Lisa Merriam

Brand Architecture: Strategic Considerations

What is the best brand architecture structure for your brand portfolio? The answer depends on a number of strategic considerations:

Audience Diversity What are the target segments for your brand? Is the brand focused on just one audience or must it appeal to many?
Brand Elasticity How far can each of the brands stretch to cover different products and markets? Harley Davidson made a classic blunder applying their brand to wine coolers.
Product/Service Offerings How are other brands in the portfolio positioned and targeted? Are some of your brands complementary, competitive or incongruent?
Competitive Context What are competitive branding practices? How do customers view the marketplace? Do your brands help you stand out and grab market share?
Brand Equities Do you have brands with a particular following or a unique heritage or equity must be carried forward?
Geographic Needs How consistent are needs/preferences across cultures and markets? Strong local brands might not work in other countries. Not every brand can “travel”.
Organizational Structures Who is accountable for branding practices and standards? What are the political realities behind brands in your portfolio?
Ownership Does the organization have legal control over its brand? You’ll have less leeway with licensed brands.
Sources of Growth What businesses and brands are expected to drive future growth for your company? Are they helping you pursue your strategy?
Purchase Criteria How do people buy your products? Do they ask for products by brand name or do they ask for a generic name or your company brand name? Do your brands make buying easier? How much do people want or need your brands?
Brand Performance How do brands perform against desired attributes? Is their positioning clear and effective?
Brand Role What is role of brand in fulfilling the business model? How important is the brand in driving awareness or creating loyalty?
Channels What channels and distribution methods are available and how are they used across the brand portfolio?
Company Specific Issues What considerations are specific to your company or industry? What might be technically correct might not be feasible in the reality of your company. Sometimes theory has to bow to practicality.

More on Brand Architecture:
What is Brand Architecture
Brand Architecture Structure Choices
Brand Architecture Problems: Does Your Brand Architecture Support Your Business Strategy?