Another word for brand portfolio strategy is brand architecture. Brands interact with other brands from their own brand portfolio. Examples are the parent brand, delivered products or services, line extensions, etc. A brand portfolio is in fact a coherent family of brand names.
Sometimes brands and sub-brands in a portfolio have more or less started to lead their own lives so that the brand as a whole shows less coherence . That can be useful in communications, but it can also be inefficient.
Brand architecture, when is it important?
When a company offers several products and services under multiple brand names, it would be advisable to think about whether or not these should be coordinated. The same applies for a takeover or merger between two companies. It is then important to not just look at a new brand name, but at the brand architecture as a whole. Are you going to keep the distinction between the two companies or will you choose a whole new identity?
Now we’ve figured out what brand architecture is, it is important to ask why a good brand portfolio strategy can be of such significance to a company? This mostly has to do with the external communication. It is important to prevent that in the case of several brands and sub-brands, the coherence between them all gets blurry for the consumer.
Therefore it is important to ask yourself when creating a brand architecture whether you want to align the identity of the various sub-brands with that of the main brand or not? An important part that must be taken into account here is the brand positioning; how do you want the consumer to look at the different sub-brands.
Brand architecture and naming
Brand names play an important part in creating a brand architecture. Strong naming enables brands to reinforce each other. This could for example be done with descriptive naming at product level and more emotional and characteristic naming when it comes to a product range. With the right name you are able to immediately indicate the connection or differences between several (sub) brands.
Globrands’ BrandQuadrants model brings clarity, making it possible to make assessments for each brand or sub-brand, and to formulate guidelines for both the near and the far future.