This spring I bought a road bike and spent the summer pedaling my way to health and happiness all around the valley. I tested several different makes and models before reaching a buying decision. Different factors played into the final selection. I had never actually heard of the bike brand before (Time, made in France), so I strongly relied on the opinion of the retailer, but I was already familiar with the manufacturer of the bike’s major components—Shimano.
The Japanese company Shimano, is known for supplying the cycling components to many of the finest bike makers in the world and is an excellent example of ingredient branding, i.e. an essential ingredient or component of a product that has its own brand identity. Chevron’s Techron, NutraSweet and Dolby are other examples of ingredient branding. Each are essential ingredients of the end product and each possess its own independent identity, marked by its own logo.
Because of its unmatched achievement, the most well-known example of a successful branded ingredient originated with an ad agency in Salt Lake City. Before Dahlin Smith White suggested the tagline, “Intel Inside”, no one knew—or for that matter, even cared what kind of microprocessor was inside their computer. With the help of DSW, Intel became the first PC component manufacturer to communicate directly to the computer buyer and eventually became one of the top ten known brands in the world, in a class with Coke, Disney and McDonalds.
Ingredient branding is most useful when it is aimed beyond your immediate customer to a downstream stage of the value channel. For example, Intel’s immediate customer may be Dell Computer, but by communicating directly to the computer buyer, Intel can pull their product through the distribution channel.
A more limited application of ingredient branding is seen in any product or service named, identified and marketed as a distinctive part of a larger brand. modern8 asserts the trademark on its own strategic methodology, the Perception Branding 5D Process™, to bring attention to, and distinguish the service from our competition. Shimano, Intel and even modern8 enhance the value proposition and points of differentiation for all products and services using ingredient branding.