Rethinking Brand Architecture for Modern Marketing

Brand Architecture is simply the structure of multiple brands within 1 organisation. This structure states the relationships between brands within a company’s portfolio including relations and differentiations. For organisations that have multiple brands, this structure is integral as it reflects and reinforces the core purpose of the corporate parent brand, as well as support and manage the sub-divisions.

As the marketing landscape has shifted, the structure of marketing has also shifted. The current status of marketing tends to be towards a customer-centric approach, with the buying power held within the end-user. With this shift, brand architecture must also adapt and adjust to suit the marketplace.

Traditionally, brand architecture was structure on a segmentation model. This segmentation model focuses on individual market segments, creating a product or service that serves that specific segment’s needs, and then a brand that also appeals to that segment. This style of structure can be polarising to some audiences. Furthermore, it can be difficult to manage as there are multiple brands who are positioned to have no relationship with each other, whether or not they share audiences.

Brands are shaped by many audiences via different channels and with different experiences. A brand has more than just 1 value to 1 segment of your marketplace – as epitomised in the segmentation style structure. To allow your brand group to grow holistically, out-dated assumptions must be ditched for something more favourable.

To keep your brands relevant, they have to be agile and adaptive in the changing landscape of marketing. The best structure model for this is a ‘community’ brand architecture. This structure will have build a community of customers who value your brand, and not just one – but multiple brands as they work together. Related and complementary brands can balance and leverage each other in this model. There are a multitude of possibilities for cross-interest and cross-relevance between brands and audiences, therefore, you maybe to attract more to your brand group as opposed to just an individual brand.

This new approach to brand architecture can build thriving and engaged communities around your many divisions and ultimately empower your audiences.

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