Why Your Brand Architecture Is Confused And How To Fix It

Why Your Brand Architecture Is Confused And How To Fix It
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, February 09, 2021

As we’ve made a big assumption about you with this article’s headline, it’s only right that we explain ourselves. If you clicked on it, chances are you are struggling with your brand architecture. 

Whether you’re wondering what on earth it is, or if you’re an experienced marketer, but still, in this case, it’s not flowing, you’re not alone. It’s an issue we deal with every day.

What is brand architecture?

Put simply, brand architecture is the organisation of your company’s portfolio. It includes its brands, products and services. Written down, it will resemble some sort of family tree type diagram. 

In an ideal scenario, this diagram will flow nicely, with a clear understanding of how your products and services both relate and create a point of difference from each other. This understanding will help you focus your marketing efforts and define your offerings clearly to customers. 

What are the types of brand architecture? 

Collective groan here. Because there are different types of brand architecture, which is the root of much of the confusion around creating a streamlined and organised approach.

But wait, there are reasons to note these varying types of brand architecture. All will become clear, here are the main types:

  1. Branded House, which is when a parent brand rules the look and feel of any sub-brands that fall under it. Google is a good example here. 
  2. House of Brands. Unlike the branded House, here, each brand will have a distinct personality. Just take Unilever, for instance. 
  3. Endorsed brands. These are something of a middle ground between the top two. They are visibly endorsed by the parent brand, but they still have their distinct brand personality. 
How do you create a brand architecture? 

First and foremost, you need to have a clear understanding of your business goals before going to work on any changes to your brand architecture. An organised approach to re-evaluating your brand proposition, including mission statement, vision and values will enable you to tie everything together cohesively. 

Working with the right data and choosing a partner who can help you with asset management is important too, especially if you don’t have that resource inhouse. But it’s worth it. Because if you take a data-driven, comprehensive look at your brand and its assets, you’ll be in a much better position to consider your brand architecture and implement positive changes. 

Illapa Group Brand Architecture by W/Brand

An example of a branded house for Illapa Group by W/Brand.

In conclusion...

If we had to list the reasons to examine your brand architecture, we'd be hard-pressed to keep it short. But let’s just say that without a clear brand architecture, you could be operating in chaos, missing opportunities to engage with and sell to customers, and maximising marketing efforts.

You don’t need to be a big brand to go through this process either. Every growing business could do with looking at their brand architecture. As specialists in SMEs, we know exactly how powerful this approach can be. Contact us now to find out how we could help you.

Google brands are registered trademarks owned by Alphabet Inc.
Kellogg's brands are registered trademarks owned by Kellogg's Co.
Unilever brands are registered trademarks owned by Unilever Ltd

Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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