Brand development

Brand development is one of the crucial steps taken by a company. You would often ask a friend, "What is your favorite brand?" and not "What is your favorite company?". When we say "brand", we often refer to the company. A brand is merely a facet of the company that people easily recognize to distinguish it from other companies in the market. But to be distinguishable and recognizable by people, the company has to follow certain steps. This is known as brand development.

Brand development Brand development

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Table of contents

    Brand Development Definition

    Brand development is a continuous process followed by brands. It helps brands maintain their consistency in terms of quality, reputation, and value, among other facets of the brand. Therefore, brand development can be defined as follows:

    Brand development is a process practiced by brands to maintain their quality, reputation, and value among customers.

    The brand is what a customer perceives about the organization or company. Therefore, the company must follow the right steps toward brand development to prevent negative customer perceptions.

    Brand Development Process

    A brand development strategy is a long-term plan devised by companies to be desirable and identifiable by customers. A brand development strategy should ideally include the brand's promise, its identity, and its mission. Marketers must align brand strategy with the business's overall mission.

    Marketers must consider the overall business strategy and vision to develop a successful brand strategy. This will form the basis for developing a brand strategy. They then have to identify the target customers. Once they have identified them, marketers conduct research to understand more about their target customers, what they want, and what the brand must do to become identifiable and recognizable among them. This process helps reduce the risks of taking faulty marketing steps.

    As the next step, marketers can determine the brand positioning, which relates to how the brand is positioned and portrayed relative to its competitors in the market. The following step involves developing a messaging strategy to help create messages that communicate different aspects of the brand to attract various target segments. Finally, marketers must assess if a change in name, logo, or tagline is needed to capture the audience's attention more effectively.

    Building brand awareness is also essential, alongside building the brand's reputation. With the world turning digital, websites play a crucial role in brand development. People visit the company website to try and understand the brand a bit better. Websites can narrate the company's origin story and make it look attractive. Companies can inform their customers and potential clients about their key offerings and additional services. The final step includes implementing and monitoring the strategy in case changes are needed.

    Brand Development Strategy

    A company can follow one of the four branding strategies when trying to develop its branding. The four brand development strategies are:

    • line extension,

    • brand extension,

    • multi-brands, and

    • new brands.

    To understand them, take a look at the matrix below:

    Brand development Strategies StudySmarterFigure 1: Branding Strategies, StudySmarter Originals

    Brand strategies are based on existing and new product categories and existing and new brand names.

    Brand Development: Line Extension

    An existing product extended to new varieties - new color, size, flavor, shape, form, or ingredient- is known as a line extension. This offers customers more options to choose from their favorite or familiar brand. This option allows the brand to introduce new variations of existing products with lower risk. However, if the brand introduces too many line extensions, it may confuse customers.

    Diet Coke and Coke Zero are line extensions of the original Coca-Cola soft drink.

    Brand Development: Brand Extension

    When an existing brand introduces new products under the same brand name, it is known as brand extension. This is when a brand branches out and serves its customers with a new line of products. When a brand has an existing loyal customer base, it makes it easier to introduce new products, as it is easier for customers to trust new products from a brand they already trust.

    Apple introduced MP3 players after the success of Apple PCs.

    Brand Development: Multi-brands

    Multi-branding helps brands reach different customer segments with the same product category but different brand names. Different brands appeal to different market segments. By highlighting the distinct features of existing products through new brand names, brands can target various customer segments.

    Coca-Cola offers a variety of soft drinks, in addition to its original Coca-Cola soft drink, like Fanta, Sprite, and Dr. Pepper.

    Brand Development: New Brands

    Companies introduce a new brand when they think they need a fresh start in the market to gain customer attention. They can present a new brand while maintaining the existing brand. The new brand may cater to an underexplored set of consumers with new products that satisfy their needs.

    Lexus is a luxury car brand created by Toyota to cater to luxury car consumers.

    Importance of Brand Development

    Many motivations prove the importance of brand development - increasing brand awareness is the first and most important one. Creating a brand that can successfully stand out from the competitors' can better help capture the target group's attention.

    Branding also helps in building trust among customers. Brands can gain customer confidence by fulfilling their brand promises. Fulfilling brand promises leads to brand loyalty. Customers stay loyal to brands they trust. Brands must be able to exceed customers' expectations with their branding to ensure a growing loyal customer base.

