Product-line sub-branding versus company as the brand in services



Publication Details

Rahman, K. & Areni, C. S. (2010). Product-line sub-branding versus company as the brand in services. The Marketing Review, 10 (1), 57-67.


Some researchers argue that the "company is the brand" for services, emphasising the pre-eminence of corporate brand image, while others advocate developing strong sub-brands for specific service offerings. This paper presents the arguments for the "company as the brand" notion for services, and addresses these arguments in favour of suggesting that sub-brand development is desirable for many services. Firstly, cases from both industry and the literature are provided to support the sub-branding possibilities for services. Secondly it is argued that the characteristics of services - intangibility, heterogeneity, inseparability, perishability (IHIP) - all lend themselves to sub level branding in services. Finally, proponents of the "company as the brand" notion posit that consumer confusion and copycat strategies limit sub-brand development in services, but the present paper argues that this issue is not unique to services.

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