Developing A Brand Architecture Strategy
To maintain and strengthen the favorability of brand associations, brands need continued marketing reinforcement. To prevent diminishing into an obsolete, irrelevant, or forgotten brand, brands must keep up with research and development and sustain a consistent marketing budget. In other words, brands must keep improving and adapting to present situations. To refrain from standing still, it is necessary to develop a brand architecture strategy.
What Is A Brand Architecture Strategy?
A brand architecture strategy is a strategy that is used by marketers to determine which products to introduce and which brand elements to apply to new and existing products. A brand architecture strategy is defined as “the logical, strategic and relational structure for all brands in the portfolio.” Marketers create a brand architecture strategy to determine when products and services should share the same name as the parent brand and how many variations of the parent brand name there should be.
Take the Coca- Cola brand, for example. Coca-Cola is a hybrid brand architecture and the parent brand of many sub-brands. Some brands are well known in the Coca-Cola family, such as Coke, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, and others are not such as Burn, Smart Water, and Honest Tea.
Customers relate to brands at different levels; because of this, brands need to create a portfolio that appeals to specific segments and meets various needs based on location. A brand architecture strategy is very similar to a family tree. However, instead of family members on its branches, sub-brands, brand extensions, branded house, house of brands, and hybrid or endorsed brands make up the hierarchy.
- Sub Brands are prevalent brand extension and carries both the parent brand name and a new name
- Branded house is endorsed and serve as an umbrella corporation over all of its products
- House of brands are free-standing and are individual brands with different names than the parent brand
- Hybrid or endorsed brands are an extension of a parent brand
Step 1: Define Brand Potential
Defining a brand’s potential is the first step in developing a brand architecture strategy. In order to complete this step, a marketer must consider the following three characteristics
- The brand’s vision (the long-term higher purpose)
- The brand’s boundaries (How transferable are the points of differences? How about the positioning?
- The brands positioning
Step 2: Identify Brand Extension Opportunities
In step two, a brand will identify its extension opportunities. What new products can/should/will be introduced under the existing and current brand name? Think Coke, Diet Coke, Caffeine-Free Coke. The key to this step is to understand brand equity implications and the points-of-difference as well as the points-of-parity.
Step 3: Brand New Products and Services
In this step, the brand-new products and services step, it is essential to consider which new products and services can and should use the parent brands brand elements and what other branding element options are available for branding this new product or service. Do you want to have an association with the parent brand? New products and services require significant effort when it comes to branding; they need to be branded in a way that communicates the brand’s clarity and association to the parent brand to the consumers.
After these steps are completed, a marketer must carefully consider the brand’s portfolios to maximize market coverage and to prevent a brand overlap. A brand hierarchy is then used to portray the branding strategy to determine when and where the brand elements can and should be used.
Brand awareness is incredibly important when it comes to marketing. This is why creating a brand architecture strategy is so important. They also help to maintain favorability, recognition, and brand equity. When used correctly, your architecture strategy will grow your brand to the next level and leverage your brand’s power.