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Broad-Based Branding vs. Product/Service Focus For Content Marketers

Friday, March 8th, 2013

I read recently that Muzak had been bought and was being rebranded to fit with the new firms other properties. Does that sound like a branding mistake to you?

Obviously, this isn’t quite the same as Kleenex or a similar brand that’s name is so completely associated with its product category changing its name. As far as I know, nobody has anything bad to say about Kleenex. But “Muzak” certainly carries a certain negative connotation. So that may have factored into Mood Media’s decision to eliminate the Muzak brand and continue offering the service under the Mood brand. But do you really give up a well-known product brand so easily in favor of creating a stronger company brand? 

20-something years ago, Acura had a well-regarded car with a great name: The Legend. In 1996, they chose to rename it the Acura 3. Crazy, right? One of the greatest names in car-dom, and they’re giving it up for … 3?

Pure insanity said some. But others noted that the market would no longer be talking about “The Legend” but the “Acura whatever,” adding emphasis to the “Acura” in the branding equation. And they’ve followed suit in the years since with a series of letters and numbers: the 3.5RL, the MDX, ZDX, RDX, the TL …

If all works according to plan, the overall brand becomes more memorable than the individual product.

As you brand your products and services in your content marketing efforts, do you focus on gaining attention for the product itself or on the product as part of a broader suite of offerings? 

I don’t know that there’s a right answer – I’m pretty sure it depends on your products, your audience, and your competition – but I would love to know how you’ve addressed this issue, and if it’s even something you’ve given any thought to in your marketing.

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2 Comments to “Broad-Based Branding vs. Product/Service Focus For Content Marketers”

  1. steven wilson says:

    My opinion is to stay with the Brand and let the product follow as part of a broader suite of offerings.
    It’s a tough call that should be considered on a case by case basis.

  2. Andrew says:

    Thanks for the comment, Steven. I agree – most of the time, the company-wide brand should be the top priority, but we really encourage our clients to think very broadly about the market and their competitors, too.

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