30 Brand Categories: A guide to the different types of brands

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Marcelo Smith

Brand Designer

Marcelo Smith is a brand designer, content creator, and founder of Fun Studio, a brand design agency that helps businesses build powerful brands that stand out and connect with their audience.

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Table of Contents

Photos of brands from different brand categories
Photos of brands from different brand categories

Table of Contents

30 Brand Categories

Introduction to Brand Categories

Not all brands are created equally. Some are designed to appeal to the masses, while others are crafted to cater to a very specific niche market. Some are known for their high-end luxury appeal, while others are renowned for their affordability and value. Every brand in each brand category has its unique identity, character, and purpose.

As a business owner, marketer, or designer, understanding the different types of brands and how they differ from one another can be incredibly valuable. It can help you create a brand that resonates with your target audience and make more informed decisions about your brand design and marketing efforts.

In this article, we’ll explore 30 different brand categories, from economy brands to luxury brands, corporate brands to online brands, and everything in between. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the many different types of brands out there and what makes each one of them unique.

Brands By Price​

One of the most common ways to categorize brands is by their relative price in the market. This category includes everything from luxury brands that sell high-end products at premium prices, to economy brands that offer affordable products to a wide audience. 

Economy Brands

Mcdonalds signage.

Economy brands are known for offering affordable products to a wide audience. These brands often prioritize cost savings and accessibility over luxury and exclusivity. Economy brands can be found in many different industries, from fashion to technology to food and beverage. While economy brands may not have the same level of prestige as luxury brands, they can still offer high-quality products at a lower price point.

Examples of economy brands include Walmart, Amazon Basics, McDonald’s, and IKEA, among many others. 

Although economy brands appeal to a more price-sensitive audience they can still delivering on good quality and value.

Premium Brands

Premium brands are known for offering products that are priced higher than their competitors and delivering a higher level of quality, exclusivity, and design. These brands often appeal to consumers who are willing to pay more for a superior product or experience. 

Examples of premium brands include Apple, BMW, and Chanel. 

Premium brands prioritize quality over price and their marketing and branding efforts reflect this. 

Luxury Brands

Luxury brands are known for offering the highest level of quality, craftsmanship, and exclusivity.

These brands often cater to a highly affluent audience and can command premium prices. Luxury brands can be found in a variety of industries, including fashion, jewelry, automotive, and travel, among others.

Examples of luxury brands include Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Rolls Royce, Hermes, and many others.

Brands By Size​
This section focuses on brands categorized by their size, such as personal brands, family brands, and corporate brands. These types of brands are defined by the number of individuals or entities involved in their creation and management.

Personal Brands

Credit: Getty Images

Personal brands are brands that are built around an individual person rather than a product or service.

These brands often rely on the unique personality, expertise, or influence of the individual to create a loyal following. Personal brands can be found in a variety of industries, including entertainment, politics, and entrepreneurship, among others.

Examples of personal brands include Tonny Robins, Elon Musk, Gary Vee, or Kim Kardashian, among many others.

Personal brands often prioritize a direct connection with their audience and usually build their following and reputation on social media.

Family Brands

Family brands are brands that are identified with a family name or multiple family members.

These brands often have a long history and a deep connection to their community or industry, although some family businesses have grown to become some of the biggest companies around, such as Walmart, BMW,  Dell, Ford or Aldi.

Family brands can build on the legacy of the family name and create a strong connection with their audience and community.

Corporate Brands

Deloitte office building.

Corporate brands are brands that are associated with a corporation or group of companies rather than a specific product or service. These brands often represent the values, culture, and vision of the company as a whole.

Examples of corporate brands include Google, Microsoft, and Procter & Gamble, among many others.

Corporate brands often prioritize innovation, responsibility, and professionalism and reflect these values in their brand identity.

Brands By Audience

Brands can be categorized by the size of their target audience, ranging from niche brands targeting a specific group to mass-market brands appealing to a wider audience.

Niche Brands

Niche brands are brands that target a very specific and specialized audience. They often have a clear value proposition and a unique selling point that sets them apart from other brands.

