One brand, many styles

I was trying to think of examples of brands that have multiple styles. I thought of Umbra, Kohler, Nike/Puma/Addidas. Any other good examples?


I assume by styles, you mean aesthetic styles, not SKU type of styles?

If so, I would argue, most of your examples are not as diverse in style as might seem. Most Umbra stuff looks pretty Umbra to me. It may vary in materials, design, but has a pretty consistent design ethos of simple construction, cheaper materials used well, bold colors and some innovations in function, etc.

In footwear I think Nike/Adi/Puma are likewise quite different. I’d bet I could tell the style of one brand vs. another on most of their products if there was no logo on it. Some products may be outliers, but I would expect that across any brand with such diverse range of categories from Skate to performance running and lifestyle.

Most brands that fit the “diverse” style thing I would suggest are in fact just bad examples of brand DNA development. Kohler might be one, though I’m not that familiar with all they do. But from modern to faux classical brush bronze… ???

If it were to truly be a good fit I’d think the “take the logo off and still identify it” test would have to apply.


Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Diageo… they all have different styles (sub-brands really) in their portfolios and are called ‘house of brands’ (if you didn’t already know).

There’s also the Dells of the world, with all their products: Adamo, Alienware, Precision, Streak, Mini… something for everybody. I guess they’re the same because they are all computers, but different in look. Or Yamaha who does it all, from Motorcycles to musical instruments. Some companies are called by different names in different countries, and have very different styles (such as Tesco).

is that what you mean?

Most brands that fit the “diverse” style thing I would suggest are in fact just bad examples of brand DNA development.

^^^^I agree.

The whole purpose of a brand is to have common unity between SKUs. Now that brand may have sub-brands that may have different colors or even have their own identity, but they are still under the parent brand umbrella. I have a few examples that I work with everyday…

M&M’s: M&M’s parent brand(s) are M&M’s Milk Chocolate, and M&M’s Peanut. Both of these brands have the same non-negotiable and strict guidelines into what the brand means and how it preforms. In the past few years we have released M&M’s Peanut butter, M&M’s Coconut, and M&M’s Pretzel and even those these brands break away from the parent brands but they have the same personality and style which is chocolate colorful fun. They all use the characters which are the spokesman for the parent brand and the non-negotiable are the same even though they are sub brands. This is no different with Snicker, Twix, or any of our other brands. All of these brands have sub-brands but all stick with the style of the parent brand.

Now where this starts to become challenging is when it comes to the seasons. When we start creating things for Christmas, Valentines day, and Easter, keeping the brand personality can be an issue. Example is try creating a heart box for valentines day for Snickers. It is a Male skewed brand with a rough and tough personality, but it makes for a fun and challenging project. We would never take snickers and change it to a female brand just because it is a female season, instead we turn it to make the female buy it for the male. It becomes a heart that a girl buys for her boyfriend that will not make him feel like a sissy.

So I guess to answer your question are there brands that have many style?..I would have to say…not any good ones. Every brand should have a distinct personality and meaning. All product made by that brand should look like they came from the same place and not be disjointed. The purpose of a brand is to make your product recognizable and create loyalty. This cannot happen if you are changing your style and look on a regular basis.

I think Package ID understood what I was going for, although a completely different product type. Food for thought.

Going back to Umbra, I agree, I recognize Umbra right away. However, they have product that is very traditional (brass drapery rod with an ornate knob at the end), modernist and post-modernist. All these styles somehow live together harmoniously. I’m sure a big part is Umbra’s very strong graphic design and packaging which is consistent across their offerings.

Kohler is similar, in my mind. I get the feeling, they sell more through distributors than direct to consumer, but their graphic design is very strong as well.

As for the shoe examples I used, I picked Nike and Puma because they have something in their DNA that goes beyond their logo and they have very different offerings ranging from blingy soccer shoes, understated skate shoes, thick hip-hop shoes, running shoes.

I don’t know where I’m going now, but this is percolating.