    Building trust and loyalty also means that the customers now have expectations of what to expect when they spend money on the brand. In other words, branding sets expectations. The expectations depend on how marketers present and value the brand in the market. Through branding, organizations must convey that their brand is the best in the market or exhibit why the brand is valuable to its users.

    Branding is also crucial for determining the company culture. The brand must reflect what it stands for to its customers and employees.

    Brand Development Examples

    Now, let's take a look at some brand development examples. As you may have understood, brand development is based on the company's values, mission, identity, promises, and taglines. To develop its branding, marketers must make changes or additions to these facets of the company.

    Brand Development: Company Values

    Companies showcase their company values on platforms - such as websites for customers - in hopes of helping the customers or potential customers learn more about the brand and understand its relevance and uniqueness. Different parties may be interested in various aspects of the business.

    Let's take a look at JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s website. The company displays its values on its website under the 'Business Principles' page. The company's four values - client service, operational excellence, integrity, fairness and responsibility, and winning culture - are explained in detail. The viewer can choose and read the values that matter to them in detail.

    Brand Development: Company Mission

    The company's mission informs customers about why the company exists. It attracts customers by helping them understand the company's goals and methodology.

    Nike displays its brand values on its website for customers to learn more about the brand and its workings. Interested parties can read about the brand under 'About Nike' at the bottom of the website. Nike's mission is to "Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world (if you have a body, you are an athlete)".1 This shows that the company aims to inspire and innovate in every way possible.

    Brand Development: Company Identity

    Company identities are the visual aids companies use to help their target segment distinguish it from competitors. This also plays a crucial role in creating an impact of the brand in people's minds. These include the images, colors, logos, and other visual aids companies use.

    Apple has been very successful in maintaining its brand identity. The website uses fun and creative images to attract website visitors. The pictures and details are simple and do not confuse customers. It sparks interest in people and makes them almost want to adopt a different lifestyle, which they believe they will achieve if they buy an Apple product.

    Brand Development: Company Promises

    A significant factor in brand development is delivering what the brand promised to the customer. This will lead to trust and loyalty toward the company.

    Disney promises to impart "happiness through magical experiences"2, and they never fail to deliver on this promise. Hundreds of people visit Disney Parks every day to enjoy themselves with their family and friends - to gain happiness through Disney's magical rides and other facilities. The reason people return to Disney is that they fulfill their promise.

    Brand Development: Company Taglines

    Company taglines are short and catchy phrases that deliver the essence of a company. Successful taglines are memorable and easily recognized by people.

    Nike - "Just do it".

    McDonald's - "I'm loving it".

    Apple - "Think different".

    You could now take a look at one of your favorite companies and try to analyze how they have developed their brands over the years. This will help you understand this topic and the company better.

    Brand development - Key takeaways

    • Brand development is a process practiced by brands to maintain their quality, reputation, and value among customers.
    • Brand development strategies include:
      • line extension,
      • brand extension,
      • multi-brands, and
      • new brands.
    • The importance of brand development is as follows:
      • increase brand awareness,
      • build trust,
      • build brand loyalty,
      • build brand value,
      • set expectations, and
      • determine company culture.


    1. UKB Marketing Blog. How to Discover Your Brand's Core Values. 2021.
    Frequently Asked Questions about Brand development

    What is brand development?

    Brand development is a process practiced by brands to maintain their quality, reputation, and value among customers.

    What are the 4 brand development strategies? 

    Brand development strategies include: 

    • line extension, 
    • brand extension,
    • multi-brands, and
    • new brands.

    What are the 7 steps in brand development process? 

    First, marketers must consider the overall business strategy and vision to develop a successful brand strategy. Then they identify the target customers and collect information about them. 

    The 7 steps in the brand development process involve:

    1. Consider overall business strategy and vision.

    2. Identify target customers

    3. Research about the customers.

    4. Determine brand positioning.

    5. Develop a messaging strategy

    6. Assess if a change in name, logo or tagline is needed.

    7. Build brand awareness.

    How to calculate brand development index? 

    Brand Development Index (BDI) = (% of a brand's total sales in a market / % of the total population of the market) * 100

    What does a brand strategy include? 

    A brand strategy includes consistency, purpose, loyalty, and emotion.

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    Considering the whole business strategy is important for developing a brand.

    Changing the name or logo of a brand is not part of brand development.

    If the brand name remains the same, but the product category is new, this strategy is called ________.

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