Eager to Pull Off the Master Brand Strategy? Here’s What You Need to Know

One strategy that many companies are flocking to? The master brand strategy. Read on to learn everything you need to know about the master brand strategy (and how to, well, master it).

You can offer the best products or services in the market. They might be the most novel, the most entertaining, or the most useful. But, if you don’t market them right, they won’t sell. Few people will want to buy because they either a) don’t know about them or b) don’t know how great they are.

You know you have to persuade consumers to jump on board. The tricky part is finding a brand strategy that’s right for your company. There are tons of brand strategies out there, some more effective than others.

One strategy that many companies are flocking to? The master brand strategy.

Master branding is a revolutionary way to sell products. It goes beyond typical marketing by fostering a deep emotional connection with your audience. The result? More loyal consumers and increased sales.

There’s no doubt that the master brand strategy is effective. But, proper implementation is important if you want to see the results you’re looking for.

Our brand agency in Brisbane is here to help.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about the master brand strategy (and how to, well, master it).

What Is the Master Brand Strategy?

On your quest to market your business, you might’ve heard the term “master brand strategy” thrown around. But what exactly does it mean?

The master brand strategy is an increasingly popular marketing approach. Essentially, it consolidates your company and emphasises your parent brand (AKA master brand). It aggressively markets your company’s name and what it stands for. As a result, consumers come to recognise and trust your brand.

With this strategy, all of your products and sub-brands are off-shoots of your parent brand. Your products have a sense of unity as they use the same logos, messaging, taglines, etc.

The idea is that consumers will be more likely to buy your products. Why? Because the products are directly associated with your reputable brand.

Branded House vs. House of Brands

Other terms you might’ve heard around are “branded house” and “house of brands.” Let’s clear up any confusion.

  • Branded house is essentially another term for master branding. It refers to when a company offers several products under its parent brand.
  • House of brands is a completely different type of marketing strategy. A house of brands is when the parent brand gets little attention, and the main focus is on the sub-brands. For instance, you’re probably familiar with Sharpie, Rubbermaid, and Irwin Tool . However, you’ve probably never heard of Newell. Newell is the parent brand to these more popular sub-brands.

As a brand agency in Brisbane, we are familiar with each of these strategies and their pros and cons. However, we will focus specifically on the master brand strategy (AKA a branded house).

The Benefits of This Brand Strategy

Throughout the history of marketing, many companies have operated master brands. Yet, they tended to keep their products separate by marketing them individually.

It wasn’t until recently that master branding became the go-to strategy. In today’s competitive environment, it seems almost necessary for companies to adopt this approach. Those who participate enjoy benefits such as:

It Makes Your Advertising More Efficient

Marketing your products separately can be very inefficient. You have to put lots of time and money into coming up with different campaigns. Additionally, a single product may not carry as much weight as a group of products.

Many companies have found that master branding makes their advertising more efficient. This strategy can heighten your products’ appeal in a way that individual campaigns may not.

It also means you can funnel your money into a single campaign. Your budget won’t be spread as thin, meaning you can maximise your brand’s reach and success.

It fosters customer loyalty in your brand

There’s nothing more important than customer loyalty.

You want your customers to trust you and keep coming back for more. More importantly, you want them to stay away from the competition.

Master branding is well-known for fostering customer loyalty. It focuses on building your company’s reputation. Customers will grow to associate your name with high-quality products and meaningful values. As a result, they won’t just be buying your products. They’ll become repeat customers and encourage their friends to jump on board.

Another perk? You will encourage your customers to stick with your brand, no matter what. For instance, let’s say your company sells a variety of soft drinks. A consumer of yours loves your regular soda. They are going on a diet and decide to cut out your regular soda. But, because they love your company, they will simply switch over to one of your low-calorie options.

It Sets Your Company Apart from the Competition

In today’s day and age, the competition is steep. You have to think of ways to outdo your competitors constantly. If you don’t, you’re bound to be left behind.

Master branding is the perfect way to set yourself apart. By building your reputation, you are showing consumers what makes you so great. Maybe it’s your unique history, emotional appeal, or commitment to high-quality products. Whatever the case may be, this strategy can make your brand seem irresistible.

It Opens the Door for New Products

Businesses looking to grow often put out new products. By doing this, they are showing consumers that they have even more to offer.

Unfortunately, putting out new products can be challenging. Consumers tend to stick to what they’re familiar with. It can take a while for them to trust a product that’s new to the scene.

