Sub-branding is when a main brand creates a subsidiary or secondary brand, like some of our favorite office snacks Diet Coke or Peanut M&Ms. Sub-brands are an opportunity to create another brand associated with your leading brand. Sub-brands often provide an additional revenue stream, product, or service that serves a new audience or a more niche group. 


If you have an established brand, you may be asking yourself, how do I expand? How will this sub-brand affect my overall brand and is it even on-brand? We’ve outlined 6 key steps to creating a sub-brand under your existing brand umbrella.

Step 1 

Congrats 🎉

First (and this is a fun one!), pat yourself on the back. If you are building a sub-brand, that means you are scaling your business. 


Step 2 

Define the audience.

Your target audience for your sub-brand may be an up-and-coming audience of your main brand, a niche group, or an entirely new segment. 


  • Who is this for?
  • What subset of your current defined audience is this product or service for?
  • Which of your consumer personas will buy or use this sub-brand?


Step 3 

Establish a unique solve.

  • With this specific product or service, what are you solving for?
  • Why would people buy THIS product or service?
  • Develop this unique solution into the value proposition for the sub-brand.


Step 4 

Create a brand statement and 3 key messages specific to this sub-brand.

  • Brand statement: How would you introduce this product or service to a prospective client or customer?
  • What is your core value proposition and do you communicate that to your customer?


Three key messages

Explain the three main pain points that this product or service solves for.

  • Key Message 1: 
  • Key Message 2: 
  • Key Message 3: 


Step 5 

Design the look & feel for the sub-brand.

The sub-brand logo, icon, or mark, should be created based on your current brand style palette. It should be in the same color palette and use the same fonts as your main brand. If you create a new color for the sub-brand, be sure that it compliments your existing visual guidelines. 

Define how the sub-brand is used. 

  • On its own? 
  • Never used on its own? 
  • Only with the main brand? 
  • Always smaller than the main brand? 


Add the sub-brand to your current brand standards, like a brand manual or style guide.


Step 6


You’re done. Well, almost. There’s still likely a lot of refining to be done, but this is a great start. Take time to sit with your sub-brand to make sure it works. Think about how you want to launch your sub-brand. When you feel confident in your sub-brand structure, tell the world!