Business brand types

The type of brand you choose can help guide your business decisions, and should be incorporated into your overall business planning. Keep in mind that different types of brands suit different products and services, and will appeal to different customers.

Brands may be concept brands, designed to support and promote an idea, or commodity brands, which are associated with a product or service.

The following are a few examples of the many types of brands.

Attitude brands

Attitude branding is based on the 'feeling', rather than the physical characteristics, of a product. The product may be promoted as making people feel free, energetic or powerful. This is commonly used for soft drinks and sportswear.

Symbolic brands

Symbolic branding is similar to attitude branding and it is often used for services, such as banks and phone companies. Symbolic branding uses the emotional aspects of a service, such as a sense of security, to attract and retain customers.

Functional brands

In some cases, the functional or physical characteristics of a product or service are more powerful than the emotional aspects. Functional branding promotes the reasons why someone should buy a product or service. These could be that it is unique or that it offers a better price or performs better than other products on the market.

Individual brands

Some businesses choose to give each of their products and services a separate brand. These can sometimes compete against each other, such as with different flavours of soft drink that are produced by the same company. Individual branding can also be used to keep different parts of a business separate, particularly if they span a number of areas, such as in a business that sells food as well as clothing.

Some companies also create new brands of the same product. They launch both products in apparent competition so that they can gain extra market share. This is usually done by large companies, and is risky if the new brand takes business away from the one that the business is built around.

Own brands

Own brands, sometimes referred to as private labels or store brands, are brands that carry the retailer's name. These are commonly used by large supermarket chains. Smaller businesses may also use their own brands – for example, a beautician may also have their own line of beauty products that they use and sell.