Friday, March 25, 2011

The Umbrella Brand: How to Cohesively Brand Your Different Offerings

by Julia D. Stege, MFA

"Umbrella Brand" is an industry term for an overarching brand used across multiple related products. Giant companies like Heintz, Levi Strauss, and Sony use Umbrella Branding to promote a whole range of products cohesively. For instance, Heintz recently launched a $8.3 million campaign to brand their slogan, "It has to be Heintz" which automatically promotes a whole line of products.

Many industry experts say that Umbrella Branding only works when the company has a line of very similar products. However, I have been successfully using the concept of Umbrella Branding when helping my customers create one brand for a variety of seemingly disparate offerings.

Many of my clients have developed a range of techniques, products, and resources to solve the variety of challenges their customers face. They are often confused about the best ways to market these offerings cohesively, and find themselves explaining their modalities to a confused audience.  Umbrella Branding helps them deliver a cohesive and potent message.

Branded Banner by Julia Stege for
The key to my method of Umbrella Branding is
tapping deeply in to your core life purpose.  When you clarify "What makes you tick," and develop that into a mission statement,  you are on the way to creating an Umbrella Brand that will work for your chosen focus,
even when it changes, for years to come.

I created my own Umbrella Brand about 12 years ago called Life is Magic. I have a website at that URL  It's sorely outdated I'm afraid, however I use it as my main email address (julia  When I created the URL, I considered my passion for magic and how I have loved everything magical ever since early childhood. I thought about all my offerings, from graphic design to websites, to Law of Attraction consulting, branding, marketing consulting, social networking, and the wildcrafted herbs and juices I love to promote, and how they are all an expression of my love for magic. I even thought about the historical fantasy novel I'm writing which includes much from the shamanic realms. My umbrella brand will even work for that! .So Life is Magic is a perfect Umbrella Brand for me.

To start creating your Umbrella Brand, answer this question:

"What Makes Me and My Perfect Customers Tick?"

(It's the second question from the BEE-ing Attraction PlanTM which you can find at  
  • Drop deep within your heart to discover what is most important to you and start writing down the words that describe it. 
  • Think about how you expressed that when you were a child, a teen, a young adult, and now. 
  • see if you can discover the unifying principles from all areas of your life. When you discover this, you will be well on your way to creating your own unique Umbrella Brand.

Learn More about Branding from the Heart at

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