Should your subsidiary businesses, products, and services carry the respective name of your mother brand, or live out their own lives in the global market in order to appeal to a certain range of demographics, otherwise unattainable with your primary brand personality? The answer will depend on your long-term goals and aspirations.
Brand architecture represents an invaluable piece in the puzzle of global market positioning and brand recognition, allowing you to develop new companies, products, and services and tailor them in terms of values, visual identity, personality, and voice in order to reach your audience. Rather than running the risk of inadequate and subpar customer feedback due to the overwhelming and familiar emotional response evoked by your mother brand, you can neatly organize your brand architecture to help clients, customers, and in-house teams better gauge and respond to your subsidiary brands.
In layman’s terms, brand architecture allows you to appeal to a wider audience by creating seemingly unrelated brands that are a part of a unified whole, or corporate brands that portray a unified story to larger demographic.
Given the aforementioned benefits, let us take a look at the crucial steps you should take to create your optimal brand architecture.
A brand, much like a growing person, starts off in a specific niche, and broadens its horizons to encompass numerous areas in life, taking interest, learning and mastering different traits. The place your brand starts in its genesis should not be the place it ends up, but rather it should pave the road to bigger and better things.
Thus, it becomes of essence to clearly define the new niches and future industries you wish to introduce your brand to, and create a demographic model that will yield the creation and fine-tuning of a new entity – your house of brands. Your house of brands is a group where every one of your new brands resides under the wings of your head corporation. In there lies the data, numerous marketing plans and strategies and dedicated teams that manage and grow your new businesses.
Brand architecture entails the use and optimization of three major architecture types, each with its own purpose and built in accordance with your aspirations.
The first type is corporate architecture. Corporate architecture entails the creation of unique companies, services or products that are supposed to live independently, yet are fully controlled and always come with a corporate identity prefix. This is a good solution for companies who want their new audiences to automatically associate their values with the corporate brand, avoiding the need for additional marketing efforts and complicated management delegation.
Secondly, there are sub-brands and endorsements. Succinctly, endorsed brands stand on their own in the local or global market, yet the corporate brand played a substantial, if not a key role, in their creation.
Endorsed brands can enjoy the benefits of the corporate brand’s support and protection, while being able to execute their own marketing strategies and create their brand in accordance with the corporate entity. This is an excellent solution for companies that want to create individual values, stories, messages, and visual identities for their new ventures.
Be wary though, endorsed brands need to deliver results in terms of brand recognition and value, and your corporate brand must actively participate in its establishment and ensure its strong footing before it can enjoy the fruits of its success.
Lastly, there is the option of creating individual product brands. This solution entails complete freedom of your individual brands, allowing them to live out their lives independently without any visible relationship with the corporate entity. This solution boasts numerous benefits but it can also present the corporate brand with hardship if not set up and managed properly. These unique brands need to be created with prudency and strategy, employing a strong marketing team for each, creating a professional management structure, developing a unique visual identity with graphic design and establishing an emotional relationship with the customers with a dedicate PR department.
Your brand architecture should be built gradually and it should be rationally positioned to evoke an emotional response. You need to utilize the customer’s inherent trait of emotionality to your advantage and build brands, products and services that will create a bond with your target audience. Remember, people consume content, buy products, and promote brands to their friends because they feel the brand to be an inseparable part of their reality, not necessarily because they need it.
Emotions trump functionality, and that is why your subsidiary brands need to be built on their strengths, advantages and benefits. Carefully start developing your new brands and list their functional traits from which you will derive their unique benefits that will spike an emotional reaction. These benefits need to be tailored perfectly to resonate with the specific target demographic and you will succeed in accomplishing this creative task by employing dedicated management teams to create and take the new brand out to sea.
Finally, hierarchy plays a pivotal role in the maintenance, productivity, and future success of your carefully built brand architecture. In a vast corporate conglomerate, it becomes staggeringly easy to lose a sense of direction and let your architecture fall to pieces under poor guidance and a lack of hierarchical communication and delegation.
For this reason, you must build and maintain a strong hierarchical foundation with clearly defined guidelines and regulations that will ensure productivity, financial prosperity, and long-term success with the best possible ROI.
The importance of establishing thriving brand architecture with careful planning and strategizing is unparalleled. Strong brand architecture will see your corporation to new heights, allowing your business to pursue new goals, create numerous revenue streams and effectively branch out into various global markets. Follow these crucial steps and you will easily pave the road to long-term success and prosperity!