Four Banding Alternatives
A Branding Strategy Based upon Brand Franchise Extension (Tauber 1981)
A marcoms tool that a marketer can employ for branding decision-making is the Four Banding Alternatives (Tauber 1981). Four Branding Alternatives is a strategic marketing communications technique.
It is a fun and creative approach that can add value to any class that likes to discuss brands and how they could be innovatively developed. It is used when an organization considers adding a product to its portfolio and its associated brand name. The two variables for this matrix are Product Category (Existing or New) and Band Category (Existing or New).
- New Product - a new product is developed with a series of new brand ideas and meanings to the consumer.
- Flanker Brand - a new brand is introduced into a category where the organization already has established products.
- Line Extension - a current brand name is introduced into a category where the organization already has established products.
- Franchise Extension - a familiar brand is taken to a product category where it is unknown.
Here's an example. Firstly let's recall that Four Branding Alternatives is a strategic tool, so you need to base it upon a very large organisation which is likely to own a number of brands.
Examples would include car manufacturers, large IT companies, and conglomerates. You get the idea.
An example for the Japanese company, Sony Inc is as follows:
- New Product - Sony enters the market for music downloads under a new sub-branding idea and concept.
- Flanker Brand - Sony introduces the Sony Vaio laptops (as it indeed has).
- Line Extension - Sony enter the market for digital HD TV's (as it has).
- Franchise Extension - Sony enters the market for innovative environmentally friendly small cars that run on solar power.
Edward M. Tauber, 'Brand Franchise Extension: New Product Benefits from Existing Brand Names,' Business Horizons, vol. 24 (March-April 1981), p37.