Despite some doom and gloom predictions for brands in general (too expensive, too much media saturation), branded goods remain as hot as ever. Certain focused and well respected brands, often beacons of coolness and quality, are now cashing in by enriching other, more all-encompassing brands. The result: BRANDED BRANDS.

In plain English: BRANDED BRANDS means you will get a pizza from Pizzeria Uno on an American Airlines flight. And onboard perks offered by United Airlines include Starbucks Coffee, Mrs. Fields Cookies and even a McDonald’s ‘Friendly Skies Meal’, including the ubiquitous promo-toy.

When you check into your Westin Hotel, expect the beauty products to come from premium brand Aveda. Le Meridien adds to its appeal with luxurious Hermes toiletries. These days, lifestyle magazines even include this kind of information in their hotel reviews.

Cars aren’t immune either: Lexus proudly promotes their Mark Levinson audio systems. And when dining out, don’t be surprised to find Haagen-Dazs ice-cream on the menu of even upscale restaurants. It all points to consumers on the road increasingly wanting to find the brands they trust and enjoy at home (United Airlines’ in-board coffee approval shot up to 87% when it introduced Starbucks).

Up to marketers to decide whether they represent a brand that should be branded, or own a brand that puts the ‘branded’ into others!