Today let’s focus on ingredient branding, an effective growth strategy under the right conditions.
Ingredient brands are well-known brands with well-known qualities that are included as a component or feature of another brand or product to enhance perceptions and the marketability of that brand or product. The ingredient brand calls out unique features or performance and is often used to increase the acceptance of a product or brand that is using a new technology identified by the ingredient brand.
Ingredient branding differs from brand licensing strategy in the following ways:
- Ingredient branding increases awareness and communicates to a wide audience the benefits that products and services can provide.
- Ingredient branding occurs when another company uses a product as an element of its own product.
- The product being included is called the “ingredient.” The product that incorporates the ingredient is called the “host.” For example, DuPont is the host of Teflon.
- Ingredient branding is largely successful because of the questions it forces on the competition. “Does this computer have an Intel Chip inside?”
The list of successful ingredient brands continues to grow; some of the most successful include; Android, Bluetooth, Bosch, Cinnabon, Dolby Digital, Downy, Heavenly Bed, Geek Squad, Gor-Tex, Hemi, Intel Inside, Kevlar, NutraSweet, OnStar, Splenda, Stainmaster, Scotchgard, Swarovski, Techron, Tetra Pak, Velcro and Vibram.
To be successful, ingredient brands must possess the following key attributes:
- The ingredient must be highly differentiated in order to add value to the overall brand
- This means the ingredient should have a separate name and logo and overall purpose because the added value comes from the extra identity
- The host brand should be well-established in the market before employing an ingredient branding strategy
- The consumer needs to first understand the host brand and then find additional value in the ingredient
- The ingredient needs to be subservient to the host brand, otherwise the message can be lost
If you are considering this strategy for your brand be sure to consider the pros and cons to ingredient branding.
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Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education