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Ingredient branding is the strategy of both borrowing from, and lending to, the prestige of a product by positioning your brand as one of the vital components that make the product worth purchasing. It can protect or grow market share, particularly during tough economic times, by developing an emotive bond between the brand and formerly unaware product users, opening up growth opportunities in new products, channels, and markets.

Examples of this are Nutrasweet with its 'swirl' and Dolby with its 'double D', allowing the end-customer to experience the brand visually. Dolby is an enhanced example because of the encouraged interaction with the brand (Dolby noise reduction technology has to be actively turned on and off on a cassette player. Therefore, customers have for years actively engaged the Dolby brand with immediately tangible proof of its benefits.)

Another example is The Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval which has long stood for quality, developed through associations of reassurance and comfort.

This form of branding, done successfully, will form very definable tangibles for the end-product manufacturers. In the short-term, communicating the unique benefits the ingredient offers will differentiate the end product and help both businesses grab market share. And long-term, creating an understanding of the value that the ingredient creates can allow the manufacturer to command a premium price for the end product. For example, a study found that 66% of company executives will not buy a computer without Intel inside. Those who will accept computers containing processors manufactured by AMD — Intel’s primary competitor — may demand a discount.

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