Endorsed Brand Examples: What is it?

Did you know a brand can have multiple brands under it? We often think of brands as one entity entirely, standing alone. In reality, however, that’s not the case.

There’s this thing called brand architecture. Under brand architecture, there are typically three ways of classifying a brand. First is a branded house, followed by endorsed and a house of brands. Each of these has different structures and operates in different ways.

Endorsed brands are a type of architecture we see quite often as it is very practical. That is not to say that a branded house and a house of brands aren’t useful. It just means that every architecture brings something different to the table.


Endorsed Brand


What on Earth is an “Endorsed Brand”?

What is endorsed brand?


Hearing about it the first time may be confusing because it may sound like nothing makes sense. Hang in there; we’ll take it one thing at a time.

Every organization needs to have structure. Without structure, there would be havoc. When it comes to brands, without proper structure in place, the company would struggle with brand identity and brand positioning. These components are very important when it comes to branding.

If brands are unclear about their structure and do not position themselves well, it will be hard for them to gain and keep customers. An endorsed brand is a method to structure brands that exist within an organisation. The organisations in question here are usually big corporations.

An endorsed brand is when there is a master brand; under the master brand, there are several brands. That means the master brand would “own” the brands under it. The brands under the master brand are an extension of the master brand.

The brand extensions can be directly associated with the master brand or may not be too. This depends on the context. The brand extensions typically have their own identities, independent brand strategy, and their target market.

Wherever necessary, the brand extensions can use the master brand’s reputation or perhaps the resources to leverage the brand. Otherwise, they are separate and operate as a standalone brand.

Endorsed brand architecture is in the middle of the branded house and the house of the brand’s architecture. To make sense of how this works further, you need to first understand what brand architecture is.

What is Brand Architecture?

What is brand architecture?


Brand architecture is how the brand extensions of a master brand are arranged in an organisation. It is a systematic approach to structure the brands, sub-brands, products and services that exist under the master brand. 

Having a proper brand structure will give your customers clarity about yourself as an entity and what brands are associated with you. Establishing your brand architecture would make it easier for your customers to tell which brands are affiliated with you.

A brand architecture framework helps define a company’s depth and breadth. With this, it would be much easier to develop marketing campaigns, identify target markets and understand consumer behaviour.

However, brand architecture may not always be obvious to customers. They may be aware of the existence of a master brand and brands affiliated with it but may not understand what it means. For example, people may know that Nestle as a master brand owns multiple brands such as Milo, Nescafe, Maggi, and Starbucks but may not understand what this affiliation may mean.

At the core of it, for master brands, brand architecture helps with acquisitions and ownership. For consumers, it gives context and detail to who is associated with whom.

Types of Brand Architecture

As mentioned, there are three most common brand architectures; branded house, endorsed brands, and house of brands. It can be hard to identify the difference between each of these architectures, so let us break it down and explain them to you.

  1. Branded House

The branded house architecture is the most straightforward and easy-to-understand architecture of the three. This architecture has one master brand and several sub-brands under it.

Basically, it is just one brand. Whatever sub-divisions or domains the brand wants to discover are created by the brand itself. The sub-brands come from the main brand. Sub-brands from the main brand are usually explored vertically.

That usually means the niche or domain in which the range of the products is the same. It is the products and functionalities that may differ.

  1. Endorsed Brand

Another way companies organize their brands is through the endorsed brand model. In this setup, there’s a main brand (the master brand) and several sub-brands that benefit from being associated with it. Each sub-brand gains strength because they’re all linked to the main brand. Usually, sub-brands use the master brand’s logo and colors. This helps them tap into the main brand’s reputation, boosting their brand value, recognition, and reliability.

The endorsed model works well for companies looking for a mix of approaches. It allows each sub-brand to have its own identity while staying connected to the main brand. Unlike the house of brands method, the endorsed model clarifies which brand is behind the products or services. Unlike the branded house approach, sub-brands under the endorsed model can have unique looks or styles.

  1. House of Brands

In a house of brands set up, the main brand takes a back seat so that the focus can be on the sub-brands. This means the sub-brands stand out independently without being overshadowed by the main brand’s message or look. It’s like giving each brand its spotlight. However, it complicates things because each brand has its own audience, style, marketing plan, and value.

Big companies with many established brands usually use this setup because they can handle the complexity.

Pros and Cons of Each Architecture Type

Brand architecture type


When it comes to structuring brands, companies have several options, each with advantages and drawbacks. Brand architecture plays a crucial role in defining how different brands within a company are organized and related.

By understanding the unique characteristics of each architecture, companies can make informed decisions about how to effectively manage their brand portfolios and maximize their impact in the marketplace.

  1. Branded House

The branded house architecture is characterized by one master brand with several sub-brands falling under it. Here are the pros and cons:


Pros Explanation
Strong Brand Identity Having one master brand creates a cohesive identity, making it easier for consumers to recognize and trust it.
Clear Brand Message The messaging and positioning remain consistent and clear, with all sub-brands falling under one brand.
Cost – Efficient Consolidating under one brand can save costs on marketing and branding efforts.


Cons Explanation
Limited Brand Flexibility Sub-brands are constrained by the main brand’s identity, limiting their ability to differentiate and target niche markets.
Risk of Damage to Brand Negative publicity or failure of one sub-brand can impact the overall reputation of the entire brand ecosystem.
Lack of Individuality Sub-brands may struggle to establish their own unique identity and connection with consumers.
  1. Endorsed Brand

In the endorsed brand model, there is a main brand (the master brand) and several sub-brands that benefit from its association. Here are the pros and cons:


Pros Explanation
Leveraging Brand Reputation Sub-brands benefit from the credibility and trust associated with the main brand, enhancing their brand equity.
Flexibility in Branding Each sub-brand can have its distinct identity and messaging while still being linked to the trusted main brand.
Clear Brand Hierarchy Consumers know the main brand behind the products or services, providing transparency and clarity in the brand ecosystem.


