Most leaders think of brand architecture only during times of change, like mergers, acquisitions, rebrands and product launches. And, at those times, understanding the relationships between the brand names in your company’s portfolio is essential.
But documenting and guiding your brand architecture strategy outside of changing times is also important. It can help maintain long-term brand consistency, unite stakeholders and successfully expand your market share by helping you:
- Determine how to successfully add new products and services
- Identify relevant brand positioning, messaging and voice opportunities
- Reinvigorate or transition lower-impact brands in your portfolio
- Increase customer loyalty
- Uncover new target audience groups
What does your house look like?
All brand architecture strategies fall into one of three approaches, a branded house, a house of brands or a house blend. In a house of brands strategy, the company name is not identified at all. Instead, product names drive purchases. A branded house strategy has one unique brand name that motivates purchases and offers value. Many organizations use a hybrid or variation of one of the two approaches, called a house blend.
Does your brand architecture match your business strategy?
Brand architecture is the structure that clarifies roles and relationships within a portfolio of brands. But many people overlook how it aligns with an organization’s business growth strategies.
For example, a house of brands approach may make sense if your main growth strategy is to increase market share. This allows for the best opportunity to reach a large, diverse target audience. A branded house approach may be more appropriate if you are in a mature market and your business goals are geared toward maximizing marketing efforts and brand equity. Though a house blend strategy is quite difficult to execute, it can be useful if you’re trying to grow market share yet want to leverage the credibility of the parent brand. (Think Google’s acquisition of YouTube, Blogger, etc.)
Put your brand architecture to work
Aligning your business strategies with the correct brand architecture approach is crucial to the success of your organization. Remember, brand architecture strategy shouldn’t only come up during times of change. Instead, it should be a tool you consistently reference for all business and brand decisions.
Does your house need help?
At Ervin & Smith, we have a knack for invigorating brands and helping breathe new life into their unique stories. If you’re looking to learn more about brand architecture or need help optimizing your current brand strategy, contact us today to schedule a time to chat.
This post has been updated and was originally published on September 24, 2013.