Lisa Merriam

Brand Architecture Problems: Strategic Structuring Brand Portfolios

Brand architecture is not a set-it-and-forget-it proposition. As your business changes, the brand architecture worked in the past may become a hindrance. Companies facing issues like the ones below often find they have a brand architecture problem.

Brand Architecture Problems:

  1. Your corporate brand’s meaning and role is vague and confused.
    Who is the audience for the corporate brand? How does it relate to your divisions, products and services? Do you use it everything you sell? Should you? Is it mostly invisible to customers?
  2. Your brands don’t communicate the scope of your company.
    Do investors and customers not know and appreciate your company in totality? Are you known for one aspect of your business, but not others? Do you have product brands that overshadow your company brand.
  3. Your brands compete, cannibalize, overlap and confuse.
    Does more than one brand appeal to the same target for similar products? Are product differences real to customers or are they the product of mergers, acquisitions, or internal politics?
  4. You have too many brands.
    Do brands have to compete for scarce resources, no one brand ever getting what it really needs? Are you spending too much for too small a return? Is bundling services and cross-selling is confusing and difficult?
  5. You have too few brands.
    Are you expanding into new areas where your existing brands can’t extend? Will you be introducing a radical new offering?
  6. You have a hodge-podge of brands from acquisitions and innovation.
    Does your company accumulate brands through acquisitions? Does innovation constantly create an impulse to give everything a name of its own? Do you keep brands for sentimental, political or anecdotal reasons without an understanding of a quantifiable business case?

If your company is facing any of these issues, it is time to evaluate your brand architecture and review your options.

More on Brand Architecture:
What is Brand Architecture
Approaches to Brand Architecture
Brand Architecture: Strategic Considerations