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Brand Architecture is a system that organizes brands, products and services to help an audience access and relate to a brand. A successful Brand Architecture enables consumers to form opinions and preferences for an entire family of brands by interacting or learning about only one brand in that family.
An established Brand Architecture is an important guide for brand extensions, sub-brands and development of new products. It will also provide a road map for Brand Identity development and design, and remind consumers of the value proposition for the entire brand family. It also provides the maximum brand value by fully leveraging both corporate and sub brands.
Below are the three most common types of Brand Architecture:
- Branded House – Which offers a very logical path to brand extensions and new brands. In a branded house, the master brand is always present and is transferred easily to extensions. A good example is FedEx.
- House of Brands – Insulates and protects the master brand from brand extensions and in turn protects brands from each other. A house of brands also allows for a Master Brand to have competing brands in the same segments. A good example is Proctor and Gamble.
- Hybrid or Endorsing Brand – Very flexible, provides the option to use the Master Brand or not. Able to utilize further segmentation through endorsement. A good example is Toyota with the Lexus and Scion brands.
While these three types are the most common, they each have different strengths and weaknesses. We’ll explore those in my next post. We’ll also take a look at several other Brand Architecture variations such as Umbrella, Endorsed and Product.