Brand strategies primarily rely on brand architecture, ensuring the sound foundation for different brand components. The architecture helps business users to rein in key brand personality traits, brand messaging, brand story, and brand visuals into a unified structure.
You might deem your brand and its reach to be too small to benefit from any kind of brand architecture. However the fact remains that brand architecture defines the reach of the brand along with its impact right from its vision. It is not only for multinational corporations but for small ones who are keen to enhance its performance with better pitch and organization of offerings.
Here are some key steps to set up brand architecture from scratch:
- Know your main audience – Are you communicating with customers, business prospects, employees, business partners, media, and the government? It is essential to know if your target audience is national or international and whether you are aware of what they need to hear from you to react positively. Customers need to understand the company’s offerings in totality so that you can help them expand their relationship and connect with you willingly. Prospects need to understand the products and value delivered by your company so that they become your customers if convinced. Employees need to be sure of what can make them more productive and socialize the value within different professional and social communities. The financial community needs to know about the value given by the company with complete attention and valuation. The media should also have the right perception of the company and the message that needs to be communicated to their audiences too.
- Be clear about the business vision: Branding services with Brandmatters for example, create successful brand architectures that possess a robust rationale about them. One should be sure of the overall business vision and the objectives of the business including organic growth and later on, zero in on product lines along with geographic coverage.
- Evaluate equity in existing brands: Brand Architecture also revolves around your existing and sub-brands since they should be supportive of each other. Therefore, before determining the benefits of any brand in place, you need to be clear about its perceived value in the business. If a sub-brand is robustly moving forward and making an impression, it can become the prime brand for the company in time.
- Understand legal implications: Brand Architecture does not connote organizational architecture but there are certain legal implications that need to be sorted before going further. For example, a brand owned by another company or entity within the overarching organization does need inter-company license agreements in place. Also, a license is required to use the brand in different tax jurisdictions, especially on an international basis. A co-branding strategy could involve the allocation of licensing costs across different companies.
- Unveil your Brand Architecture with a definite plan: Once the best brand architecture is determined for your company, a visual system needs to be set in place along with the elements and icons to blend the branding image together. If there are certain sub-brands within the same domain, one should have an identity system in place to support the brand architecture. Evolving from one architecture to another needs sound “migration strategies” without damaging the brand equity in any case.
- Determine the marketing budget: A brand architecture is a cost-efficient structure in terms of marketing dollars invested in all brands. One should be aware of the capacity of investment along with the essential resource requirements to support brands effectively.
With the aforementioned steps to implement the brand architecture, one can get the business vision aligned with the brand along with the visual content on point. It is essential to get decision-makers on board to get it implemented for the long-term success of the new brand or the collection of brands and sub-brands under a single flagship.