Brand Architecture: Getting Control of Your Portfolio

In our last article, we reviewed the types of brand architecture—house of brands, branded house, endorsed, and hybrid. A good and strategic brand architecture serves many purposes. It lays a foundation to convey the ideal perception of your brand to target audiences, it differentiates your brand in the marketplace, and it helps customers sift through the culture to ensure your brands are marketed effectively and efficiently to save valuable time and preserve budgets. It’s the first step to making sure you have a brand messaging and positioning strategy that is clear, consistent, and compelling.

To produce an optimal brand architecture and messaging and positioning recommendations, you must start by laying a strong foundation with quantitative and qualitative data. A few of the most important steps within groundwork include an informational review, brand audit, and in-depth interviews.

You start by conducting an informational review of all collateral you can get your hands on; including current positioning documentation (mission, vision, & value statements), a comprehensive list of current and future products, technology, services, advertising & public relations strategy, existing brand architecture, marketing communications materials, existing market research, target audience information, competitive overview, acquisition and/or growth plans, existing brand standards manuals or guidelines/internal branding materials.

You also need an exhaustive brand audit of brands within the space to evaluate your brand’s position within that framework and provide context for how other companies have addressed situations for portfolio expansion.

In-depth interviews, both internal and external, conducted one-on-one & quantitatively online, will identify the perceptions, opinions, & motivations of your brand, its competitors, the industry, & leadership expectations.

These are just a few of the strategic components you need to lay a strong foundation to develop a brand architecture with a clear, consistent, and compelling messaging and positioning that sets your brand up for success within your industry.