Dynamic Branding: What’s in a Name?

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Every so often, under the guise of “keeping things fresh,” companies decide to commit marketing suicide by switching brands.  When examining the reality of why companies want to change their brand, it results in one of three answers:

  • Not modern or sophisticated enough to draw the right audience
  • Not representative of the products or services offered
  • Not recognizable enough in the marketplace

In each case, the answer is not changing the brand.  In fact, quite the opposite; the real answer is dynamic branding.  Dynamic branding is the process in which companies build structures or layers of branding build around one recognizable brand.  Dynamic branding places one brand at the center of your product or services structure.  Then, like lines weaved into a spider’s web, the products or services are branded around the initial brand.

Although many companies struggle with the idea of dynamic branding, it is the most common successful form of branding on the market.  Consider these market case studies to illustrate the layout of a dynamic branding structure:

  • Pepsi—in full ownership or partnership
    • Pepsi and Diet Pepsi (center of dynamic brand)
      • Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Aquafina, Mug Root beer, Lipton Ice Tea (partnership), Starbucks Iced Coffee (partnership), SoBe Life Water, Tropicana
    • Frito-Lay (also a PepsiCo Company)
      • Frito-Lay (center of dynamic brand)
        • Lay’s Potato Chips, Ruffles, Doritos, Tostitos, Fritos, Cheetos, Cracker Jack Popcorn
    • Progressive Insurance (dynamic brand)
      • Car and Trucks, Motorcycles, Home, Renters, Semis and Big Rigs, Extreme Sports Vehicles, Boats, RVs, Condos, Life, and Health

    In each case, there is a dynamic brand at the center of the web. The product / service construction reaches out to satisfy a niche market, address the needs of an identified audience, and provide recognition in the marketplace for their high level brand.  After all, if you pick up a bag of Cheetos, you will surely recognize the cheesy cheetah on the front.

    However, no matter which Frito-lay product you pick up at the chip aisle of your local grocery, you will find the Frito-Lay logo prominently displayed. It’s displayed on every bag, across market audiences ranging from children (Cracker Jack) to teens (Cheetos) and market segmentations such as dinner / snack food markets (Fritos, Lays, Ruffles, Doritos).

    Dynamic branding works on the theory that setting up a marketing foundation which distributes your brand on every product or service categorized by sub-levels according to market segmentation or audience.  By going back to the original discussion points, it is easy to see that a dynamic brand never addresses the audience or represents the products because it is not meant to handle those functions of marketing.  Those functions are handled at the lower level of product marketing.

    A dynamic brand is created to stand the test of time by sustaining recognition in the marketplace, in a high level manner, that does not change according to the products or services offered beneath the umbrella.  In truth, could Allstate have predicted the need for Identity Theft Protection when it started?  Probably not.  And, it did not need to because that is their dynamic brand.  Anything good or service they offer under that brand can fluctuate according to the will of the market.

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Dynamic Branding: What’s in a Name?