Often the result of mergers, acquisitions, or just good old-fashioned unchecked growth, too many companies these days have wound up with a collection of brands, divisions, products, and services that can only be described as chaotic. A clear, intuitive brand architecture is the best way to guard against chaos and unpredictability. A strong brand architecture brings your range of offerings into focus, letting you better cross-promote them and gain control over how your business is perceived by consumers. If you’re unaware of the practical applications of brand architecture, you’re not alone. We find that many business owners have a limited understanding of the importance of buildng brand architecture and the challenges it can address. What types of challenges? For starters:

  • Your customers aren’t aware of or don’t fully understand your full list of your products and/or services
  • You have one or more product/service that vastly out-performs the others and you want to transfer some of its brand equity
  • You have one or more product/service that vastly under-performs your other offerings and you want to improve its visibility and/or reputation
  • You have recently acquired or plan to acquire a new brand and want to ensure you get the most out of integrating its products/services
  • You are launching a new product/service line and need to integrate it with your existing offerings
  • You are preparing for a liquidation event and want to ensure you’ve maximized your company’s brand equity

Brand architecture is the organizational structure of a company’s portfolio of brands, products, and/or services.Effective brand architecture includes an integrated system of names, symbols, colors, and visual vocabulary informed directly by the consumer thought process. That’s because key to brand architecture is your customer’s mental organization—how they conceptualize your business and its portfolio of offerings, and how each offering satisfies their needs.

Not only does it provide clarity around the organization of your offerings and how they are understood by consumers, it also influences customer behavior by maximizing the transfer of equity between your brands and sub-brands. If a customer has an existing relationship or positive association with a master brand, for example, they are much more likely to try one of its sub-brands.

Here at IdeateLabs we follow a carefully crafted formula to build your brand architecture strategy and deliver it:

  • Research: The best brand architecture starts with research on brand awareness, brand loyalty, and associations. Only with research can you know how your audience understands (or doesn’t understand) your key offerings.
  • Strategy: In the strategy phase, we determine the optimal brand architecture type for your business’s unique needs.
  • Migration: The final step is to create a blueprint for the system you’ve organized and outline a plan for migration. This includes a naming structure and identity system that clearly delineate your various sub-brands or extensions in a way that aligns with your overarching brand strategy.