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A growing business needs to keep its options open to adapt to new market trends. But continually changing your house-mark, which reflects who you are (i.e. your ‘global vision’ and core values), may appear as a lack of commitment or direction in business.

Alternatively, revealing your entire business (warts and all) may not be appropriate in all situations i.e. it’s often a mistake to trade naked! You need to be able to cover up certain parts of your business, while promoting other areas to capitalise on trends and market opportunities.

Sub-brands are highly useful for segregating parts of your business or for starting experimental/alternate lines of products. Sub-brands can be fashioned to address a multitude of purposes and stakeholders, including:

  • Risk management (protecting/diversifying goodwill in expansions to new markets)
  • Asset portfolio building (growing options for selling-off, downsizing or diversifying (e.g. franchising) the business)
  • Creating a unique character for one or a line of product/services (E.g. iPod, iPhone, iMac, MacBook, etc.)
  • Targeting particular customer groups (to increase market penetration, market share and consumer satisfaction)
  • Attacking competitors, eroding their market share, asset portfolios and legal rights

They can also be more cost-efficient than a house mark, as when formulating and protecting them you can just focus on the particular market or purpose it is targeting.

how many sub-brands is too many?

Just like you can never have too many shoes, you can never have too many sub-brands! There’s no definitive reason stopping someone from amassing a wardrobe of sub-brands along with their house-brand. In fact, doing so may give you more options to repurpose brands as needed.

Repurposing can be as simple as dropping a brand that comes into legal conflict or acquires negative goodwill; or the spinning out of a sub-brand into its own house brand due to the sub-brand becoming so well known in its own right e.g. iPhone with its sub-brands iPhone 8, iPhone 9, iPhone 10, etc.

If multiple brands are planned out from the beginning, budgets and strategies can be worked out that function better with your overall business. Different brands can be rolled out in stages or combined together saving costs while maximising protection.

maybe you have some clothes lying around!

Businesses should keep track of all of their brands (both registered trade marks and common law trade marks) to ensure the value in them is captured by the business. It’s common for sub-brands not to be developed to their full capacity or used to maximum effect.

Macpherson Kelley’s intellectual property law experts are style gurus when it comes to brand wardrobes and are well placed to assist you with launching into the New Year with an appropriate brand strategy for success.

If you’d like to know more about styling your brand wardrobe and maximising its value, get in touch with our Intellectual Property team.

stay up to date with our news & insights

trading naked? invest in your brand wardrobe!

12 December 2019
mark metzeling colin hanns

A growing business needs to keep its options open to adapt to new market trends. But continually changing your house-mark, which reflects who you are (i.e. your ‘global vision’ and core values), may appear as a lack of commitment or direction in business.

Alternatively, revealing your entire business (warts and all) may not be appropriate in all situations i.e. it’s often a mistake to trade naked! You need to be able to cover up certain parts of your business, while promoting other areas to capitalise on trends and market opportunities.

Sub-brands are highly useful for segregating parts of your business or for starting experimental/alternate lines of products. Sub-brands can be fashioned to address a multitude of purposes and stakeholders, including:

  • Risk management (protecting/diversifying goodwill in expansions to new markets)
  • Asset portfolio building (growing options for selling-off, downsizing or diversifying (e.g. franchising) the business)
  • Creating a unique character for one or a line of product/services (E.g. iPod, iPhone, iMac, MacBook, etc.)
  • Targeting particular customer groups (to increase market penetration, market share and consumer satisfaction)
  • Attacking competitors, eroding their market share, asset portfolios and legal rights

They can also be more cost-efficient than a house mark, as when formulating and protecting them you can just focus on the particular market or purpose it is targeting.

how many sub-brands is too many?

Just like you can never have too many shoes, you can never have too many sub-brands! There’s no definitive reason stopping someone from amassing a wardrobe of sub-brands along with their house-brand. In fact, doing so may give you more options to repurpose brands as needed.

Repurposing can be as simple as dropping a brand that comes into legal conflict or acquires negative goodwill; or the spinning out of a sub-brand into its own house brand due to the sub-brand becoming so well known in its own right e.g. iPhone with its sub-brands iPhone 8, iPhone 9, iPhone 10, etc.

If multiple brands are planned out from the beginning, budgets and strategies can be worked out that function better with your overall business. Different brands can be rolled out in stages or combined together saving costs while maximising protection.

maybe you have some clothes lying around!

Businesses should keep track of all of their brands (both registered trade marks and common law trade marks) to ensure the value in them is captured by the business. It’s common for sub-brands not to be developed to their full capacity or used to maximum effect.

Macpherson Kelley’s intellectual property law experts are style gurus when it comes to brand wardrobes and are well placed to assist you with launching into the New Year with an appropriate brand strategy for success.

If you’d like to know more about styling your brand wardrobe and maximising its value, get in touch with our Intellectual Property team.