What Is Brand Architecture?
(Best Strategies And Top Examples)

When it comes to building a brand, few terms are revered and sought after more than clarity.

Initially clarity is focused on the position and messaging though as some brands grow, clarity of structure becomes critical, and that’s where brand architecture takes centre stage.

Brand architecture helps brands to organise and structure a framework to allow for independent brand equity, enhanced focus and highly targeted communication.

In this article we’re breaking down what brand architecture is and how you can leverage it to construct multiple brands to maximise structured growth.

When it comes to building a brand, few terms are revered and sought after more than clarity.

Initially clarity is focused on the position and messaging though as some brands grow, clarity of structure becomes critical, and that’s where brand architecture takes centre stage.

Brand architecture helps brands to organise and structure a framework to allow for independent brand equity, enhanced focus and highly targeted communication.

In this article we’re breaking down what brand architecture is and how you can leverage it to construct multiple brands to maximise structured growth.

What Is Brand Architecture
[The Video Breakdown]

One-click subscribe for video updates

What Is Brand Architecture?

Brand architecture is the discipline and technique used by brand strategists to organise and structure a variety of subdivisions of a master brand.

These sub-divisions can come in the form of products, services, sections or entire companies with their own individual offerings.

The architecture of the brand illustrates how the sub-brands of a master brand are organised and the relationship they have with one another and the master brand itself.

Brand Architecture Definition

Brand architecture can be distilled and defined as:

The structure of brands within an organisational entity

Think of brand architecture as the organisational chart of brands.

Instead of structurally positioning personnel of the organisation, the chart structurally positions brands of the organisation.

Get The FREE PRO Brand Strategy BluePrint Now

Want to build brand strategies like a PRO?

Download this FREE BluePrint to get the EXACT FRAMEWORK used by TOP AGENCIES to build brand strategies for their clients.

Avoid the mistakes that 95% of amateur brand-builders make and create strategic brands like a PRO.

SEND ME MY FREE BLUEPRINT NOW

PRO Brand
Strategy BluePrint

Build brands like a Pro Brand Strategist
with this proven Strategy Blueprint.
SEND IT
pro
close-link

How Brand Architecture Fosters Growth

The vast majority of businesses present their products, services and offerings under a single entity and in most cases this structure is effective.

A growing brand however, often coincides with a growing suite of products, services and offerings, which broaden the target audience which in turn, dilutes the message.

As the suite of offers grows and the audience expands, more specified segments of the growing audience emerge providing an opportunity for the brand to speak more directly and more specifically to each segment.

Brand Architecture division

A continuation of the existing structure in this case would result in untailored messaging, overlooked segments and unfocused positioning.

Using brand architecture however, would allow for sub-brands to emerge to meet the emerging market segments, speak more directly to them and grow more intimate relationships and brand equity independent of the master brand.

Brand architecture therefore fosters growth for growing brands.

Brand Architecture Strategy Advantages

The term “brand architecture” can be daunting and you might feel that it only really exists for the giant brands of the world such as Apple or Unilever.

The truth however, is that many small to medium businesses can also reap the benefits of structural organisation which flows down to performance.

Small, medium or large, the benefits of a solid framework are many.

Focused Target Audience

Segmenting broad audiences into smaller segments allows for hyper-targeted communication.

Brands that have the capability to speak directly to their audience in a way that makes them feel understood, earn trust and affection from their followers.

Marketing Efficiency

Leveraging a more focused audience increases the cost effectiveness of marketing as audiences have more attention to offer brands with highly tailored messaging.

The opportunities that exist for cross promoting between brands further increases efficiency and effectiveness.

Clarity Of Position

A brand with multiple products, services, divisions and companies that don’t leverage brand architecture find it increasingly difficult to occupy a distinct place in the mind of their audience.

The broader the brands offering and audience, the less defined their position and ultimately the more likely they are to become insignificant.

Leadership Conviction

As a brand grows, it can become increasingly difficult to see the forest for the trees.

A clearly illustrated brand architecture sets the scene and illuminates the framework on which the broader business in being constructed.

This clarity not only helps with confidence and conviction, it also supports decision-making and the long-term vision.

Enhanced Brand Awareness

Products, services, divisions and companies that remain under a single entity, are entirely reliant on that entity for brand awareness.

Even if brand awareness of that entity is high, that doesn’t always translate to high awareness the sub-divisions of the organisation.

With brand architecture, each sub-division has an opportunity to stake a claim for its own brand awareness with specified messaging talking to specific strengths, benefits and outcomes.

Traction in the market therefore is either less dependent on or entirely independent of the master brand.

Develop & Defend Brand Equity

Brand equity is the value of the brand derived from consumer perception.

With each sub-division boasting its own brand, each has the opportunity to shape their specific customers’ perceptions and ultimately grow it’s own brand equity.

Types Of Brand Architecture

Brand architecture tends to fall into one of four specific structures, which are:

Branded House

House Of Brands

Endorsed Brands

Hybrid Brands

Let’s dive deeper shall we?

Branded House

A branded house structure is most common when a master brand has well defined product or service offerings that are tightly related to how the audience consumes the brands’ offerings.

The structure of the brand names and identity design of the sub-brands are usually a derivative of the master brand making it’s messaging and appearance feel and sound distinctly familiar.

The branded house architectural structure leverages the often well-established brand equity, awareness, association and customer loyalty.

In this case the consumer will happily adopt a sub-brand without question, due to the relationship and trust built by the master brand.

Branded house examples include household names such as:

Apple

FedEx

Virgin

Coca-Cola

Google

House Of Brands

While a branded house contains a collection of sub brands all deriving from the master brand in terms or position, identity and messaging, a house of brands is a little different.

In this architectural structure, the master brand, which operates primarily from an organisational and investment point of view, houses a suite of distinctly different brands all operating independently of one another.

Master brands operating under such structures often have a well-diversified target audience across multiple industries, while remaining relatively unknown to consumers.