What is Mixed Branding?

In today’s competitive market, branding is crucial for businesses to stand out and create a unique identity. One of the lesser-known yet highly effective strategies in the branding arsenal is mixed branding. This approach, which involves using multiple brand names for different products under one company, can significantly impact a company’s market reach and consumer perception. This blog will delve into what is mixed branding? Its benefits, challenges, and examples of companies successfully implementing this strategy.

What is Mixed Branding? What are its Types?

Mixed Branding

Mixed branding, also known as a hybrid branding strategy, is when a company markets its products under different brand names instead of a single corporate brand. This strategy allows businesses to cater to diverse market segments and consumer preferences without diluting the core brand’s identity.

Here are the different types of mixed branding:

Corporate Branding and Sub-branding

  • Corporate Branding: Using the company’s name as the leading brand across all products (e.g., Samsung, Apple).
  • Sub-branding: Sub-brands under the leading brand to target different market segments (e.g., Toyota with Lexus).

Endorsed Brands

  • The leading brand endorses a sub-brand, which helps build trust and recognition while allowing the sub-brand to maintain its identity (e.g., Marriott endorsing Courtyard by Marriott).

House of Brands

  • Each product or product line has its distinct brand, often with little or no connection to the parent company (e.g., Procter & Gamble with brands like Tide, Gillette, and Pampers).

Co-branding and Private Label Branding

  • Co-branding: Two or more brands collaborate on a single product to leverage each brand’s strengths (e.g., Nike and Apple co-branding for the Nike+ product line).
  • Private Label Branding: Retailers create their own brands to compete with major brands, often positioned as lower-cost alternatives (e.g., Walmart’s Great Value brand).

Ingredient Branding

  • One brand uses another component within its product, prominently featuring the component brand (e.g., Intel Inside for computers).

Joint Venture Branding

  • Two or more companies form a joint venture and create a new brand for a specific product or service (e.g., Sony Ericsson in the mobile phone market).

Family Branding

  • This is similar to corporate branding but focuses on a group of related products under one brand name, often within the same product category (e.g., Kellogg’s cereals).

Multiple Branding

  • A single company markets multiple products under different brand names to capture a larger market share without directly competing with its own products (e.g., Unilever with brands like Dove, Axe, and Lifebuoy)

What Are The Benefits of Mixed Branding?

  1. Market Segmentation: Mixed branding allows companies to effectively segment their market. Businesses can more accurately address specific consumer needs and preferences by offering brands catering to distinct demographics, psychographics, or geographic areas.
  2. Risk Management: A company can spread its risk by having multiple brands. If one brand underperforms, it doesn’t necessarily affect the company’s overall performance. This diversification can safeguard the company against market fluctuations and changing consumer trends.
  3. Brand Loyalty and Reach: Different brands can build loyalty within customer segments. This expands the company’s reach and fosters strong connections with various consumer groups, enhancing overall brand loyalty and retention.
  4. Innovation and Flexibility: Mixed branding allows companies to experiment with different products, services, and marketing approaches without risking the parent brand’s reputation. Companies can innovate and adapt to market changes more swiftly.

What Are The Challenges of Mixed Branding?

  1. Resource Intensive: Managing multiple brands requires substantial resources, including marketing budgets, management teams, and operational support. This can be challenging, especially for smaller companies with limited resources.
  2. Brand Cannibalization: There’s a risk that the brands within the same company might compete against each other, leading to cannibalisation. This occurs when one brand’s sales eat into another’s, reducing profitability.
  3. Complex Brand Management: Ensuring consistent messaging, quality, and customer experience across multiple brands can be complex. It requires meticulous planning and coordination to maintain each brand’s distinct identity while aligning with the company’s overall vision.
  4. Market Confusion: Mixed branding can confuse the market if not appropriately managed. Consumers might find it difficult to distinguish between brands, especially if the differentiation isn’t straightforward and compelling.

What Are The Best Practices For Implementing Mixed Branding?

For companies considering a mixed branding strategy, here are some best practices to ensure successful implementation:

  1. Clear Differentiation: Ensure each brand has a distinct identity and value proposition. This differentiation should be based on thorough market research and consumer insights.
  2. Consistent Quality: Maintain high-quality standards across all brands. Consumers should associate each brand with reliability and trust, regardless of its target market segment.
  3. Strategic Positioning: Position each brand strategically to avoid direct competition within the same company. Each brand should cater to specific consumer needs and preferences, minimising the risk of cannibalisation.
  4. Effective Communication: Develop effective communication strategies for each brand. Tailor marketing messages to resonate with each brand’s target audience while aligning with the company vision.
  5. Resource Allocation: Allocate resources efficiently to support each brand’s marketing, management, and operational needs. This includes investing in brand-specific research, development, and promotional activities.
  6. Continuous Monitoring: Regularly monitor each brand’s performance. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track brand health, market share, and consumer perception. Adjust strategies based on data-driven insights to optimise brand performance.

Successful Mixed Branding Examples

Mixed Branding Examples

Several companies have effectively implemented mixed branding strategies, creating diverse brand portfolios that cater to different market segments. Here are a few notable examples:

Procter & Gamble (P&G)

Procter & Gamble is a prime example of a house of brands. The company owns a vast portfolio of brands, including Tide, Pampers, Gillette, and Pantene, each targeting different market segments and needs. P&G’s mixed branding strategy allows it to dominate various product categories while maintaining distinct brand identities.


Unilever, like P&G, operates a house of brands strategy with a diverse range of products under different brand names. Brands like Dove, Axe, Lipton, and Ben & Jerry’s cater to different consumer preferences and demographics. This approach enables Unilever to capture a broad market share across multiple categories.

Marriott International

Marriott International uses an endorsed brand strategy. The company’s portfolio includes brands like JW Marriott, Courtyard by Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton, each offering unique experiences and targeting different customer segments. The endorsement by Marriott lends credibility to the sub-brands while allowing them to maintain distinct identities.

Toyota and Lexus

Toyota employs a mixed branding strategy by marketing vehicles under the Toyota and Lexus brands. Toyota vehicles cater to the mass market, focusing on reliability and affordability, while Lexus targets the luxury segment with high-end, premium vehicles. This strategy allows Toyota to address different market needs without diluting its core brand values.


Mixed branding is a powerful strategy that allows companies to diversify their market presence and cater to a broad range of consumer needs. While it comes with challenges, the benefits of market segmentation, risk management, and enhanced brand loyalty make it a worthwhile consideration for many businesses. By understanding the nuances of mixed branding and implementing best practices, companies can create a robust brand portfolio that drives growth and long-term success.

Whether you are a small business looking to expand your brand presence or a large corporation aiming to diversify your market reach, mixed branding offers a flexible and practical approach to achieving your goals. Embrace the power of mixed branding to watch your business thrive in today’s dynamic market landscape.

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