Brand Architecture

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Brand Architecture

Description

The purpose of a Brand Architecture model is to help a company organize its portfolio of brands, products, and services to support a business strategy. These models help illustrate the hierarchy, linkages, and roles for each brand. Brand architecture is fundamental to marketing decision-making, from setting budgets to designing websites. There are four main models: Branded House, House of Brands, Endorsed Brand, and Sub-Brand. Each model has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. You need to determine the right model based on your own unique situation and strategy. Establishing a coherent brand architecture makes marketing more efficient and effective by providing you with greater focus and clarity for internal stakeholders and customers.

Questions

What role does this brand play in relation to others?

Steps

  1. To start, ensure you have a clear understanding of your business strategy and factors that may impact your brands. Consider future mergers or acquisitions, line extensions or consolidations, or changes in your positioning.
  2. Audit your current portfolio of brands, products, and services. If you have an existing brand architecture, audit that as well. Analyze how your ‘current state’ may need to change to support your business strategy.
  3. Evaluate how different models may address your needs. For example, a Branded House may limit extensions but consolidate investment. A House of Brands may enable diversification but require more resources.
  4. Map your individual brands, products, and services to your chosen model. Many organizations use a hybrid approach, so highlight important nuances or exceptions. Stress-test it against your business strategy and future plans.
  5. Finally, ensure that you revisit your brand architecture over time to ensure that it is in tune with your business strategy and portfolio. As your business evolves, your brand architecture may evolve with it.

Considerations

  • Ensure that your approach provides sufficient clarity and separation between brands, where required.
  • Consider how to reach your target market with fewer brands, as each brand requires additional budget.
  • Make sure that you do not map your brand architecture to your internal organizational structure.

References

Aaker, David. “Brand Portfolio Strategy: Creating Relevance, Differentiation, Energy, Leverage, and Clarity”, Free Press, 2004

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