What is Soft Branding and Who Does it Benefit? - MBB Management

What is Soft Branding and Who Does it Benefit?

soft rebranding

You may not have heard of “soft branding” in business before. But whether you know it or not, soft branding is very popular and is used by a plethora of companies today. And when you really understand what soft branding is, you can clearly see how helpful soft branding is and why it could be a vital part of any company’s rebranding and reflagging.

Soft branding basically refers to a type of marketing strategy where a product or service is subtly associated with a particular lifestyle, identity, or set of values rather than being aggressively promoted under a distinct brand name. It aims to create an emotional connection or evoke certain feelings or associations in the minds of consumers.

In other words, it’s like the art of creating a vibe, an atmosphere, and a feeling rather than just selling a product. It is a marketing strategy where companies focus on building a subtle emotional connection with customers. It does this by emphasizing certain values, a lifestyle, and an identity rather than aggressively pushing a brand name or product features.

Instead of being loud and obvious, soft branding is quiet, subtle, and attempts to touch people in different ways. It’s not as direct, it’s not as over the top, and it’s often much more successful.

It’s about creating a sense of belonging or association that makes you naturally gravitate toward a brand without feeling like you’re being sold to.

As you can imagine, this advertising approach can benefit both consumers and businesses in some pretty surprising and smart ways.


Consumers want the products sold by companies but they want to be notified of them in specific ways. If they can feel a company trying hard to sell them something, it can often feel desperate and unattractive. It will leave a bad taste in their mouths. This can hurt a consumer because it prevents them from buying the goods and services that they want.

But soft branding can help consumers because it cuts through a lot of excessive messiness that comes with a lot of marketing and instead approaches the consumer in a different, more pleasant, and more moving way.

Emotional Connection: Soft branding appeals to most consumers on a very emotional level by aligning with their deeply-held values, their aspirations, or their lifestyle choices. It creates a sense of belonging or identification. Studies have shown that emotional connections are key to creating life-long and loyal customers. If they feel emotionally drawn to a brand, they will stick with it through thick and thin for the rest of their lives.

This can be done in multiple ways, typically by understanding the purpose of the products being sold and the needs of the customers. And that doesn’t mean the most obvious needs either. Often, this type of marketing will speak to more deeply-held needs and desires, like the need for family, friendship, peace of mind, and good health. An ad that practices soft branding isn’t about coming straight out and saying “Buy this!” It’s more about saying, “This is what your life can look like if you make this purchase.”

Subtlety and Authenticity: Many companies out there attempt to advertise their products in very strong, loud, aggressive ways. But that is not how it works with soft branding. Instead, soft branding doesn’t push products in the same way. It feels far more genuine and less like a hard sell, which can resonate better with consumers. Some people are turned off by the idea of aggressively being pursued by a company and they can repeatedly avoid a company if they don’t like its advertising tactics.

Choice and Personalization: Soft branding offers consumers a desirable sense of choice within a brand, allowing them to opt for products or services that align more closely with their individual preferences or values.

For years, customers have always known when advertisements were trying to woo them and get them to spend their hard-earned money. However, soft branding is a much more subtle, gentle, and effective way of reaching potential customers. It can make a huge difference to customers and, therefore, the businesses too.


Now let’s examine how soft branding can greatly and quickly impact and benefit the companies that elect to use it. First and foremost, it can help distinguish products and services in a crowded market by focusing on certain, important intangible aspects such as lifestyle, identity, or values. As mentioned before, this can create a connection between customers and companies for years to come.

Building Loyalty: By attaching to shoppers and clients on this deeper, emotional level, businesses can foster strong brand loyalty and create long-term relationships with their customers. You likely know people in your life who are forever loyal to a certain brand or product, even when others offer something similar. This is an example of that.

Adaptability: Soft branding can allow businesses to pivot and evolve without drastically changing their core identity. It provides flexibility to adapt to changing consumer trends or preferences. When their form of marketing is about the core and vibe of the company instead of the products themselves, it gives businesses a lot more freedom to try new things and go with the flow of changing times.

Expansion and Diversification: Soft branding can also aid in expanding the brand into new markets or other product lines by leveraging the established emotional connections and values. They will be trusted by customers no matter what they are trying, which can ensure success in their new ventures.


Industries like hospitality, fashion, lifestyle products, and even technology often utilize soft branding to connect with consumers beyond just the features or functionality of their offerings. Restaurant rebranding, hotel reflagging, and other business operations often incorporate soft branding and its novel approach to reaching new clients, customers, and consumers.

At its core, it’s all about creating an experience or a feeling associated with the brand, fostering a more profound and lasting relationship with customers. It’s not about hitting someone over the head with obvious and often obnoxious ads. Instead, it’s about speaking to something deeper, more meaningful, and therefore much more effective.j

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