Products have two brands.  One contaminates the other.

Products have two brands. One contaminates the other.

Sounds weird, doesn’t it?

But that’s it. Every product or service ends up having its own brand and also the brand of its manufacturer. Like first and last name.

Brands always bring emotions, perceptions on the part of customers. In fact, they have a soul.


Positioning is the soul of the brand. It is the explanation of what it is for, a rationalization of its understanding. To the positioning are added emotions, affective memories, everything that does not need to be rational. And the result is the brand.

Now, let’s imagine: if a product or service has its positioning and its brand, and this product or service carries the brand of its manufacturer, we are talking about two brands, two references.

Nescau and Nestlé

Having the manufacturer’s brand, in addition to your own brand, allows the product or service to almost always carry a symbol of quality. It means you don’t have to explain much about its origin, its guarantees. Look at the case of Nescau: the product only needs to use its brand to explain its flavor and use. The fact that it is from Nestlé already ensures the quality.

Good family, good children, so to speak. Generally.

Of course, the manufacturer does not always have a good reputation. And then the equation is inverted: the product is worth it to demonstrate that it is good, precisely because the family brand is unfavorable. Or because the family mark is contaminated by some factor. For example, Chinese cars still suffer from some kind of prejudice in Brazil, not because of the product itself (there are already some great cars). But depending on the origin of the automaker.

The son can embarrass the family: Globo Digital

In the same way that the family honors the children and already gives them good credit, the children reinforce the family name and confirm its reputation.

Products honor their makers.

Or not; they can actually tarnish your reputation, contaminate your family name.

For example, I always thought that Organizações Globo produced good products. And I was a subscriber to O Globo for centuries. Then I migrated to Globo Digital, believing that a son of that good family would have the same qualities as his parents.

My mistake. Every now and then: access problems (a lot!), pages that drag to download, pages that don’t close. Overall, pretty bad. I insisted and it never got better. And what ends up tarnishing the brand’s reputation is the insistence on denying the problems, blaming the customer, not solving anything and not giving credit for amounts paid and not used (because it doesn’t always work).

Both brands look good or look bad

If the manufacturer assumes the problem and solves it, the negative image is reduced to that product. It happens. But when there’s no solution, the product gets a bad reputation and the family, well, the family loses a lot of our respect, doesn’t it?

It is worth thinking about: are the two brands of your products and services doing well? Or will one burn the image of the other?

If you want to comment, question, praise (hopefully!), talk about your experience on the subject, contact me via email

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