What is Brand Architecture?
Brand Architecture is an important part of any company and can be referred to as a building plan. The main factor that helps in making a strong and durable brand is its brand architecture.
- It is the responsibility of brand architecture to make sure that every chunk fits its required place in the greater picture.
- The brand architecture makes the structural plans, assures that the work is seamless, and adheres to a definite time-period.
- It’s responsibility is to create guidelines and make sure that those are being followed.
- If a company is planning on a new launch of products or is extending its current product line, then a competent brand architecture will prove to be a boon for the company.
- It is the bridge between the employees of a company and the customers used to maintain a perfect and harmonious balance between them.
Brand architectures have become an integrated part of any company and they have proved their worth to the company repeatedly. They are a direct link between the main brands and the sub brands. For example, Procter & Gamble or P&G is the main brand and has many sub-brands like Oral B, Olay, and Tideetc. under its umbrella. It is here the efficiency of a good architecture comes into force as it maintains a direct link between all these brands. It is his responsibility to see that all the brands are continuing to grow and move forward.
The brand architecture is also accountable for maintaining the loyalty of its consumers. For this purpose, they invent new ideas to attract their customer base. For example, companies like Tide regularly provide added incentives. Sometimes they reduce the price of the products at other times they increase the quantity of the products. Big brands like Maruti and Bajaj like to give discounts on their actual prices at special occasions like Diwali, as they are aware that the consumers generally go on a shopping spree during festival times.
Advantages of Brand Architecture
Good and efficient brand architecture is necessary to any company and the many positives to be gained by employing brand architecture are as follows-
- The brand architecture ensures the smooth running of an organization.
- It keeps a constant vigil on the market and its current trends.
- Documenting the numerous strategies and helping in decision making
- The main difference between a successful and unsuccessful company is often brand architecture.
- One of the main duties of the brand architecture is to maintain a balance between the main brand and its sub brands.
- It is the brand architecture which determines when and where to launch new products so that the consumers readily accept it.
One the downside, bad brand architecture will lead to negative consequences such as:
- If a company has disorganized brand architecture then it will lead to chaos within the organization.
- This will result in a decline in the value of the brand.
- Ultimately, the sales figures will be affected and it will have serious repercussions on the profit and loss scenario.
- In such cases, the bottom line usually is the slow and steady disintegration of the brand.
In order to target consumers who follow different brands, the brand architecture has to make an in-depth market study and after analyzing every aspect, they come up with plans to target these customers. For example, Motorola launched its new product Moto-G and was able to snip a large part of Samsung’s customer base, as the compared prices were different although the features were same.
The Brands and the sub-brands and their relationships are shown in an effective clear and concise way with the help of brand architecture. Based on the architecture and the relation of the brands with each other, the company can also plan its marketing strategy.
There are a few different types of brand architecture based on relationships with other brands. They are as follows
4 Types of Brand Architecture
1) Corporate Brand Architecture
This is the practice of promoting a brand name of a corporate entity and not of specific services or products. Corporate branding is not Limited to a specific name for a specific mark but it can incorporate multiple touch points like the logo, treatment, and training of employees, stationery, advertising, customer service packaging quality etc.
Corporate branding affects stakeholders at multiple levels and impacts multiple aspects of companies which include their products and services their culture and identity, employment applications, sponsorship, brand extensions etc.
Therefore, corporate branding often results in a substantial economy is of scope since a single advertising campaign can be used for multiple products. New products acceptance is easy to facilitate since potential buyers are familiar with the name for a long time. The corporate branding success is often dependent on three parameters:
- What the top management wants to accomplish
- What the employees believe
And c. How is the organization perceived by stakeholders
Any misalignment between all these factors may result in a brand which is not performing up to the mark in the market. There is been a lot of changes in expectations from stakeholders which result in the incorporation of integrated Marketing communications and corporate social responsibility into branding.
People do care about the corporate logo that is behind the product and those days are gone when people used to simply buy a product without looking at the brand. The corporate brand is successful help stupid this picture very accurately but I failed prose detrimental for all of the products and brands.
An example of the corporate brand would be Coca-Cola. The product, as well as the company, is named by the same name. They run multiple variants available in Coca-Cola and all of them go by the same name like Diet Coke, Coke Zero etc. Coca-Cola also has multiple brands under them which do not come under corporate brand but fall under an umbrella brand.
2) Umbrella Brand Architecture
Also known as Family Branding, it involves naming two or more products with a single Brand name. Corporate brand may have multiple umbrella brands under them. The advantage of having an umbrella brand that the company can experiment under different umbrella brand names.
The products under the umbrella brand have the same identification symbols and other marketing tools. The practice of an umbrella brand allows firms to approach different products from different brand umbrellas. It is essential that the organization makes the umbrella brand and the product under them easily identified by similar markings and similar packaging are using similar color combinations. This ensures that the range of products is easy to identify and pick by the customers.
The tagline communication and Advertising strategies are the same for all the brands under an umbrella brand. Umbrella brand creates sufficiency in advertising by reducing the cost of multiple advertisements and it also reduces the cost of brand development.
On the other hand, entry for a new umbrella brand in the market is relatives inexpensive since customers are already aware of the umbrella brand the adoption rate for a new product is easy. If one corporate brand finds success and market it encourages the organization to translate other products into the same umbrella brand.
Examples of an umbrella brand would be Apple. Although Apple is using the same corporate name over every brand, which brand has its own umbrella which can be categorized as iPhone which has multiple options like iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone XS Max etc. Whereby another brand umbrella would be iPad wherein the company has iPad pro, iPad 7th generation, iPad 12 inches etc.
3) Endorsed Brand Architecture
In this type of brand architecture, the brands take the support of umbrella brand of a family brand and use them to promote and endorse as a branded product. These types of brands add credibility to the product and increase the possibility of acceptance from the customers.
The endorser brand is made of a variety of separate and unrelated but popular brands which are woven together by one endorsed brand. The products may have their own individual brand logo, tagline and brand promise and will also have an individualized marketing plan. It does not have to rely on the parent or umbrella brand for its advertising.
Despite that, the success of the endorsed brand is highly dependent on the relationship and resemblance between the endorsed brand and the parent brand. The better it is, the better the brand will perform in the market since it picks up easy customer acceptance. Most of the times, the endorser brand is the one which assures the customers of the quality and reliability of the product which a crucial reason for the conversion of people towards the endorsed brand.
A successful endorsed product will uplift the entire brand umbrella of the organization. The examples of endorsed include Cadbury dairy milk Polo by Ralph Lauren, Nestle KitKat etc. The advantage for the endorsed brand is that the credibility remains and the customers get a taste of the new product. It is very essential that the companies maintain the quality and the standard while promoting an endorsed brand because if the brand does not work it would hamper even the parent brand.
4) Individual brand
Individual brands are presented to the customers with the name of the parent company. These are the brands which use the parent name of the parent company but may not display it prominently.
This kind of brand architecture keeps the product away from the parent brand and even if it did not work in the market it would not hamper the reputation of the parent brand. This kind of brand architecture is also known as pluralistic brand architecture or a freestanding brand.
For customers who are conscious of the brand, it becomes a problem for the individual brand. For example, ITC is one of the biggest conglomerates in India which primarily brings revenue from its Tobacco business. ITC is also involved in other segments like personal care, stationery, hotels etc.
People who are conscious and aware and do not want to spend money on a Tobacco company, do not go for it. Hence, many individual brands of ITC like Classmate notebooks, ITC Hotels, ITC Soaps are good but due to this reason, a huge chunk of the population is unwilling to buy those products.