Brand architecture

What is brand architecture?

Brand architecture is the way you organise, manage and go to market with your brands. It defines how your brands are presented at a corporate, divisional, product and service level - think of it as the external face of your business strategy. It also dictates how your brands are connected or kept separate in the consumer's mind.

From a return on investment perspective, a well-thought-out brand architecture defines how your brands and/or products/services can achieve maximum market impact - and minimum cannibalisation if your organisation owns more than one brand competing in the same market.

To work effectively, brand architecture must be well defined, reflect a clear understanding of your market and the brand strategies of your competitors, and align and support your business goals and objectives.

Crafting the right brand architecture for your organisation is a strategic process, and requires specialist expertise to negotiate the complex hierarchies, history and relationships that exist.

Our expertise and objectivity allow us to ask the right questions and negotiate the complex hierarchies, history and relationships that can often exist within organisations. We'll use our proven thinking, tools and techniques, to develop appropriate architecture options, and facilitate workshops with you to refine the chosen model. We'll document and present a clear brand architecture framework and strategy - for your current brands, as well as any new brands you may create or acquire in the future.

The right brand architecture strategy:

  • Makes your business easier to understand and manage.
  • Allows your business to improve the cost effectiveness of its brand and marketing investment.
  • Aligns brand positioning and value propositions appropriately with market segments, improving clarity and consistency across your organisation.
  • Provides a clear decision-making framework for the valuation and treatment of acquired brands. Will the new brand be retained or retired? If retained, will the brand name be kept or changed? What will its relationship be to your other brands?
  • Clarifies strategy by identifying gaps and overlaps. It's important to have "daylight" between brands.
  • Facilitates development of visual identity systems by dictating the size and position of brand names in relation to each other.
  • Provides rules to guide the creation of new brands and brand extensions, and avoids the dilution of brand meaning through overstretching.

Multiple brand architecture models can be applied and organisations need to carefully select an approach that will assist in maximising revenue and sustainability. Models include:

  • Branded house
  • Umbrella brand
  • Sub-brand
  • Endorsed brand
  • House of brands

For more information, read one of our most popular blogs, Brand architecture models - branded house and house of brands.

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