Brand architecture isn’t just for huge multinational organizations. Even smaller brands can see huge results in performance by better organizing their offerings. Ensuring clarity and synergy between companies, divisions, products, and services enable you to tailor messaging to individual segments of your customer base. This, in turn, reduces marketing costs and all while clarifying your brand positioning.
Establishing a solid Brand Architecture is an important guide for brand extensions, sub-brands, and development of new products and services. It can also provide a direction when developing a Brand Identity development and design, and remind consumers of the original brands value proposition for the entire brand family. It also provides the maximum brand value by fully leveraging both corporate and sub-brands.
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What are the different types of Brand Architecture?
Brand architecture is a strategic structure to help your audience access and relate to a brand. Put simply it’s the “family tree” that enables your consumers to form opinions and preferences for your products or services. There are really 3 common ways to structure that organizations use, these are:
Monolithic or Branded House.
An architecture in which the sub-brands use the name, and more often than not the identity of the Masterbrand. Great examples of this Structure are FedEx, Virgin.
Endorsed or House of Brands
An architecture in which sub-brands are independently named and have their own identity, but which at some level bear the endorsement of their parent brand, eg P&G, Unilever.
As the name suggests, a mixture of the two approaches, and is very often the architecture of choice as it offers the greatest flexibility and options for those creating the brand architecture, eg Coca Cola, Google.
What should a good Brand Architecture define?
The purpose of a solid brand architecture is to address the following questions:
• What is the overarching branding approach? Master brand, brand/sub-brand, endorsed brand, stand-alone brand/brands, including or some combination of any of these?
• How many levels are there in the structure of the brand portfolio?
• What types of brands exist at each level?
• How do the brands at different levels relate to each other?
• What are the rules for introducing new brands into the portfolio?
• Which brands’ identities are dominant and which ones are recessive?
• What types of naming strategy (nomenclature) does the brand portfolio use the organization uses?
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What are the benefits of defining our Brand Architecture?
Brand architecture should be an integral component of your brand’s grand plan, after all, it’s the structure on which your brand is based. Understanding it and why it matters to your current and future customers can unearth some truly amazing insights into the forward for your brand as a whole or even a specific product or service.
Defining your Brand architecture will help discover connections to take your brand to the highest level.