companies that already have strong brand identity and value.
How market umbrellas work
Leveraging existing brand
Rather than selecting a different brand for new products company's will often select a strong, existing brand with which to bring a product to market. Personal care product maker Axe is often cited as an example of a market umbrella, with its shampoo, deodorant, etc. all marketed under the Axe brand.
Easier to market
Rather than having to invest in developing a new brand, a market umbrella offers companies the option to simply expand existing marketing strategies to cover new products, making it easier and cheaper to bring new products to market.
A market umbrella leverages existing consumer loyalty when a new product comes to market, with a consumer market for the brand already established. However, if a product refuses to take off it can erode consumer loyalty for other products under the brand.
Why market umbrellas matter
They create efficiencies
Bringing new products to market is a costly process. Companies with established brands can save time and money by using the same logos, taglines, and other brand elements for new products. Existing marketing plans can be tweaked to account for the new products.
Market umbrellas eliminate confusion among consumers by bringing consistent imaging and messaging to products. Boosting brand value means doing so for all products that are under the market umbrella.
Market umbrellas don't prevent a company from using separate branding for new products. Companies may establish multiple market umbrellas under strong brands that offer flexibility in how its products are brought to market.