This month guest blogger and Brand Strategist Hilary Cootes provides some insight on brand architecture, how it works and the long term benefits of getting your house in order.
Anyone who’s ever built a house will tell you how important great design is. That’s not just about the look of the house, but how the pieces should best come together to make it fit for purpose, while minimising cost. Brand architecture delivers similar benefits and is essential for creating order and hierarchy in a business.
Brands need that clarity, today more than ever, with technology disrupting the way customers and employees engage with brands – they know more and demand more. That means a brand’s survival depends on its capacity to clearly communicate how its products and services fit into consumers’ lives. Brand architecture gives you the foundation for that and can deliver measurable performance improvements.
With effective brand architecture you’ll:
How does brand architecture work?
Brand architecture offers a simple way of looking at how the organisation’s different businesses, brands and sub-brands should fit together. It simplifies that structure, allowing for clear communication to both internal and external audiences. This facilitates the relationship between brands and consumers, while also delivering a blueprint for internal audiences to understand the critical cultural elements of the wider organisation.
Brand architecture will also prescribe the relationship between a parent and sub-brand, and how a sub-brand’s identity should be represented.
Note that brand architecture is distinct from organisational structure – for a variety of reasons an organisation may be structured in such a way that makes little sense to internal or external audiences. Brand architecture offers a structure for simple understanding of the organisation’s offerings.
Signs you need to get your house in order
How to design your brand house
The process is about deciding on the brands you’ll have in your house, and how they’ll relate to each other. That seems simpler than it is. The answers to these questions require you to look both inwardly and outwardly – your brand architecture must truly reflect your organisation, while also making sense to your audiences. The help of an external expert is almost always essential in this process – they’ll offer perspective and resources you simply won’t have in-house.
Here are the steps towards creating your brand architecture.
Leverage your architecture
Arriving at a brand architecture is the first, but arguably most important, step in communicating your business internally and externally. Regardless of the size of your business, it’s a critical foundation upon which to build brand identities and names, and ultimately marketing efforts and consumer relationships.
Like most endeavours, investing the time and effort in planning can pay dividends. A brand architecture defined upfront is a powerful strategic roadmap that can accelerate growth and minimise waste, delivering higher short and long-term revenues and profits.
For support in defining your own brand architecture, or to speak with Hilary contact firstname.lastname@example.org