Brand architecture is never as neat as you think

Open any textbook on branding these days and you will find at least one chapter on brand architecture. Normally the content goes something like this: make your architecture simple, clear and coherent. Make it unified and make it beautiful. This is great in theory, but often hard in practice. Most businesses acquire their brand architecture less by design than by default. As a company grows, takes on more people or launches new product lines in response to perceived opportunities, its brand architecture tends to become more complex.In this context what helps isn't dogma, but a series of practical questions that reflect where a business is now and where it's going. There is no off the peg solution. Effective brand architecture should be built around a company's unique strategy, challenges and goals. With this in mind here are a few questions to apply to your own business:

1- Can you identify the source of brand equity in your company and product portfolio? Are your customers relating more to the corporate brand or product, for example?
2- Which brands in your portfolio are performing well and which need help?
3- Which brands or products are outside your core activities and could benefit from special treatment?
4- Do any of your brands and products currently leverage a close design relationship?

How should your product brand build value back to the mother brand.

We've helped many companies to evolve their brand architecture, below is an example we've helped Wacom to establish clarity within their consumer range product Bamboo, that requires features extension and interest edition extension. The logotype style is later enforced across the other product range, intros and cintiq to encourage upsell.

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  • Brand architecture is never as neat as you think