Luckily, you can use your company’s reputation to your advantage. If you successfully market your brand, consumers will associate it with high-quality products. Then, when you put out something new, they won’t just be willing to try it. They’ll be eager to see what other great things you have to offer.

It Appeals to Stakeholders

We always hear that we shouldn’t do things just to please others. That being said, using a master brand strategy can make you appealing to stakeholders.

Stakeholders include distributors, suppliers, and investors. These individuals are largely responsible for your company’s success. So, of course, you’re going to want to appeal to them.

A great way to do this is through your master brand strategy. Stakeholders like to see companies that have built a reputable name for themselves. They recognise that this is a recipe for success and are willing to work with them.

You shouldn’t adopt a master brand strategy for the sole reason of appealing to stakeholders. But, know that this is one of the many perks of this approach.

The Risks

When you are creating your business’s image, you must be very careful. One wrong move can ruin your reputation and cast doubt on your products.

Knowing this, you probably want to find a foolproof marketing strategy. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. The truth is that all marketing strategies come with risk.

The important thing is to be aware of your strategy’s risks. You can mitigate problems and maximise your campaign’s success.

With this in mind, here are some key risks of the master brand strategy:

It Can Prevent You From Diversifying

When you use a master brand strategy, you are targeting a very specific demographic. Your audience needs to be interested in your company’s key values.

As a result, all of your products need to be in line with your brand. If they aren’t, your consumers will feel confused and may even lose your trust.

For example, let’s say you are a production company that puts out children’s movies. Your audience praises you for your family-friendly content. Most likely, it would be hard to switch up the genre of movies you release. Horror films or rom-com’s wouldn’t appeal to your existing audience. The out-of-pocket content might even turn away consumers entirely.

It Has a Built-In Domino Effect

As we’ve discussed, this approach directly links all of your products. This strong connection can be beneficial, but it can also be harmful.

Let’s stick with the example we mentioned above. You are a production company that specialises in children’s movies. Your most recent release is targeted at children, but your audience deems it controversial. They feel that the jokes are too inappropriate for a young audience.
Parents decide not to stream or buy it for their children. Even though the movie flops, you have tons of other successful pictures. You’re not too concerned.But you should be.

Because the controversial movie is associated with your brand, it will affect your overall reputation. Your audience might start to wonder if your other movies are also inappropriate. They’ll lose trust in your production company and turn to your competitors for entertainment.

When to Implement a Master Brand Strategy

Despite the risks, you’re intrigued by the benefits of a master brand strategy. But how do you know if it’s the right move for your company? Some indications include:

Your Company Has a Good Parent Brand

There’s nothing wrong with building up your company’s name. But, master branding will be much easier to implement if your parent brand already has a good reputation. It will give you the foundation you need to foster loyalty among your consumers.

Your Sub-Brands Have a Good Reputation

All of your products must have a good reputation. If one product doesn’t, it will affect the sales of all your other products. So, as long as your products are in good standing with your audience, you should be fine.

But, what if you have a couple of products that your consumers frown on? If this is the case and you’re set on master branding, get rid of them. Cut all ties between these bad eggs and your parent brand. As long as the association isn’t too well-known, you should be able to go forward with your strategy.

You’re Happy With Your Company’s Image

Once you paint your company in a certain light, it’s hard to undo the branding. Your company will likely have its reputation for the long-run because brand-recognition in customers has very powerful effects.

Imagine that you develop a small following of loyal shoppers that adore your products over competitors. If you decide to re-brand, you’ll confuse and potentially alienate the following you’ve created. They may decide they don’t identify with your brand anymore.

So, before master branding, ensure you are happy with your company’s image. This will help keep things consistent. It will also prevent you from launching unrelated products and confusing your customers.

You Have a Limited Budget

Not all companies have the resources to create effective campaigns for several products. It can be much more cost-efficient to focus on promoting a single brand. This way, your products will work together to promote the overall brand.

So, master branding might be the perfect way to maximise every dollar if you are working with a limited budget.

Contact Our Brand Agency in Brisbane

Not sure if master branding is right for your company? Need help implementing your strategy?

Contact our brand agency in Brisbane! We have years of experience working with companies like yours. Our experts will help you determine and implement the best strategy. With us, your brand will be one step closer to becoming a household name.

When Not to Use This Strategy

Many companies have found success with master branding. However, the strategy isn’t for everyone.