Niche brands may offer a more personalized and tailored experience for their customers, creating a deeper connection and loyalty to the brand

Although niche brands have a smaller relative audience they can still be very successful, as they cater to a specific market and can create a devoted following within their niche. 

Mass Market Brands

Amazon
Mass market brands are designed to appeal to a wide audience and have broad appeal. They often focus on offering products or services at an affordable price point to reach a larger customer base. Mass market brands typically have a strong brand identity and are recognized by a very broad audience.

Local or Regional Brands

Local or regional brands cater to a specific geographic area or region and often have a strong connection to the community they serve. These brands may offer products or services that are unique to the area or that meet the specific needs of the local market.

Local or regional brands are able to create a brand that connects with the local community and builds a loyal customer base.

Global Brands

Global brands are recognized and trusted by consumers around the world, and often have a strong presence in multiple countries or regions. Examples of global brands include Coca-Cola, Nike, and McDonald’s.

Global brands need to be adaptable and flexible enough to meet the needs and preferences of consumers in different markets. 

A good example of a mass market brand is Coca Cola. In a survey they found that 94% of the population worldwide recognized the brand (Source: Business Insider)

Physical Brands

Physical brands are those that focus on tangible products or experiences. These brands rely heavily on the physical attributes of their products, packaging, and environments to create a lasting impression on their customers. Examples of physical brands include fashion brands, food and beverage brands, and hospitality brands.

Product Brands

Product brands are those that are associated with a particular line of products or physical goods. These types of brands are often focused on delivering specific benefits or solving particular problems.

Examples of product brands include Nikon’s cameras, Apple’s iPhone, and Colgate’s toothpaste.

The design of a product brand needs to be centered around the product or service, highlighting its unique features and benefits in a way that resonates with consumers. Effective product branding can help create customer loyalty, repeat business, and a strong reputation for the product or service.

Private Label Brands

A private label, also called a distributor’s brand or private label, identifies products belonging to a certain retailer, which are marketed exclusively in its stores or in those linked to the group.

These types of brands are often less expensive than national brands, but can still offer good quality and value.

Private label brands can be found in a variety of categories, from groceries to cosmetics to electronics.

Retail Brands

Retail brands are brands that are owned and sold by retailers. These brands are often created to provide an exclusive and unique product line that is only available at that retailer.

Retail brands are known for their affordability and accessibility, making them a popular choice for many consumers. Examples of popular retail brands include Target, Walmart and The Home Depot.

Retail brands often play a key role in creating a distinct shopping experience and can help retailers differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Event Brands

Events brands are brands that are created for a specific event or occasion, such as concerts, festivals, or sporting events.

These brands are often used to promote the event and build excitement among attendees. Events brands are known for their creativity and ability to capture the essence of the event they represent.

Examples of popular events brands include Coachella, the Super Bowl, and the Olympic Games. Events branding often plays a key role in creating a memorable experience for attendees and can help build a sense of community around the event.

Online Brands

Online brands have become increasingly important in today’s digital world. These are brands that operate exclusively through online channels, often without a physical storefront.

With the rise of e-commerce and social media, online brands have the potential to reach a wide audience and build a loyal following.

Some examples of successful online brands include Amazon, Airbnb, and Instagram. These brands have leveraged the power of the internet to create unique experiences and connect with consumers in new and innovative ways.

SaaS Brands

SaaS (Software as a Service) brands are those that offer web-based software applications to customers, typically on a subscription basis.

These brands have become increasingly popular in recent years as more and more businesses turn to cloud-based solutions for their software needs.

Some examples of SaaS brands include Salesforce, HubSpot, and Dropbox.

Ecommerce Brands

Ecommerce brands are those that primarily sell their products or services through an online store.

They have become increasingly popular in recent years due to the growth of online shopping. Ecommerce brands often rely heavily on digital marketing strategies to reach their target audience, and they prioritize customer experience and convenience.

Some examples of ecommerce brands include Etsy, eBay, and Zappos.

