Putting the Pieces Together with Brand Architecture


There are many marketing buzzwords bandied about without fully defining what they mean. Brand architecture is an elegant term that defines exactly what you would think: the structure for your brand that serves as the foundation everything else builds upon.

It’s a road map, an overarching idea that determines brand identity, naming, design; a master organizing strategy that simplifies business for internal audiences while also engaging with consumers.

Don’t have a brand architecture strategy in place? You’re not alone. Many businesses create this structure after they have been operating for a while.

Let’s look at what brand architecture really means for your business. Think of it as a tree trunk with branches that represent the products and services you offer. But it’s not just one type of tree.

One type of brand architecture is a large tree that produces a master brand, with all the branches (products and services) underneath reflecting that master brand. Think Apple or Google. You can understand their other products just by relating to one, because it’s a unifying master brand.

Another type of brand architecture tree allows more freedom to the products and services operating beneath it. Think of it as a tree with multiple smaller trees sprouting from its roots, each one a bit different. Procter and Gamble is a good example of this type of brand architecture, with distinct brands like Tide, Folgers, and Pampers operating underneath.

A third type of brand architecture tree is a hybrid: there’s been some grafting done but the products and services are still related and growing together. Think of Coca-Cola and its products, which are related to each other but still distinct.

Whatever type of brand architecture is right for your business, it should be easy to understand, logical and support your business goals. The bottom line? Don’t confuse your customers. If properly implemented, brand architecture can streamline operations, connect with customers, and improve profitability.