Brand Family Name


Denotative Meanings

A brand family name is used to relate all product variations within the same category. Family branding, also known as umbrella branding, is a marketing strategy that involves selling several brands under one name.

Naming a product serves both denotative and connotative functions: 1

  • Denotative function: to help differentiate the product from other similar products, while capitalizing on customer trust and loyalty to the brand 2
  • Connotative function: to generate images beyond the actual product
    Typography, colour, finishes, and embossing and debossing, and other visual features can affect the interpretation of the Brand Family Name. The brand family name can also interact with other textual elements on the pack, such as the brand descriptor, slogan, and monogram.


“Brand names, clearly, do much more than just identify a product….They are constructed to create connotative signification systems for the product. At a practical informational level, naming a product has, of course, a denotative function; i.e. it allows consumer to identify the product they desire to purchase (or not). But at a connotative level, the product’s name generates images that go well beyond this simple identifier function.” 3


Overarching Theme Sub-Theme Connotative Chains
Lifestyle Luxury / Glamour Examples of brand family names that connote luxury:

  • Viscount, Parliament –> Nobility, aristocracy –> Wealth, luxury
  • B&H Gold, B&H De Luxe –> Wealth, luxury
  • Belmont, du Maurier, and Vogue –> French culture –> Sophistication, style, and glamour
Lifestyle Gender Examples of brand family names that are stereotypically and widely considered to fall within the male domain include:

  • Player’s, Camel –> Competitive strength
  • Parliament, Viceroy, Podium, Legend –> Power, importance
  • Peter Jackson, Benson & Hedges and other self-named lines –> Pride in one’s own product

Examples of brand family names that are stereotypically/widely considered to fall within the female domain include:

  • Vogue, Medallion –> Fashion
  • B&H Superslims –> Body image



  1. Danesi M. Brands. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis Inc, 2006.
  2. Tutor2u. Brands – Brand Names. Available at: Accessed July 20, 2011.
  3. Danesi, M. Understanding Media Semiotics. New York: Oxford University Press Inc, 2002.