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  • Writer's pictureMikaela Bolling

Which type of brand are you?

The 5 types of brands and how they compete

Did you know there are 5 types of brands that most organizations can align with? According to Jan-Benedict Steenkamp in his book “Global Brand Strategy,” the most successful brands fall into one of these five categories that have very specific value propositions for their customers.

Similar to a Myers-Briggs (but for your company), knowing which brand type you align with allows you to better understand who your competitors are and what value you bring. As you read about the types of brands below, think about how your company fits into the mix: how do you want your brand to be viewed and how do you want to compete?

Value Brands

Value brands cater to customers who want to get the best value for the least amount of money. These brands compete solely on price and have adequate quality for the price. They usually have low customer loyalty as customers will leave you looking for the best price.

Examples of these value brands include: Kia, IKEA, or private label brands at the grocery store.

Mass Brands

Mass Brands are well-known brands that offer good quality at slightly higher prices than the market. Customers who buy these products usually care more about quality and are willing to pay a slightly higher price. This is because it reduces the “risk” of purchasing a bad product by instead purchasing a product that’s well-known.

Examples of these brands include: Toyota, Samsung, and Coca-Cola.

Premium Brands

The promise of premium brands is that it is the best quality at a premium price. A common slogan for these brands would be the best product one can buy. For business-to-business customers, many prefer premium brands. This is because they are buying the best which reduces the risk of a product or service not working.

Examples of these brands include: BMW, Bose, and Emirates.

Prestige Brands

Prestige brands are similar to premium brands but function on scarcity to drive their prices higher. These brands may not provide higher quality than premium brands, but design them to provide unique emotional benefits like status.

Examples of these brands include: Ferrari, Coco Chanel, or even McKinsley.

Fun Brands

Fun brands are all about lifestyle. They base their brands on providing constantly changing, fun and stimulating products and experiences. Fun brands usually have a low price point and target youth.

Examples of these brands include: Disney, H&M, and Nintendo.

So, which brand are you?

By determining your brand type, you are able to better understand your customer value proposition. It also allows you to better define who your competitors are and then ensure your services are differentiated—all in service of reaching your intended, intentional audience.

Need help determining your brand type and image? We help companies turn their vision into a brand that resonates and reaches further. Learn more.


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