Moving forward in my analysis of Brand Dynamics and in building a Typology of Brands, I introduce today my first Brand Type: Ingredient Brands. We will next analyze Craft Brands (3/7), Performance Brands (4/7), Identity Brands (5/7) and Visionary Brands (6/7). A last post will introduce Brand Dynamics (7/7), showing how a brand can move from one type to another during its lifecycle.
WHAT IS YOUR BRAND TYPE?
WHAT IS YOUR BRAND'S DYNAMICS?
LET US START A CONVERSATION SO AS TO BUILD COLLECTIVELY THIS OPERATIONAL ANALYSIS OF BRANDS!
Our first Brand Type is found in categories where ingredients or materials are both important and carry a positive image.
Why are ingredients or materials important for that category? For a very simple reason: because some of their values are critical for the category itself. Take for instance the skincare category. Thermal water - the founding ingredient both of the L’Oréal brand Biotherm and of Laboratoire Pierre Fabre’s brand Avène - is endowed with strong positive values when it comes to health. In Europe it has long been associated with health resorts where doctors send people to cure their ailments (each thermal water having specific health benefits). Thermal water also benefits from the positive image of water, thus being associated with hydration. As a consequence products that use thermal water will be seen as both good for health and having strong hydrating benefits. These ingredients therefore vindicate, endorse and legitimize the quality of the product manufactured by the brand.
Such ingredients or materials are to be found mostly in beauty, food and health categories. But as we will see they can also be found in apparel, jewelry or in BtoB categories.
We will therefore define an Ingredient Brand as a brand that masters, in all its forms, an ingredient, a material or a product that is critical to the brand’s expertise.
Some Ingredient Brands
Perrier: the brand story is that of taming the strong naturally sparkling water of the Perrier source (where most other sparkling waters just add gas to still water)
Caudalie: the French beauty brand masters a unique ingredient, grape extracts – that have strong anti-ageing properties. Created by the Cathiard family that owns the renowned Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte near Bordeaux, Caudalie benefits highly from the very positive image that Bordeaux wines have.
Swarovski: the brand “owns” crystal. They present themselves as the “world’s leading producer of precision-cut crystal for fashion, jewelry and more recently lighting, architecture and interiors”. Their collector club is called the Swarovski Crystal Society. The brand benefits of course from the very positive image of crystal – a make believe (cheap) diamond in a sense.
Eric Bompard: this French cashmere brand signs “Irresistible cashmere”. It only refers to the product itself (like many other cashmere brands – take the Chinese brand Erdos for instance). Its website does not say a word about the brand, it just speaks of cashmere products. References to the history of the brand are hidden in the “Blog” section amidst further posts on cashmere (How to protect it / Knitting lessons / the Spring Catalogue / Introducing a new store..).
De Beers: of course the new brand signature is now “De Beers Jewellery”, but a few years ago (it was founded in 2001) it was “A Diamond is Forever”. The name of the brand refers to the diamond mining company and the brand’s timeline goes back to 1888 date of the company’s incorporation. De Beers jewelry of course benefits from the immense reputation of the diamond mining company – and it still has to move away from being an Ingredient Brand.
Gore-Tex: this successful BtoB brand has built itself on both the use of technical fabrics (Gore-Tex® Fabric) and of a specific technology (Gore-Tex® Technology) guaranteeing that these fabrics are waterproof, windproof and durable. As we will see in one of our next Brand Types, Gore-Tex is also a Performance Brand (as many BtoB brands).
How do Ingredient Brands communicate?
All Ingredient Brands showcase their founding element (the ingredient or the material). They will build all their communication on the ingredient itself, using its positive imagery to build the brand itself. Therefore most of them will use depictions of the ingredient (and/or material):
- The first De Beers logo included the sparkle of a diamond
- The Swarowski logo includes crystals in its signature swan:
- Eric Bompard has been using an advertising signature (till 2014) that said “ A Bompard Cashmere is a Goat who Really Succeeded”! And they always showed goats.
- Caudalie represents grapes on its packaging
- Perrier depicts its bubbles and shows the strength of the pressure in the water
Major points to remember
- An Ingredient Brand masters, in all its forms, an ingredient, a material or a product that is critical to the brand’s expertise.
- This ingredient (and/or material) has strong positive values that relate to the main category of the brand itself. There are strong links between the brand and its founding category – and consistency must be achieved permanently between the brand values and the category values.
- Ingredient Brands showcase their founding element, the ingredient or material in all their communication (advertising, packaging, signature…).