A brand with well-defined brand architecture is a brand that’s thinking about future growth.future-minded brands are a reassuring sign for investors and employees alike.
When one company, for any reason, sells different products, offers multiple services or a combination of both, the customers get confused.
As a result, sometimes customers are unaware of the breadth of their offerings, even if it is advertised properly.
For example, the growth of a company started as a yoga center was stunted as it was perceived as just that, a yoga center
even when they had worked hard to expand their services to include Ayurvedic massage, nutrition counseling, leadership program, etc.
The most immediate solution is Brand Architecture.
What Is Brand Architecture?
Brand architecture is systematically organizing the products and services under proper umbrellas and marketing them under these segregated brands.
For eg, the company Unilever makes soap, shampoo, tea, body lotions, lip-care among other things.
Brand Architecture organizes and markets the soap and shampoo under Dove, teas under Lipton, skincare and lip-care products under vaseline and many more.
This helps your audience access and relate to a particular brand.
This gives you the freedom to create a different brand identity based on the product.
It is also important to realize that it’s not just one company – you make many different things that need special attention.
Types of Brand Architecture
Brand architecture can be majorly be divided into these three structures,
Branded house is a structure where the parent brand is very closely associated with the child brands.
In terms of marketing, advertising and naming, these children brands are always connected to the parent brand.
They generally use the parent name in the extension with their own brand name as well.
Brands generally use this architecture to keep the brands closely associated with the parent brand and each other in market space.
This makes it easy for the clients to identify the brands associated with the parent brands.
It also lets them take advantage of the brand reputation of their parent brand and other sub-brands of the same parent.
Example for Branded House can be given as Apple that has ‘i’ prefix for all its product line as ‘iPhone’, ‘iMac’, ‘iWatch’, etc,
Google has a ‘G’ or ‘Google’ as a prefix eg. ‘Gmail’, ‘Google Drive’, ‘Google Maps’, etc.
House of Brands
House of brands is an architectural structure where the child brands are presented as individual brands.
They maintain very little or no public relations with their parent brand.
Brands use this architecture when it typically has a very wide range of products or services in different market sectors and domains.
For example, when a company is involved in the production of beauty products and stationery products, they try to market both the product line separately as they have nothing in mutual and cannot benefit from each other.
Examples of the house of brands can be P&G Brand Architecture with sub-brands like Tide, Pantene, Duracell, pampers, etc.
These child brands have no mention of their parent in their names or advertisements and are represented as individual brands in the market.
In Endorsed architecture, the parent brand and the child brands all have their separate market presence and value.
But the child brand gets an advantage of being associated with the parent by mentioning its name in the brand title as ‘by’ or ‘presented by’, etc.
Companies use this structure when they want the child brand to maintain its separate identity and place in the market while sharing a connection between them and the parent brand.
Examples of endorsed branding architecture can be Marriott with child brands mentioned as JW Marriott, Courtyard Marriott, Execustay Marriott, etc.
In Hybrid Branding architecture, the parent may use a combination of above architecture to meets its needs or to meet specific market needs.
The parent brand may have its name mentioned with some of its child brands like in branded house architecture
They also represent other child brands as individuals like in the house of brands architecture.
The brand does this under certain circumstances where one model may not meet the marketing plan for all children’s brands.
Examples of this can be Microsoft with child brands like Microsoft windows, Microsoft Surface, Xbox, Bing, etc.
Coca Cola with child brands Diet cola, Coca-cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, etc.
Why Brand Architecture Is Important
At this point, you might be thinking that your brand is too small to benefit from brand architecture but brand architecture isn’t just for multinational corporations.
Even small businesses can see a significant enhancement in performance by standardizing their services.
Despite your company’s size, effective brand architecture can enable you to target the needs of specific customer segments and enhance awareness of your offerings.
The brand architecture enables you to segment your messaging and services so that each of your target audience hears what they want to hear and gets precisely what they’re looking for.
When divisions or sub-brands are clearly differentiated, customers can understand their unique value propositions.
Some tips for efficient Brand Architecture
Decide how closely you want to associate your divisions to your parent brand. Different kinds of architecture types offer a different way to leverage (or not leverage) the parent name.
Next, prioritize clarity in the connections across your brands, divisions, products, or services.
Endorsement and cross-promotion don’t work if customers are confused by brand correlations. The more common elements there are among your brands, the stronger the synergy is between them.
Finally, pay close attention to the details of your visual identity system across brands. Naming structure, common colors, and symbol placement should all align with your overarching brand strategy.
It takes a lot to run a successful company. Proper branding is an important stepping stone to that end.
With proper research and careful exploration, you can use each element of your company to benefit the whole.
That is why every company needs a clear and precise brand architecture. And a company like ours exists to help if it gets too tough.