What is a brand portfolio?

DSM Digital School of Marketing - brand portfolio

When big businesses operate under a number of different brands, services as well as companies, a brand portfolio is utilised in order to incorporate all these entities beneath one umbrella. Frequently, each of these brands has its own distinct trademarks and operates as a separate business entity.

However, for digital marketing purposes, a brand portfolio is utilised to group them all together. Brand portfolios are also made use of to lessen consumer confusion regarding who owns specific brands.  These types of portfolios are generally created as each brand has a certain boundary further than which it cannot satisfy all the needs of its different market segments.

What are the advantages of using a brand portfolio?

When companies attempt to run each of their brands totally separately from one another, confusion and inefficiency can prevail. In contrast, by utilising a brand portfolio the organisation is able to focus on the big picture. This allows resources to be better distributed to where they can do the most good so creating the most value as well as reducing needless overlap. For example, if a new brand with possibilities is left entirely to its own resources, it could be denied resources before ever having a chance to get off the ground.

Building a brand portfolio has a number of advantages. These include:

  • Getting a company into many markets
  • Connecting with various consumer markets
  • Making cross-promotion between brands easy
  • Building newer brands’ credibility by relating them to established brands

What are brand relationships within portfolios?

There are three different relationship structures which are utilised for brand portfolios:

  • One type makes use of a single brand name across the entire organisation without distinguishing any sub-brands. Examples of this include IBM, Goldman Sachs in addition to Greenpeace.
  • Another type utilises the primary brand in order to endorse sub-brands. Examples of this include Ralph Lauren which endorses Polo, Microsoft that endorses Windows and then McDonald’s which endorses the Big Mac.
  • The final type utilises a collection of brands to incorporate individual brands. Examples of this include the manner in which Pampers operates under Proctor and Gamble as well as how Viagra operates under Pfizer.

What are the elements of a brand portfolio?

As the manner in which a brand portfolio is managed has a direct effect on the growth as well as the future success of the organisation, organising the brand portfolio correctly is vital. The perfect portfolio should continuously fit with the business’ vision of its future in the marketplace.

In addition, the brand portfolio should prioritise key elements as well as markets that are crucial to it achieving what it wants. When brands do not fit in with the portfolio, they should be either altered to better conform or totally eliminated. Above everything else, the brand portfolio should continue to make acquisitions in order to fill any gaps.

There are six elements which make up a brand portfolio. None of these elements should be looked at in siloes. Rather, all existing elements should be encompassed in the corporation of the branding portfolio.

  1. Brand Portfolio – The set of all brands in a company.
  2. Product-defining Roles – The set of roles that each brand could play.
  3. Portfolio Roles – The role that the portfolio plays, in relation to the products.
  4. Brand Scope – The dimension (product categories, subcategories, and markets) of the brand portfolio.
  5. Brand Portfolio Structure – The way in which the portfolio is structured in terms of order and focus.
  6. Portfolio Graphics – The visual representation across brands and brand contexts.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

To find out more about brand portfolios – in addition to other aspects of brand portfolios – you need to do our Brand Management Course. For more information, please follow this link.

DSM Digital School of Marketing brand management course registration