Ingredient Brand Strategy – DuPont

One of the questions in my branding class last quarter was to analyze the branding strategy of DuPont®. DuPont® employs an ‘ingredient’ branding strategy – that is instead of branding individual product, DuPont® branded an ingredient (that it created) which is used in many different products. DuPont® is a company that has its name on a lot of things, but the list of what it’s actually created really surprised me – it’s the company behind nylon, Teflon® and STAINMASTER®, to name a few.

DuPont® discovered early on that by branding individual ingredients, rather than whole products, it had more control over its brand name (Keller Case, 176.) Instead of worrying about quality control with many different companies, DuPont® chose to market what it could control. In addition, DuPont® went beyond traditional B2B advertising and brought those ingredients right to consumers, so they knew what to look for. It also focused on a corporate image campaign through its sponsorship of NASCAR and cause marketing through its green efforts and donations to victims of natural disasters (Keller Case, 178, 190.)

Take a look at your brand. Is there something you can pull out – a way to market what you can actually control, instead of something you can’t? What other brands do you think are really effective in this type of branding?

Keller, Kevin Lane. (2008). Strategic Brand Management: Building, Measuring and Managing Brand Equity (3rd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Keller, Kevin Lane. (2008). Best Practice Cases in Branding: Lessons from the World’s Strongest Brands (3rd edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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