Digitally Native Vertical Brands

Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVBs) are a type of ecommerce brand that has gained significant popularity in recent years. These brands are built entirely online and rely on social media, influencers, and other digital marketing strategies to reach and engage with their target audiences. DNVBs usually focus on a specific product or category, and are known for their sleek designs, high-quality products, and personalized customer experiences. Examples of DNVBs include Dollar Shave Club, Allbirds, Bonobos and Casper.
Brands by Ideas

The success of a brand often comes down to the ideas behind it. In this section, we’ll explore some of the different types of brands that are driven by a unique idea or philosophy.

Disruptive Brands

Disruptive brands are those that challenge the status quo of their industry and bring something new to the market.

They aim to create a new market or disrupt an existing one by offering a unique solution to a problem or by changing the way things have been done in the past. Disruptive brands are often innovative and can change the way we think about and interact with a particular product or service.

Examples of disruptive brands include Tesla, Airbnb, Uber, and Netflix.

Sustainable Brands

Jansport bags in different coolors.

Sustainable brands are those that prioritize environmentally friendly practices in their operations, from sourcing of raw materials to manufacturing processes and packaging.

These brands strive to minimize their carbon footprint and environmental impact, and often implement sustainable and ethical business practices to ensure that their products are produced in a responsible and ethical manner.

Such brands have gained popularity as consumers become more environmentally conscious and demand for sustainable products has increased.

Examples of sustainable brands include Patagonia, The Body Shop, and Allbirds.

Ethical Brands

Ethical brands are those that prioritize ethical practices in all aspects of their business operations, from sourcing raw materials to employee treatment and environmental impact.

These brands often have a strong commitment to social responsibility and work to ensure that their products and services are produced in an ethical and sustainable manner.

Consumers are increasingly seeking out ethical brands and are willing to pay a premium for products and services that align with their values. Some well-known examples of ethical brands include Patagonia, Warby Parker, Toms, and Faguo.

Non Profit Brands

Credit: Doerthe Hagenguth | Greenpeace

Non-profit brands are organizations that exist to serve a specific cause or purpose, rather than to generate profit for shareholders or owners.

These brands typically operate on a not-for-profit basis and rely on donations, grants, and other funding sources to support their activities.

Non-profit brands can range from large international organizations like UNICEF to small local charities. Their branding and marketing efforts are aimed at building awareness, trust, and support for their mission, and their success is measured by the impact they have on their beneficiaries and the wider community.

Some examples of non-profit brands include the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and the World Wildlife Fund.

Political Brands

Political brands are those that are associated with a political party or ideology. These brands are often used by political candidates to gain support from voters and promote their political message and have the power to evoke strong emotions in their audience.

Political brands can also include campaign logos, slogans, and other visual elements used in political advertising.

Distributed or Social Movement Brands

Distributed or social movement brands are those that operate as part of a broader social or cultural movement, often with a focus on grassroots activism and social change.

Their identity is intertwined with the values and beliefs of their target audience and they don’t have a centralized government structure.

Public Sector Brands

Public sector brands are brands that are owned and operated by the government or state entities. These brands are usually associated with services or products that are provided by the government, such as public transport, healthcare, and education. They are often created to provide access to basic needs and services, and to improve the quality of life of citizens. Statal brands can be seen as an extension of the government, as they are funded by taxpayers’ money.

Governement Body Brands

Credit: Image of the NYPD Logo | Wikimedia Commons

Government body brands are those that are owned and operated by governmental entities, such as federal, state, or local governments.

While government brands may not be thought of as “traditional” brands, they play an important role in shaping public perception and trust in the institutions that govern our society.

Effective government branding can help build trust and credibility among citizens, improve communication and engagement with the public, and promote the overall welfare of society.

Geographic Brands

Geographic brands are brands that are specifically tied to a particular place, region or country.

These brands often use local landmarks, cultural references, or historical events as a way to connect with consumers and differentiate themselves from other brands. Geographic brands can also be used to promote tourism and local products. Examples of geographic brands include Marca Perú, Visit California, and Australian Made.

Other Brand Categories

Cult Brands

Cult brands are brands that have a fiercely loyal following of customers who are highly engaged with the brand’s message and values. These brands are typically not mainstream and are often associated with counterculture or subcultures.

