Brand architecture

There is a branch of marketing devoted to study of brands. People in that discipline use the term “brand architecture”. This  “reflects the extent to which the brand spans product categories, subcategories, and markets,” (Aaker, 2004) and addresses the scope of a given brand in relation to other company brands, as well as its relation to competitor brands and portfolios. Technology can project the brand, to make the business system visible.

Elements:

  • portfolio
  • brands
  • messages
  • sub-brands
  • product-market offerings
  • co-brands
  • other firms
  • portfolio role (Strategic Brand, Branded Energizer, etc.)
  • relationship of brands within the portfolio (Brand Groupings, Hierarchies, and Network Models.)
Purpose:
 
The purpose of a focus on brand is based on the realization that the brand is the identity of the enterprise and its outward manifestation.  This can either be supported or thwarted by any of many functions and organizations in the enterprise, so that the study and understanding of branding can be central to the overall understanding of the enterprise.
  • Descriptive - Brands tend to be highly thought through, using tools of marketing specialists.  Other parts of the business (including the IT function) can benefit from a deep understanding of this essential aspect of the enterprise
  • Prescriptive - Any number of firms exist to make prescriptions about branding ideas and initiatives. For our purposes, we would encourage those prescriptions to include considerations of how branding and messaging impact the actions and structure of all other parts of the enterprise.
  • Predictive - A study of branding should be predictive about how things are done within the enterprise.  The extent of match or mismatch on those dimensions should also be predictive of success or failure of the enterprise itself.