The concept of Sub-Brands


In the smartphones space, we have seen brands creating sub-brands. Vaguely speaking sub-brands came into play when the parent brand want to create a new product or recreate the product using a different approach.


Technically three types of sub-brands exist in the market and we have all the three in the smartphone market.

  1. Individual Brands– The perfect examples are the Oppo, Vivo and OnePlus. All these are the sub-brands of BBK Electronics. In this case, the parent company has little or no name in the product or anywhere in the name of the sub-brand. The sub-brands exist independently.
  2. Endorsed Brands– This is what when the parent brand is named with the sub-brand. The sub-brand uses the influence and resources of the parent brand. Examples of this type are Poco by Xiaomi and Redmi by Xiaomi. On the launch of Poco, they clearly said Poco uses the supply chain and resources of Xiaomi. Which makes Poco a sub-brand, hence the name Poco by Xiaomi.
  3. Umbrella, Corporate, and Family Brand– The sub-brand that fits in is Honor. Honor is the umbrella sub-brand of the parent brand and firm Huawei.  This is the most typical type of sub-brand that we understand.

Going further…..

Umbrella brand, as mentioned, is the most typical type that we have a perception of. Huawei mainly operated offline in China and to tap into the e-Commerce and competitiveness, they launched the sub-brand, Honor.

Honor also helped them to enter markets like India when the market was to get a boon in the e-commerce sector. And also by keeping the price categories different, that prevented the clashing between the two brands’ portfolio.

With the endorsed brands, parent brands, sort of, hold their finger the whole time. Honor could have also been like that but Huawei chose not to do that. In both cases, R&D, finances can be managed at one stage or differently for the two brands.

For example, for the Honor and Huawei, it is done at the same R&D, but for Poco, different teams are assigned to handle it.

Individual Brands, are just separate, it is like two children living life on their own without caring about the other.

These are types by which the parent brand can present the sub-brand into the market. The work that the sub-brand will be pulling is entirely up to the parent brand. For example, BBK electronics has no visible operation on its name in the smartphone market. They made their presence with their three brands and they are operating.

Honor, as discussed, was Huawei way in the e-commerce market and other countries. Poco by Xiaomi was to create one device that exceeds expectations and a likely chance to break OnePlus’ monopoly. It also doesn’t interfere with the other Xiaomi’s lineup. The Redmi series was at a significant price gap and the MiA2 was for the Stock Android lovers which the Poco F1 wasn’t targeting.

A look at the Redmi By Xiaomi is about to come.

An infant sub-brand is the iQOO by Vivo. While we don’t know much about this sub-brand and what are its basis of existence, we have a look at their first smartphone that will be a foldable phone. By which one can guess that this sub-brand might be the Vivo’s cutting edge and experimental tech brand. Vivo has been launching concept devices like elevating camera etc in their own name. Maybe they want to get the Vivo name for something regular and transferred all the newest R&D to the iQOO which Vivo can use further.

But a recent live release fo the phone shows a simple phone but with Snapdragon 855, a triple camera may be this is just a brand with only flagship level hardware. Only time will tell what is the motive of this brand.

So that was all for all this.

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