For instance, you may want to avoid it if your products don’t naturally connect. It will be hard to consolidate them under one brand. Consumers won’t be able to see your vision, making it hard for them to commit.

You may also want to avoid this strategy if some of your products are susceptible to bad press. All it takes is one product’s bad reputation to affect the whole company.

Examples of Master Branding

Now, let’s look at some examples of major companies that have successfully used master branding.


Kellogg has an interesting history. It began in 1900 under the name Sanitas Food Company and provided cornflakes to patients at Battle Creek Sanitarium. In 1922, it began to sell other kinds of cereals and changed its name to Kellogg.

When it came to marketing, Kellogg emphasised the convenience of its products. The ready-to-eat cereals were the ideal option for consumers looking for an easy breakfast.

In the late 60s and early 70s, Kellogg somewhat diversified. It used its name to sell desserts, teas, sauces, soups, etc. By the 2000s, however, Kellogg returned to its roots. Its products focused on providing convenience. Busy consumers appreciate its ready-to-eat cereals, granola bars, crackers, cookies, frozen breakfast foods, etc.

General Mills

General Mills is yet another brand that takes advantage of the master brand strategy. It is similar to Kellogg in that it sells cereals and similar products. It also sells Pillsbury, Totino’s, Yoplait, and Betty Crocker.

General Mills also has a similar marketing strategy to that of Kellogg’s. Its tagline “Making Food People Love” highlights its focus on serving families and its long-standing reputation.


Cadbury is a popular confectionary brand. Though based in England, it has found success worldwide.

To appeal to consumers, Cadbury emphasises its dedication to high-quality products. It also emphasises its sheer longevity; the company has been around since 1824! Consumers are bound to trust a company that has found success for nearly 200 years.

Cadbury is also a great example of how a master brand strategy can be risky. In 2006, there was a salmonella scare at one of the company’s plants. Even though only some products were affected, the public criticised the company as a whole.

Learn more about Cadbury’s brand journey

Making the Most of a Master Brand Strategy in Brisbane

Deciding to implement a master brand strategy in Brisbane is only the first step. Next, you must carefully design your campaign to maximise success.

Our brand agency in Brisbane is here to help. We are experts at helping companies like yours become successful brands. See below for our advice on mastering a master brand strategy.

(For advice specific to your company, contact us today! We are eager to help you craft the perfect marketing campaign.)

Have a Clear Message

Some companies make the mistake of having a message that’s too complex. They try to say, do, and promise everything. This only leaves consumers feeling confused and frustrated.

So, do yourself a favour: from the get-go, decide what your message is. It should be powerful yet simple and clear. Consumers will latch onto it and get excited about what you have to offer.

When deciding on your message, think about factors such as:

  • Your company’s values
  • How your products benefit consumers
  • What kind of personality/emotional connection you want to establish
    Remember Your Roots

As you build your campaign, be sure to take advantage of your company’s history. Emphasis how long you’ve been in business, obstacles you’ve overcome, etc. This won’t only facilitate a deeper connection. It will also remind consumers that your brand has a long-withstanding reputation and is to be trusted.

To effectively take advantage of your company’s roots, you must connect sub-brands to your overall origin story. This will show consumers that you are a united front and compel them to trust all of your products (even new and less popular ones).

Note that while it’s important to emphasise your overall origin story, you can also give your sub-brands stories. Doing so establishes the connection to your master brand while highlighting what makes each unique.

Cater to Your Audience’s Emotions

If you want your strategy to be successful, you must cater to your audience’s emotions. This will help you stand out from the competition and attract more buyers.

Companies cater to their audiences’ emotions in many ways. Some common include showing that their product:

  • Will help them express their individuality
  • Will contribute to a better, more hopeful future
  • Will bring a sense of freedom, thrill, well-being, etc.

Remain Consistent

Lastly, you’ll want to remain consistent. Stick to your initial message, and keep it clear and simple.

In addition to keeping your message consistent, you’ll want to keep your products consistent. Keep them relevant to your company’s mission. If you stray too far, you’ll confuse your consumers.

Develop Your Master Brand Strategy in Brisbane

By now, you should have a better understanding of the master brand strategy. This guide is a great reference for analysing the risks/benefits, deciding if it’s the right strategy for your company, and learning how to maximise results.

If you want expert help with your master brand strategy in Brisbane, contact us today! Our brand agency in Brisbane is ready to develop your campaign successfully.

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