Cons Explanation
Potential for Brand Dilution Overusing the main brand’s endorsement can dilute its value and weaken the distinctiveness of individual sub-brands.
Complex Brand Management Managing multiple sub-brands with unique identities and strategies can be challenging and require significant resources.
Risk of Negative Association Negative publicity or failures of one sub-brand may tarnish the reputation of the main brand and other sub-brands.
  1. House of Brands


Pros Explanation
Maximum Brand Differentiation Each sub-brand has the freedom to establish its own unique identity, allowing for precise targeting and market segmentation.
Reduced Risk of Brand Contamination Failures or controversies of one sub-brand are less likely to impact the overall reputation of other sub-brands or the main brand.
Targeted Branding Strategies Sub-brands can tailor their messaging, imagery, and products to specific audiences without being constrained by the main brand.


Cons Explanation
High Brand Management Costs Managing multiple independent brands requires significant resources and expertise in branding, marketing, and operational management.
Fragmented Brand Equity Each sub-brand builds its reputation and equity, potentially diluting the overall strength and recognition of the main brand.
Limited Synergies Opportunities for cross-promotion or shared resources between sub-brands may be limited, reducing potential economies of scale.

Endorsed Brand Model

The endorsed brands model is a solid choice for businesses with different products or services, each with its brand vibe but still connected to the parent brand. It’s handy when a brand wants its endorsed brands to have their flair but still ride on the coattails of the parent brand’s good rep.

When you decide to use the endorsed brands model, there are steps you can take to make it work smoothly:

First, pick an endorsed brand that fits well with the parent brand. The endorsed brand should share the same values, image, and quality as the parent brand while also standing out enough to avoid confusing customers.

Next, focus on branding, marketing, and advertising. Invest in these areas to highlight the endorsement of the parent brand. This builds trust and credibility for the endorsed brand by connecting it to the parent brand.

Lastly, ensure that the endorsed brand maintains its independence. While it’s good to benefit from the parent brand’s reputation, the endorsed brand should still have its own identity. Develop a unique brand story and value proposition to differentiate it from the parent brand and competitors.

Examples of Endorsed Brands

  1. Nestlé

Nestlé is a global food and beverage company with a diverse portfolio of brands like KitKat, Milo, and Crunch. It operates as an endorsed brand, leveraging its reputation to endorse and promote its subsidiary brands. Each brand maintains its unique identity while benefiting from Nestlé’s overall image of quality and trustworthiness.

Nestle brand architecture


  1. Kellogg’s

Kellogg’s is a well-known food company recognized for its wide range of breakfast cereals, snacks, and convenience foods. It operates as an endorsed brand, endorsing popular products like Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, and Crunch.

Each cereals maintain its distinct identity and packaging, but they all carry Kellogg’s logo and endorsement, signifying quality and trustworthiness. By endorsing these products, Kellogg’s ensures that consumers associate them with the overall reputation and credibility of the Kellogg’s brand.

Kellogg's brand architecture


  1. Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola is a global beverage company widely known for its soft drinks, including Coke, Sprite, and Fanta, as well as its Costa Coffee brand. Operating as an endorsed brand, Coca-Cola endorses these products by prominently featuring its logo on its packaging. 

While each beverage maintains its unique flavor and branding, the association with Coca-Cola’s well-established reputation for quality and refreshment adds credibility. This endorsement strategy helps consumers recognize and trust Sprite, Fanta, and Costa Coffee as part of the Coca-Cola family of brands.

Coca Cola brand architecture


  1. Courtyard by Marriott (Hospitality)

Parent Company: Marriott International
Endorsed Brand: Courtyard by Marriott hotels

Marriott International uses its well-established reputation for quality hospitality and customer service to endorse the Courtyard hotel chain. By associating Courtyard with the Marriott name, the sub-brand benefits from the parent brand’s reputation for excellence in the hotel industry. 

This relationship is highlighted in marketing materials, emphasizing the quality, reliability, and comfort guests can expect at Courtyard locations, which are consistent with Marriott’s global standards.

  1. Nespresso by Nestlé (Food & Beverages)

Parent Company: Nestlé
Endorsed Brand: Nespresso coffee machines and capsules

Nestlé uses its global reputation for quality food and beverage products to endorse Nespresso, a premium coffee brand. 

By associating Nespresso with the Nestlé brand, it benefits from Nestlé’s extensive R&D, quality assurance processes, and global distribution channels. The endorsement emphasizes the quality, luxury, and innovation of Nespresso products, aligning it with consumers’ perceptions of Nestlé as a trusted and leading food and beverage company.

These examples illustrate how endorsed brands utilize the strength and reputation of their parent companies to enhance their market position, communicate quality and reliability, and foster consumer trust and loyalty.

Wrapping Up

Understanding the various brand architectures, such as the endorsed brands model, is essential for businesses to structure their brand portfolios effectively. The endorsed brands model offers a balanced approach, allowing subsidiary brands to maintain their unique identities while benefiting from the credibility and reputation of the parent brand.

Companies can successfully implement this model by carefully selecting endorsed brands, investing in branding and marketing efforts, and ensuring independence.
For businesses seeking expert guidance in brand design, strategy, and marketing, Brand360 offers comprehensive services to help optimize brand architecture and maximize impact in the marketplace. Contact Brand360 today to elevate your brand strategy and achieve your business goals.