A brand architecture strategy is one of the most effective ways for a company to communicate its value proposition, determine how its brands will compete with each other and develop unique positioning and brand personality within its marketplace. A brand architecture strategy can be implemented by a company’s internal marketing team or through an outside agency with expertise in brand architecture.
Brand architecture is the structure of brands within an organizational entity. It is the way in which the brands within a company’s portfolio are related to and differentiated from, one another. Brand architecture provides clients with an effective strategy for managing their brands in a competitive marketplace.
A brand can leverage the trust built by their larger brand or company while entering new markets that are easier to enter due to a stronger sense of brand loyalty. When sub-brands are used in marketing, the results are more powerful. The most important product features can be highlighted and focused on when messaging is more targeted. Product options become clearer based on the needs of the customer, making their choice and conversion journey as simple as possible.
Products are organized around the parent brand umbrella.
Brands that augment and are connected to the parent brand
Brand & Products endorsed by the parent brand
House of Brands
Parent Company with the standalone, disconnected brand
The company can achieve a variety of objectives by establishing a sub-brand, including:
- Breaking into a new market and gaining new customers.
- Standardise their value propositions and product offerings.
- Improving their marketing efforts and catering to a specific group of customers.
Benefits of a brand architecture strategy include:
- Reducing marketing costs.
Well-designed brand architecture can significantly reduce your organization’s marketing spending because it eliminates the need for multiple brands to be launched simultaneously.
- Increasing flexibility for future product and service expansion.
Creating a strong foundation from the outset ensures that you have room to grow in the future without having to change everything at once (or risking losing momentum).
- Bolstering confidence among stakeholders in the strategic direction of your brand(s).
By clearly communicating what makes each part of your business distinct from others, you build trust with customers, investors and other stakeholders who are essential to its success; they understand why each decision has been made, and have confidence that these decisions will continue moving forward if they agree with them or not.
Brand Architecture Spectrum
Consider the four following points of view as a far better place to start:
- What objectives does the organisation have?
- Which system brands are responsible for the majority of the value creation, and where will the value originate from going forward?
- Who are the many audiences that the system’s brands must communicate with?
- How similar or distinct are their needs?
- Is the ultimate goal to encourage audiences to interact with numerous system components (e.g., maximise cross-sell) or is it preferable to design specific system components for each audience segment?
- How does the organisation intend to manage risk? For example, how should the other components of the system be affected if one brand in the system fails?
- Which company’s image do you want your staff to project?
- How many layers in the hierarchy are necessary to accommodate the different brands, alliances, ingredients, varieties, and ranges that the organisation wants to use?
- What role does each of these play in advancing the organization’s goal? In what order?
- And how should the brands that are represented in each layer of the hierarchy be indicated aesthetically and verbally?
When deciding which strategy is best for you, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you attempting to connect with a new demographic that wouldn’t be interested in your current brand?
- Are you attempting to produce a novel experience that is significantly distinct from what consumers already anticipate from you?
- Does the marketing approach and messaging for your new product or service need to be radically different?
- Would your new message become too complex and confusing if you changed your present brand, audience, and marketing plan to reflect your growing offerings, or would it really increase your appeal to a key target segment?
A brand architecture strategy benefits greatly from external expertise and input. As you can see, brand architecture is a complex task. The process of understanding and defining your brand will often bring up questions that require input from experts outside of the marketing team. A strategy consultant with deep experience in brand architecture will be able to guide you through these processes with confidence.
This is why we strongly recommend working with an agency or consultant for your branding and marketing efforts. A professional service provider can help you define your architecture framework, develop a consistent and defensible implementation plan across all touchpoints, and align your teams on shared direction and priorities.
Brand architecture can be a very useful tool for companies of all sizes because it allows them to organize their brands in a way that makes sense to their business and provides customers with a clear understanding of what those brands stand for.
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