Put simply, Brand Architecture refers to organizing subsections of a larger brand into varying subsections. It is a valuable process that helps segment and organizes the structure of your brands, products, and services. It becomes the outline in which your brands all relate to one another.
While part of the value of brand architecture refers to enabling marketers to place brand extensions in the right places, whether to separate brands when required or to bring them together to complement each in the marketplace, but to consolidate your brand properties in a way that maps your brand's purposes.
Why Does Brand Architecture Matter?
Have you ever considered that your company may actually be confusing your audience unwittingly, in terms of the types of products and services you have placed on the market?
Companies that have been in action for many years, especially those that have expanded in more ways than one, tend to have built up a multi-layered blend of brands, each with their own brand identities. This can confuse potential customers, producing negative perceptions, and as such can adversely affect purchase decision making. E.g., a loss in sales.
One of the prime factors that explains why companies may find themselves unaware of this type of confusion is because internal parties have been involved with clarifying said brands, products for so long they have become accustomed to how your company classifies and organizes their deliverables, and as such lack external and objective perspective.
During this overview we will take a look into the main types of brand architecture, and how to restructure your brand so as to avoid these types of issues. We will also observe some points that cover the benefits of solidifying a brand architecture and a number of considerations to indicate when and how we build Brand Architecture.
Let’s look at some brand architecture examples to see how this works.
What are the Main Types of Brand Architecture?
While there are many types of Brand Architecture, most people generally refer to three main model types, these three models will be the predominant discussion point in this article.
THE BRANDED HOUSE
The Branded House is most likely the most widely used form of brand architecture. The main characteristics of The Branded House model, is that it predominantly displays its parent brand in a way that clearly signifies it as the umbrella brand (something that holds the most sway) it then carries each separate subsidiary or sub-brand in a way that clearly signifies it as a subsidiary of the prime brand.
Major brands such as Google and Apple are classic examples that utilise this style, where both brands have sub-brands or standalone brands, but they can all be marketed and operated under a singular umbrella brand.
Each subsidiary displays the sub category/brand descriptor/qualifier in a way that not only describes the purpose of the subsidiary, but easily signifies itself as a subcategory brand under the Master brand by size, position, color etc.
FedEx as shown below is also a perfect example to illustrate how The Branded House architecture model works.
Notice how the structure provides a consistent experience, which abolishes any chance for confusion. Additionally, it builds brand equity for the Prime Corporate brand.