They build their following through creating a unique and memorable brand experience that resonates with their target audience. Cult brands are often able to generate buzz and word-of-mouth marketing, resulting in a highly engaged and dedicated customer base.

Examples of cult brands include Harley-Davidson, Supreme, and Dr. Martens.

Sub-Brands

Apple logo and sub-brand logos

Sub-brands are a type of brand that is created by a parent brand to differentiate a particular product or service offering.

Sub-brands can be used to target different customer segments or to extend a brand’s product line. They often carry the parent brand name, with a prefix or suffix added to indicate the product line or category. Sub-brands may have their own unique identity or be closely aligned with the parent brand.

 Examples of sub-brands include Apple’s iPhone, Nike’s Air Jordan, and Coca-Cola’s Diet Coke.

Designer Brands

Photo of designer fashion brand clothing
Credit: Anne R | Pexels

Designer brands are known for their high-end and exclusive products, which are often associated with luxury, quality, and status.

These brands are typically owned by designers or fashion houses and are characterized by their high price points and unique designs.

Designer brands often appeal to consumers who are looking for a statement piece, with the brand name itself serving as a status symbol.

Some well-known designer brands include Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Chanel, among others.

Sport Team Brands

Football team logos

Sports team brands are brands associated with professional or amateur sports teams, usually featuring the team name, logo, and colors.

These brands are typically marketed to fans of the team through licensed merchandise such as jerseys, hats, and other apparel, as well as through game tickets, sponsorships, and other marketing initiatives.

Sports team brands can be incredibly lucrative and have some of the most passionate followings, particularly in popular sports such as football, basketball, and soccer.

Media Brands

Photo of the CNN media brand logo
Credit: cnnespanol.cnn.com

Media brands are those that produce content in the form of news, entertainment, and information. These can include traditional media companies such as TV networks, radio stations, and newspapers, as well as digital media companies such as social media platforms, streaming services, and blogs.

Media brands often rely on their reputation and trustworthiness to attract and retain their audience, and their success can depend on their ability to adapt to changing technologies and consumer preferences.

Examples of media brands include CNN, The New York Times, Fox News or the BBC.

How to Design the Right Brand for your Category

When designing a brand It’s important to take a unique approach depending on what type of brand you are creating.

Different brands have different audiences, goals, and values, so tailoring your approach to meet those specific needs can help you create a brand that resonates with your target audience and stands out in the market.

For example, if you’re designing a luxury brand, you’ll want to focus on creating a brand identity that conveys exclusivity, high quality, and premium value. You may use premium materials and packaging, and focus on creating a high-end shopping experience to appeal to the luxury consumer.

On the other hand, if you’re designing a value brand, you may focus on creating a brand identity that emphasizes affordability, accessibility, and value. You may use less expensive materials and packaging, and focus on creating a streamlined shopping experience that emphasizes cost savings and convenience.

Here are some steps you can follow to make sure you create the perfect brand for your category:

  • 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Determine your target audience

    Identify the demographic you are trying to reach with your brand and tailor your approach accordingly.

  • 🙍 Create your buyer persona

    Develop a buyer persona to understand your target audience. Consider demographics, psychographics, behaviors, and pain points to create a persona that accurately represents your ideal customer.

  • 🔎 Conduct market research

    Analyze your competitors and identify gaps in the market where your brand can connect with your target audience.

  • 📖 Develop a brand story

    Create a narrative around your brand that resonates with your target audience on an emotional level, setting you apart from competitors.

  • ✉️ Define brand messaging

    Develop key messaging points that communicate the unique benefits and values of your brand to your target audience.

  • 💬 Keep your brand voice and tone aligned

    Determine how your brand communicates with your audience and establish a consistent tone across all communication channels.

  • ✏️ Create an appropriate logo and brand identity

    Design a brand identity that is appropriate for your target audience and brand category. Your brand identity and logo should be visually appealing and accurately reflect your brand values.

Whether you’re a business owner, marketer, or designer, take the time to explore the many different types of brands out there, and let that knowledge guide you in creating a brand that truly stands out in the marketplace.

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