Definition of Flanker Brand

A flanker brand is a marketing strategy where a company introduces a new product or service to target a specific segment, while maintaining the integrity of the existing parent brand. This approach is primarily used to appeal to different customer preferences and protect market share. The flanker brand typically retains some elements of the main brand for recognition and to leverage branding efforts.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Flanker Brand” is:/ˈflæŋkər brænd/

Key Takeaways

  1. Flanker brands are sub-brands created by a parent company to target a different market segment without altering the core brand’s reputation or positioning.
  2. A primary goal of a flanker brand is to attract a new customer base while retaining the loyalty of existing customers, ultimately increasing overall market share.
  3. Flanker brands must carefully differentiate themselves from the parent brand and other brands within the organization to avoid self-cannibalization and confusion among customers.

Importance of Flanker Brand

The digital marketing term “Flanker Brand” is important because it represents a strategic approach employed by companies to create and promote a new product or service, distinct from their existing core offerings, in order to target a specific market segment or capture a niche customer base.

By developing a flanker brand, companies can tap into new markets, generate additional revenue streams, and leverage their established brand equity without potentially diluting or cannibalizing the audience for their primary brand.

This strategy also enables organizations to compete more effectively against rivals, as they can create a portfolio of brands that appeal to different consumer demographics and preferences, thereby diversifying their reach and mitigating risks in the ever-evolving digital marketing landscape.


A flanker brand serves a strategic purpose in the world of digital marketing, designed to protect and enhance a company’s market presence by catering to various audience segments. In essence, it is a product or sub-brand introduced by a company to target a distinct market and demographic, complementing the main brand while shielding it from direct competition. This approach allows businesses to expand their offerings and tap into new niches, without the risk of diluting or compromising the integrity of their flagship brand.

Simply put, companies employ flanker brands as a way to mitigate risks and maximize opportunities, securing their foothold in the competitive market landscape. The utilization of flanker brands is underpinned by the notion that a single brand may not be capable of appealing to everyone in the market, given the diverse preferences, needs, and aspirations that consumers have. With this in mind, flanker brands swoop in to capture those market segments that the primary brand fails to engage effectively.

Additionally, flanker brands can help companies address competitors’ strengths and adopt a more versatile, agile approach to brand management. In the digital space, this flexibility becomes especially vital as online platforms empower consumers to easily compare options and make well-informed choices. Crucially, a strategic product portfolio guided by carefully developed flanker brands enables companies to leverage brand equity and orchestrate deft marketing moves, ultimately entrenching their status in consumers’ minds and the broader digital landscape.

Examples of Flanker Brand

Coca-Cola and Diet Coke: Coca-Cola, a globally recognized beverage brand, introduced Diet Coke as a flanker brand to target health-conscious consumers who desire a low-calorie, sugar-free alternative to the regular Coke. Diet Coke has since grown to become one of the leading low-calorie soft drinks in the market, helping the Coca-Cola Company maintain its dominant position in the industry.

Old Spice and Old Spice Red Zone: Old Spice is a well-known brand for men’s grooming products. They introduced the Red Zone line of products as a flanker brand to cater to a younger and more active demographic, offering a range of deodorants, body washes, and grooming products focused on high performance and long-lasting protection. The Red Zone line has successfully increased the overall brand’s appeal and relevance among a wider group of consumers.

Google and YouTube: Google, the leading search engine, acquired YouTube, the world’s most popular video-sharing platform, and later integrated it as a flanker brand. YouTube offers an extensive collection of video content that caters to a variety of interests and preferences, making it an attractive platform for advertisers looking to target specific audiences. With YouTube under Google’s umbrella, the company is able to provide businesses with a more comprehensive suite of digital marketing tools, ensuring maximum reach and engagement for their brands and products.These examples demonstrate the use of flanker brands in the digital marketing landscape. These brands serve to improve market share, target new audiences, or diversify product portfolios, ultimately strengthening the parent company’s presence in the market.

FAQ – Flanker Brand

What is a flanker brand?

A flanker brand is a secondary brand created by a company to target a different market segment while leveraging the strength and reputation of their existing primary brand. Essentially, it is a sub-brand that co-exists with the main brand and caters to different consumer needs, preferences, or price points.

What is the purpose of a flanker brand?

The purpose of a flanker brand is to expand a company’s market presence, reach new customer segments, and avoid market saturation. A flanker brand allows the company to offer different product variations, cater to different pricing strategies, and differentiate itself from competitors, ultimately providing additional revenue streams.

What are the advantages of using a flanker brand strategy?

There are several advantages to using a flanker brand strategy, including market expansion, reduced risk, increased market share, and differentiation. By creating a flanker brand, a company can tap into new markets and customer segments without affecting the reputation or positioning of its primary brand. Additionally, the company can reduce the risk of entering new markets, as the success of the main brand can lend credibility to the flanker brand. Flanker brands can also be used to protect market share by covering different price points and product offerings, thereby deterring competition.

What are some examples of successful flanker brands?

Successful examples of flanker brands can be found across various industries, such as automotive, fashion, and consumer goods. Some examples include Toyota’s creation of the Lexus brand to compete in the luxury car market, Procter & Gamble’s introduction of the Tide Simply Clean and Fresh detergent for budget-conscious consumers, and Apple’s release of the iPhone SE to target customers seeking an affordable iPhone option.

What are the risks associated with a flanker brand strategy?

There are some potential risks to consider when implementing a flanker brand strategy. For instance, flanker brands can inadvertently cannibalize the sales of the parent brand if they are too similar in product offerings, positioning, or price points. Furthermore, managing multiple brands can become complex and resource-intensive, possibly affecting the overall brand portfolio. It is crucial to carefully assess market conditions, customer needs, and company capabilities before pursuing a flanker brand strategy.

Related Digital Marketing Terms

  • Brand Extension
  • Brand Portfolio
  • Market Segmentation
  • Target Audiences
  • Product Differentiation

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