Brand Architecture. What on earth..?
It’s ok, we’ve got your back.
Brand Architecture is essentially how a brand organises itself to communicate all aspects of its business. It is most important to businesses that have multiple dimensions of work that are headed by one larger presence. Often, companies enter on a confusing journey of development or acquisition where clear boundaries are not established early enough between one product/service and another, leading it to become unclear to the consumer whether there is a relationship or whether they are different entities entirely.
To overcome this external confusion, several key methods of organisation have been developed, each consisting of an overarching head/parent brand and a series of sub/sister-brands, whose relationships can be highlighted in different ways.
But why does this matter…?
As a consumer, we make purchases based on numerous influences and although there are many intricacies, a huge aspect of this is our perception of the brand, whether it is concerning the product quality, press, customer service, or the look/feel, we develop a brand opinion. If it is unclear whether one product is related to another, we may be more or less likely to purchase it as a result.
Let’s take a toothbrush and toothpaste as a simplified example, if I buy a branded toothbrush which I get on well with, there is a possibility that as my trust for this brand grows, I would then be increasingly likely to purchase the same brands’ toothpaste when I next need some, having seen the branding replicated onto this packaging. Equally, if the products have no association with one another… a toothbrush and a carton of juice… would the benefits still be on par? It’s likely not, so in this instance, it may be more beneficial to proceed with a different identity entirely.
The Types of Architecture:
It is crucial companies begin to think of this long term strategy ahead of developing new sub-brands or acquiring companies so that from the off they can hit the ground running with clear and concise marketing messages. They can align with the correct influences and ensure that it is not damaging to other aspects of their company.
There are a few key systems currently in place to help guide direction: