A new brand introduced into the market by a company that already has an established brand in the same product category. The new brand is designed to compete in the category without damaging the existing item's market share by targeting a different group of consumers. Flanker branding is important because it allows a company to attract new customers from various market segments. This technique is also known as multibranding and is used to achieve a larger total market share than one product could achieve on its own. An example is Diet Coke that extended the Coca-Cola brand for the growing weight-watcher part of the market. Companies with multiple brands in a single product category generally have a premium brand that offers high quality at a higher price in their overall portfolio. They usually own one or more ‘value’ brands offering a slightly lower quality or a different set of benefits for a lower price.
The main brand of a company's portfolio should target the market segment containing the most consumers. Another brand can then be positioned to convert users from other market segments by using a different set of benefits or product characteristics. A flanker brand should attract customers from competing brands and not from the main branded product.
There are a number of advantages to developing a flanker brand:
Introducing a new brand is costly. Creating another independent brand requires name research and substantial advertising expenditures to create name recognition and preference for the new brand. One thing that has to be considered is the extent to which the new brand will have unique qualities that will appeal to a separate group of consumers and provide additional value over and above the existing brand. An assessment of the new brand's impact on existing brands has to be made and considered as well as the new brand's impact on competitors' brands.