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Why A Brand Architecture Matters

A well-defined model structure technique helps organizations develop, rework, appeal to clients, and construct perceptions. On this publish, we’ll have a look at the differing types and advantages of a model structure technique, in addition to a step-by-step information so you possibly can create a profitable framework to your group.

Model Structure Advantages

Brand recognition or brand awareness: What’s the difference?

With out a well-defined model structure technique, a corporation can expertise brand dilution. When manufacturers begin promoting unrelated merchandise that do not match their model promise, they overlap with different manufacturers throughout the group, working towards one another.

A model structure technique has eight main advantages:

  • Targets Particular Buyer Segments
  • Builds & Protects Model Fairness
  • Enhances Consciousness
  • Platform For Development & Growth
  • Boosts Stakeholder Confidence
  • Strong Model Messaging & Positioning
  • Reduces Advertising and marketing Bills
  • Will increase Organizational Flexibility

Three Model Architectures

A model structure describes how a enterprise organizes, manages, and markets its manufacturers. There are three predominant varieties of model structure fashions: the monolithic/branded home, the pluralistic/home of manufacturers, and the endorsed/hybrid. Determining which method is true for what you are promoting has a number of implications: how folks understand what you are promoting, how new services or products launch, and the way different manufacturers get built-in. Let’s take a better have a look at these three model structure fashions.

MONOLITHIC/ BRANDED HOUSE: Underneath this construction, the corporate has a grasp model with a number of sub-brands that often share the identical identify with a qualifier to elucidate what the sub-brand does. This mannequin capitalizes on buyer loyalty.

Examples embrace:

  • Google: Google Calendar, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Advertisements, Google Analytics
  • Apple: Apple iPhone, Apple Pay, Apple iPad
  • FedEx: Categorical, Floor, Freight, Logistics, Workplace, Companies

The advantages of this technique embrace:

  • Effectivity: Targeted advertising spending on a single model technique.
  • Ease: Simpler for customers to acknowledge by maintaining all choices below one model.
  • Acceptance: Shoppers are extra accepting of latest merchandise and line extensions from a model they already belief.
  • Elevated Consciousness: Because the grasp model grows, the sub-brands obtain elevated consciousness.

Some downsides to this technique embrace:

PLURALISTIC/HOUSE OF BRANDS: In this structure, the master brand takes a back seat, giving the sub-brands the focus. Brands under this model have their audiences, brand identities, and marketing strategies. Businesses that want to reach diverse markets with a more tailored value proposition are likely to use this approach.

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Examples include:

  • Procter & Gamble: Crest, Dawn, Tide, Vicks, Bounty, Pampers, Pantene, Gillette
  • Yum! Brands: KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, The Habit Burger Grill
  • Unilever: Axe, Ben & Jerry’s, Dove, Lipton, Popsicle, Klondike, Hellmann’s
  • General Motors: GMC, Chevrolet, Jeep, Buick, Cadillac

The benefits of this strategy include:

  • Minimizes Risks: One brand can deal with the bad press while the rest of the brands and company can maintain their reputation.
  • Reach: Each brand can broaden its reach through unique brand value propositions.
  • Safety Net: An organization can take more risks knowing they have a strong brand to withstand the heat.

Some downsides to this strategy include:

  • Cost: Managing multiple brands is difficult and expensive.
  • Image: Confusion about the parent company’s identity can occur.
  • Reputation: The main brand cannot be relied upon to bolster the sub-brands reputation.

ENDORSED/HYBRID: The product or division is endorsed by the master brand. Each sub-brand and brand extensions have their own separate identities, but most are associated with the master brand. This strategy allows for flexibility in that you can choose to leverage your master brand or have an independent brand strategy. This approach often comes from mergers and acquisitions rather than a proactive strategy.

Examples include:

  • Marriott: Bvlgari, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Residence Inn, Westin, Sheraton
  • Nestle: Gerber, Perrier, Cheerios, KitKat, Toll House, Nescafe, Hot Pockets, Lean Cuisine, Stouffers, Coffee-Mate, Dreyers
  • Kellogg: Cheez-It, Pringles, Gardenburger, Rice Krispies, Pop-Tarts, Eggo, Nutri Grain, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops, Town House

The benefits of this strategy include:

  • Credibility: The endorsement provides credibility, reputation, and perceived confidence across the sub-brands.
  • Efficiencies: Marketing effectiveness and reduced costs in conjunction with the master brand.
  • Cross-Selling: Link between brands facilitates cross-selling.

Some downsides to this strategy include:

  • Reputation: Sub-brands are tied to the master brand’s perception and reputation. If one brand experiences backlash, everyone suffers.
  • Increased Costs: With every new endorsed brand comes creative, legal, and time-to-market costs.
  • Image: Confusion about the parent company’s identity can occur.

How To Create A Brand Architecture

The purpose of a brand architecture strategy is to make your offerings clearer to your organization, stakeholders (i.e. investors, vendors, clients, agencies, etc.), and customers. This will guide you to which brand architecture type will best support your business strategy and those you serve. Here are three steps in creating a brand architecture strategy:

  1. CONDUCT AUDIT: The first step is to conduct an audit of your current organization’s situation. This will help you determine what type of brand architecture will be most relevant for your organization. Things to evaluate in your audit include:
    • How do your customers make decisions?
    • Evaluate each brand’s equity in comparison to other brands and the market.
    • Conduct a competitive audit and SWOT analysis.
    • Look at each brand, division, and corporate organization and how they are interconnected.
  2. IDENTIFY APPROACH: The next step is to identify the best brand architecture strategy that fits your organization’s needs. Questions to ask as you evaluate your alternatives:
    • List out the pros and cons of each brand architecture strategy
      • Resources (budget/human) – How many brands can your organization afford to support? Do you have the resources to support each strategy?
      • Do these brand architecture strategies meet your business objectives?
    • Is having a connecting link between the master brand, brands, and divisions a priority?
    • To what extent do your brands need to remain independent?
    • Do you have a valuable and loyal customer following that you want to leverage?
    • What is your growth strategy? Does your business entail pending mergers, acquisitions, or alliances? Are you planning new products, services, line extensions? And you don’t want to impact your master brand?
    • Are you looking to maintain a consistent brand identity throughout all of your sub-brands?
    • Are there special circumstances (partnerships, licenses, etc.) that dictate tighter or looser brand linkages?
    • Do your products or services target a particular market? Are you looking to expand into other market segments?
    • How much disruption are you willing to endure reorganizing your brand architecture?
    • To what extent should your brands cross-reference and promote each other? Will your customers be confused by cross promoting between your brands?
  3. DEVELOP STRATEGY: Now you’re ready to develop your brand architecture strategy, execution plan, and timeline. Develop a brand strategy for each brand under the brand architecture strategy that you’ve identified that best fits your organization. Last, create a decision tree to maintain your brand architecture. A formal decision tree provides your organization with a guideline on the brand strategy across the portfolio.


Your brand architecture is critical to get right for your internal organization, external partners, and customers to understand. A defined brand architecture strategy helps organizations grow, transform, attract customers and build perceptions. Start building your brand leadership today. You’ve got this!

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