Blog / Brand Architecture


Look, no one knows your brand better than you do. But we’d like to give you a run for your money. Which is why, before we do anything else, we immerse ourselves in your business. We want to know why your brand matters. How it competes. The audiences critical to its success. Where the growth opportunities lie—and the challenges as well. We want to hear about your culture, operations and communications. We want to sit. And listen. And learn everything we possibly can. Because only by collaborating with our clients closely, from beginning to end, can we mutually arrive at a clear, concise, effective brand message and identity.

How We Define Brand Architecture

For us, Brand Architecture is the relationship between your organizational brand and your various product and service brands. This strategy may be expressed in a variety of ways, yet it should always connect meaningfully to the company’s identity. The main questions become: “What promise is this offering delivering?” and then “How does this offering deliver our promise?”

By resolving these and other questions, we turn brand architecture from a purely conceptual exercise into a real, meaningful set of organizing principles and clear decisions. The resulting strategies work not only in the present, but they help organizations maintain brand coherence n their portfolios as they grow and prosper.

Types and Models of Brand Architecture

Most companies think about brand architecture in terms of two models: “branded house” and “house of brands.” Each of these come from a more traditional way of looking at brand relationships as static and regimented. Either the corporate brand dominates or the product brands dominate. Our more modern approach to brand architecture is more organic and shows that there’s plenty of middle ground between these two models.

Many leading brands today include a mix of “branded house” and “house of brands” approaches, each designed to grow their diverse customers, employees and investors into a strong community with an even stronger affinity for their corporate and product brands. No model is necessarily better than another, as the right architecture depends on your trajectory and goals. What is most important is to clearly understand and articulate those goals, so you can then design your brand architecture to best meet them.

Brand Architecture Benefits

There are many benefits to a thoughtful, strategic brand architecture.

First, it helps build awareness and appeal at the right levels within an organization and maximizes the value of each brand.

Second, it focuses efforts and resources in the right places, so you realize the positive impact from the time, energy and money you spend on the brand.

Finally, it creates a clear framework for future decisions. No successful organization is going to always have the exact same number of products, services and divisions. It will grow, shrink, sell off or acquire businesses. A clear architecture will help you adapt to each change, grow strategically and build brand value. When your employees, customers, and investors all understand what promises you are making and how you are delivering on those promises, they come to you with the right expectations and your relationship with them grows.

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