Success­fully launching a sub brand can be a challenge for marketers, but it’s not that different from launching a new brand.

Millward Brown’s global adver­tising database includes a vast amount of data about brand launches that we can apply to campaign strategies for sub brand launches. We’ve put together some success stories, and a few examples of unsuc­cessful launches, along with charts to illus­trate how to effec­tively launch a sub brand. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid some potential pitfalls.

  1. A SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH OF A SUB BRAND CAN HELP BOOST THE PARENT BRAND AS WELL.
    The successful launch of a sub brand for a leading spirits brand also grew overall sales of the parent brand.
  2. THINK OF A SUB BRAND LAUNCH AS YOU WOULD A NEW PRODUCT LAUNCH.
    The target audience needs to under­stand why the sub brand exists for a launch to succeed. People must see what makes the sub brand meaning­fully different from the parent brand.
  3. BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT USING CUES FROM THE PARENT BRAND’S ADVER­TISING. THIS CAN CONFUSE VIEWERS.
    We observed both success and failure when using familiar cues from parent brand adver­tising. Don’t assume that people will recognize the ad is for a sub brand.
  4. MAKE SURE THE SUB BRAND IS CLEARLY DIFFERENT FROM THE PARENT BRAND.
    Ensure the sub brand is the dominant focus of the launch ads. Show it in a different context, used on different occasions or highlight diffe­rences in packaging or design.
  5. USING A TAG-ON CAN BE AN INEXPENSIVE WAY TO LAUNCH A SUB BRAND, BUT IT CAN ALSO BE RISKY.
    Tag-ons are often ignored or forgotten. If using this approach, pair with a new execution and make the tag-on simple and self-explanatory.

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