Brand architecture is the art of linking your brands. It’s the equivalent of a person’s surname. If you have a surname like Oppenheimer for example, it is a name that is synonymous with success and wealth. This name opens doors and on first impression, you know the type of person you are dealing with. With a name that is recognizable, it makes the introduction far easier. In a simple sense, this is the power of Brand Architecture. It is a way to introduce your services or products with the least amount of explanation needed. More and more brands are moving in this direction to ensure an effective and understandable introduction – especially of new products or services. Is this the only way to go for your brand? Not at all. It is just one of the many options that you could utilise. It all comes down to whom you are talking to and what you want them to think about you. For example, if you make a toilet spray and an upmarket perfume, you surely don’t want those to be too closely related. But an upmarket clothing line and the perfume? That could be a very compelling brand family story. When looking at your Brand Architecture, there are a few critical things that need to be taken into consideration. It is not just something that should be done on a whim as it can go very wrong. But with proper strategic thought, it could grow your business exponentially. So what should you look for?
- What are the brands offerings and do they align?
- What are your customers looking for (so what need are you trying to satisfy) and what can you offer them?
- What market segments are you trying to attract?
- Is there an easy link in the consumer’s minds as to what they all offer?
- Does it make the introduction to the product simpler or more complicated?
At the end of the day, your brand architecture can dictate the level of involvement or interlinking you want between each brand, each product and each service within your organisation. Just keep in mind what you would think if a hippy arrived to a meeting with the surname Oppenheimer? That is how your consumers will feel if your mix of brand does not make sense. The power of brand architecture is so strong, that if it is not strategically considered, it could make businesses life far easier, or far more difficult. So when naming your brands, take a long hard think around “does this brand fit into my family”? Lara Cassel The Strategy Department, your in-house outsource solution for all your strategic marketing needs.
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