Brands from Microsoft, Fosters and Coopers are discussed here to distinguish integrated, differentiated and creative marketing strategy. Strategy should guide selection of the trade marks to register.

Some companies integrate their many brands to create a unified marketing message. For others the better strategy is to send differentiated marketing messages to serve niche markets. Microsoft and the Fosters Group Ltd illustrate these contrasting brand strategies. A company which consciously selects one or the other strategy gains clarity regarding what to register as a trade mark.

Integrated brand strategy

Microsoft adds its name before its Office suite of products. This is Microsoft’s brand architecture strategy.

If you’re using Microsoft Office and a flavour of Windows, go to the Start menu. Click it and you’ll see immediately names such as Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office Excel and Microsoft Office Outlook. These are brand names – all or parts of them are also registered trade marks.

Microsoft’s strategy works for brand integration and against brand fragmentation.

Differentiated brand strategy

In contrast, the Fosters Group strategy for beer works to differentiate products and maintain separate brand identities at the product level.

Fosters beer marketing is built up from a differentiated customer base. For Fosters an undesirable brand message to consumers would be that its beers originate from the same company, source or brewery."coppers_ad"

  • Therefore, to sell more beer, Fosters Group sends diverse  product messages. Fosters does not want consumers to think they are drinking beer from the same company, source or brewery. It reserves that message for its investors or shareholders.
  • Consumers pay for the privilege to lift a bottle or glass of Stella, Corona or Asahi. They may be surprised to learn they come from Fosters just like the Carlton range or Victoria Bitter.
  • Fosters’ customers over 35 years of age and concerned about their weight like Pure Blonde. It’s targeted to them. This involves a brand positioning distinguished from the other beers in the range.

Creative brand strategy

Distinction is imperative for SMEs with small product ranges and limited marketing budgets. Achieving this cleverly is Coopers Brewery Ltd which has used the accompanying print ad. Coopers’ ad works on a deep understanding of its customers, their causes, views, attitudes and values.

If your lawyer or trade mark attorney is simply registering your word, logo, label or other brands without properly considering management and marketing considerations, then our view is that you’re paying too much for purely legal services.

We apply business management and marketing knowledge in trade mark registration work. It helps our software and liquor industry clients achieve effective branding and marketing strategies with registrations worth having.

Noric Dilanchian