The Complete Graphic Designer
Branding Basics
Types of Brands
Depending on the product, service, or target market,
there are many ways to approach the process of brand-
ing. The brands of older, larger organizations already
possess tradition and heritage, while young companies
or start-ups usually require brands fl exible enough to be
adapted for product or service extensions. Taking into
account the history, needs, and target audience of the
client will enable the designer to determine what type
of brand he is working with and thus what strategy will
be most effective:
The “Mach 3” series of men’s shaving
razors is an example of a subsid-
iary manufactured and endorsed
by Gillette. “Turbo, “G-Force, and
“Extreme” are subsidiary brands
identifi ed by different packaging
designs and colors.
Design: Wallace Church
Arcelik is a Turkish company that
manufactures and sells home
appliances in Europe and Russia.
Its monolithic identity is applied to
all of its products, retail stores, and
collateral because its established
reputation in the market promotes
recognition and credibility.
Chermayeff & Geismar Studio
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1. Monolithic Brands
Brands with a dominant, established
presence in the marketplace and
within the minds of consumers
are known as monolithic brands.
Products and services are marketed
under this brand name due to its
recognition value and customer loy-
alty. The brand name is used in con-
junction with a descriptive product
name, such as Kraft® Macaroni and
Cheese or Campbell’s® Chicken
Noodle Soup.
2. Subsidiary Brands
Subsidiary brands are those in
which there is a parent organiza-
tion with a branded subsidiary or
division. Each brand is equally im-
portant to the consumer and must
work in tandem to build a positive
brand experience. Automobiles
typically designate their products
with sub brands; for example,
BMW uses number designations
for their automobiles, such as the
“3-series” or “5-series.
Various models of automobiles use subsidiary
brands to differentiate and develop equity in
both names.
Seaboard, a pluralistic brand, is a multinational
agribusiness and ocean transportation company.
Seaboard Foods is one of the largest pork produc-
ers in the United States and encompasses two
consumer brands, Prairie Fresh and Daily’s.
Courtesy of Seaboard Foods, Inc.
3. Endorsed Brands
Endorsed brands are products or di-
visions that have their own power-
ful presence in the marketplace yet
still benefi t from being associated
with their parent organization or
brand. The Macintosh computer and
iPod each have their own market
share in the computer and consum-
er electronics categories but are still
referred to as Apple products.
4. Pluralistic Brands
Pluralistic brands are large corpora-
tions like Procter & Gamble, Tyco
International, and Mitsubishi that
are conglomerate holding compa-
nies for many established consumer
brands. When this occurs, often as
the result of a merger or acquisition,
a brand becomes pluralistic. The
parent company’s brand is transpar-
ent to the end user and unknown to
most people except investors.
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The Complete Graphic Designer
The Fossil brand takes a unique approach to
branding in that its actual logo is not applied to any
of its products’ packaging. Instead, the Fossil brand
achieves consistency and recognition through
inconsistency, relying on nostalgic imagery and
illustration to appeal to its core audience.
Design: Fossil Design Team
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