At Liquorish Ink we believe in using an array of intelligent tools and resources, and working collaboratively as a team to define a clear brand architecture strategy that will build a strong brand that your consumers can understand, relate to, and access with ease.
It was once a matter of choosing a logo or logos and splashing your name about as far and wide as your budget could muster. From labels and mousepads to billboards and beyond. That was how you made consumers aware of your brand and the various products and services that you offered.
But that was then. Now, to put your best branding foot forward and help consumers navigate your holistic offering, you need to articulate a clear brand structure through a cleverly orchestrated, well managed brand architecture strategy.
What is brand architecture strategy?
Brand architecture strategy is the intentional planning that goes into organising your brand, extensions, and offering. A typical brand architecture definition will tell you that this planning is what informs your brand structure, because this structure defines the different levels within your brand and provides a hierarchy that explains the relationships between the extensions and different products and services. And through this holistic blueprint, consumers will be able to relate to your company and access your offering.
Or to put it another way, brand architecture strategy is the building plan that lays out the main brand identity and any sub-brand identities in a logical order, and in doing so, slots your services and products into this order so that you can create a strong brand that consumers can understand and intuitively navigate.
The purpose of brand architecture strategy
A strategy helps you make sure that your brand family presents a single, coherent offering to consumers. One that they can understand, remember, and access. Typically, a brand architecture agency will look at the issues your company struggles with and help you decide on which strategic approach is best. For instance, we’ll scrutinise your brand to ascertain if you might be suffering from trying to support too many brands, logos, and features. Or we’ll see if your brand is offering too few brand extensions, thereby putting the responsibility on one brand to bear all the burden, diluting your relevance and limiting your growth.
These challenges vary and can become more complex as your company grows, so it may very well be that your company will outgrow your initial approach. Typically, though, there are three common approaches to efficiently present your brand to the world.
The three common brand architecture strategies include:
- Branded houses: This structure includes a master brand, like Microsoft, and links the brand name to its extension brands – think Microsoft Health, Microsoft Project, and Microsoft Windows.
- House of brands: Allows for and protects the master brand from its extensions and enables for in-house competition, like Telesure Group Services, which owns various insurance brands, including Auto & General, dialdirect, Budget Insurance, and more.
- Hybrid brand: A more flexible way of packaging separate brands under a master brand, such as Cape Union Mart, which owns Poetry, Old Khaki, Tread+Miller, Sparks & Ellis, and Keedo.
Why brand architecture strategy is important
Brand architecture strategy is important because it helps consumers more easily understand your brand family, develop preferences within this structure, and access your products and services. A clear strategy also enables you to seamlessly organise and introduce new offerings and helps optimise your marketing efficiency and performance. Lastly, it gives you the chance to establish rules that prevent new ideas from breaching your core vision and prevents the bastardisation of your brand identity.
How to develop brand architecture strategy
Knowing how to develop a brand architecture strategy requires a partner who will take an inside-out approach that enables both your internal customers and external customers to understand your offering. The first step is to audit your existing architecture and discern your current brand structure. Next, we’ll create a logical framework that establishes the desired relationship hierarchy within your brand family. This roadmap ensures that you can clarify and ensure synergy between your products, services, and brand extensions.
A large part of this, which we pay particular attention to, is helping you decide what kind of relationship each element in your brand portfolio will have. It leaves no misunderstanding when it comes to the connections between what you offer, how this relates to your other products, services, and brand extensions, and how everything is connected within your brand family.
And then we articulate this to the world, using a strategic brand architecture to provide your brand with the leverage to extend both horizontally and vertically, deliver against a larger brand promise, and capture new customer segments and markets.
As a boutique strategy and media consultancy, we are well versed in brand architecture and can help you create a brand structure that’s easy to build on and simple to navigate.