What is Sub-Branding and How Can it Benefit Your Business?

– Melissa Gacek, “The Brand Girl”

Lots of brands evolve to needing a sub-brand. What is a sub-brand? A sub-brand is a division or subsidiary of an existing brand.

Creative Adrenaline develops Brand Books when we develop new branding so our clients have a guide for how to use their new branding and have a foundation for future sub-brands.

Brand books include brand architecture, variations, fonts, color, personality, and depending on the budget, they can also provide guidelines for the roll-out of various pieces, like signage, letterhead, business cards, web headers, sample ads, social campaigns, vehicle wraps, store designs, etc.

Sub-brands are created to reach a target market. This expands the relatability and reach of the original brand, it helps the brand appeal to the target market in a new way, to serve a new offering, and often to be relevant.

Examples of sub-brands you are familiar with:

Sometimes sub-brands have their own sub-brands, many auto companies demonstrate this:

In designing sub-brands, you want to consider the Brand Book, what fonts, brand architectural elements, colors, personality, etc. Brand architecture is there as a guide from which you build out your sub-brands. For example, general contractors work with architects to develop an architectural plan before they start building a home. They don’t just randomly start slapping a bunch of stuff together. Following a brand plan will help your sub-brands be more successful.

Creating a sub-brand is like building or redesigning a room in your house to fit the evolving needs of your family: a nursery becomes a toy room, the toy room becomes a teenager hangout room, the hangout room becomes the bonus office, a guest room, or a laundry room as kids grow, and family needs change. Your home stays relevant and evolves to fits the needs of the family.

Here are examples of client work where Creative Adrenaline has developed sub-brand designs to businesses and organizations help grow their product offering or build a sub-division of the business, so they can generate new revenue streams from either a new target audience or appeal in a new way to existing clients/customers.

Discover Strength, a franchised boutique-style personal training studio, has evolved several sub-brands that give them the opportunity to sell more services to their existing clients and at the same time be attractive to a new customer base. Bod Pod, Body Comp Challenge, Medx Medical Low Back Therapy

Rainbow Companies, has several business divisions, sub-brands. Treecare, Pest Experts, Lawn Care, Rainbow Scientific Advancements, and Holiday Lights. Creative Adrenaline developed a sub-brand, The Tree Geek, for their DIY eCommerce division, helping homeowners diagnose and treat their tree problems.

Dellwood Country Club needed a sub-brand developed for their new golf simulator room. “The Vault at Dellwood”.

GoodThings is a boutique retailer with an e-commerce store that wanted to grow their store offerings, thus creating brands and logo architecture for GoodStyle, GoodKids. They’ve evolved a few times, shown below 2019 and 2021.

Frassati Catholic Academy was a new brand for two merging schools. They were one of the first STREAM schools in Minnesota, so in developing their new branding, we also developed STREAM sub-branding that followed the design architect of the Frassati brand to create visual synchrony and ownership of the STREAM concept.

If you or someone you know needs help developing or rolling out their branding, (aka print, digital, web, events, brochures, retail space design), don’t hesitate, give them my name and number or have them schedule a discovery call with me. You deserve it!

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Melissa Gacek, aka The Brand Girl, CEO of Running Designs LLC (dba Creative Adrenaline) specializes in corporate identity, creative direction, graphic design, event marketing, illustration, production for print and digital. She creates and leads teams with targeted UX/UI designs, wireframes, and prototypes for web and app solutions. She brings her long-time experience in project management and business development to every project.