Technology innovation is prompting global carmakers to take a fresh look their brand architectures–and a more disciplined approach to sub-brand naming.
From high-performance models and electric vehicles to digital mobility services–today’s automotive brands are adding an ever-growing ecosystem of sub-brands to their existing master brands. They work together to provide customers with a dizzying array of choices and options. Yet these new sub-brand innovations to not exist in a vacuum. They must work well within an established master brand ecosystem that has been built up over many decades. A strong sub-brand strategy can reinforce that brand investment. A random, unstructured approach, on the other hand, can quickly create a dense, confusing jungle of acronyms, descriptors, and extensions–something that is difficult if not impossible for consumers to navigate.
Why it’s important
Implementing an intelligent sub-brand system allows you to speak to new consumer segments with a unique value proposition while keeping your larger brand family in tact. More than a product, sub-brands communicate an overarching concept and mindset. This helps consumers unify and navigate car brands’ constantly expanding set of innovative products and services–from high-performance models and customized mobility to digital after sales services and mobility services.
What to do about it
By implementing a strong, overarching brand architecture rules, carmakers across all market segments can use sub-brands as a powerful tool in their marketing arsenal.
- Create clarity. The sub-brand name should offer customers a clear value proposition and concept that draws them to new innovation.
- Tell a compelling brand narrative. A strong sub-brand name can add richness and depth to the master brand narrative. That, in turn, invites customers to develop a deeper, emotional attachment to specific products within the brand family.
- Showcase innovation. A strong sub-brand name and strategy lets you bundle specific offers, products, and services under a single new roof.
- Expand your brand’s footprint. Well-thought-out sub-brands create their own unique expression while continuing to support the master brand. By getting the distance-closeness mix right, a good sub-brand can create powerful synergies across the entire product portfolio.