Developing a brand architecture strategy: 

Support mkrs to determine which products and services to introduce, and which brand names, logos, symbols to apply to new and existing products. 

The main roles are: 

-To clarify brand awareness: Improve customer understanding.

-To improve brand image: Maximize transfer of equity

3 step process to develop an effective brand architecture strategy: To successfully execute a brand architecture strategy, marketers should use brand portfolio analysis for step 1 and determining brand potential, and brand hierarchy analysis for Steps 2 & 3 and branding particular products and services. 

Defining Brand Potential – provides a clear sense of direction for the brand.

  1. Articulating the Brand Vision: Long term potential. Example: Waste management companies – Think Green.

Key to understand its current equity to know what the brand could be built on.  It has to be aspirational, so that the brand has room to grow and improve. 

  1. Defining the Brand Boundaries: Based on the brand vision and positioning – Identifying the products or services the brand should offer.

Marketers must evaluate extending their brand carefully and launch new products selectively. 

*To improve market coverage, companies target different segments with multiple brands in a portfolio. The trend among many top marketing companies in recent years has been to focus on fewer, stroger brands. Each should be differentiated and the market segment has to be big enough to justify its marketing and production costs. 

  1. Crafting the Brand Positioning:

A. Competitive frame of reference B. Points of difference. C. Points of parity. D. Brand mantra

It should offer rational and emotional benefits. It has to be potent to permit growth, relevant enough to drive consumer and retailer interest, and differentiated enough to sustain longevity. 

Identifying Brand Extension Opportunities. Ex: Nike

Step 2 is about identifying new products and services to achieve that potential through a well-designed brand extension strategy. 

Brand extension: new product introduced under existing brand name.

We differentiate between: 

  1. Line extensions: New product introductions within existing categories. 

  2. Category extensions: New product introductions outside existing categories. 

*Too many brand extensions fail.  Marketers must be rigorous and disciplined in their analysis and development of brand extensions.

Branding New Products and Services Ex. Cherry coke

To decide on the specific brand elements to use for any particular new product or service associated with the brand.  We can distinguish brand architecture strategies by looking at whether a firm is: 

  1. “Branded House”: Employing an umbrella corporate or family brand for all its products. High degree of coherence – objectives linked to that specific market.

  2.  “House of brands”: Or a collection of individual brands all with different names.  Situation of extreme freedom of management for the brands. Ex: Mitsubishi Motors and Electric divisions. 

Most brands adopt a strategy somewhere between these two end points, often employing various types of sub-brands.

Types of brand architecture: Product brands 1Level (P&G)/Maker’s mark 2L (Ferrero)/Endorsing brand 2L (3M)/ Masterbrand 1L (Sony, Nivea) / Source brand 2L (l’Oreal).

Brand hierarchy levels: 

////Band portfolios and brand hierarchies: by defining various relationships among brands and products, help characterise and formulate brand architecture strategies. 

Brand Portfolios: 

Includes all brand sold by a company in a product category. market coverage is the reason for a firm to have multiple brands in the same category = potential customers are notice. Brand overlap has to be minimized/brands are not competing among themselves. Each brand should have a distinct target market and positioning. Multiple brands allow a firm to pursue different price segments, different channels of distribution, different geographic boundaries. 

Summary: Multiple brands can expand coverage, provide protection, extend an image etc.. In all brand portfolio decisions, the basic criteria are to maximize overlap and get the most from the portfolio, each brand-name product must have (1) a well defined role to fulfill for the firm and, thus, (2) a well-defined positioning indicating the benefits or promises it offers consumer.

Why having several levels? 

  • Lower levels communicate information specific to the products, differentiating the product from everything else.

  • Higher levels indicate origin and source providing power, stature and reassurance. 

How many levels should a brand architecture have? 

  • Developing higher levels is economical. 

  • Many levels provide too much information and is too complex for consumers. Involvement as an important determinant. 

In evaluating a brand architecture strategy, we should ask a number of questions, such as:

-For the brand portfolio, do all brands have defined roles? Do brands collectively maximize coverage and minimize overlap?

-For the brand hierarchy, does the brand have extension potential? Within the category? Outside the category? Is the brand overextended? 

-What positive and negative brand equity implications will transfer from the parent brand to individual products? -What feedback exists from the individual products to the parent brands in turn?

-What profit streams result from different branding arrangements? How much revenue does each brand generate? At what cost? What other cross-selling opportunities exist between brands?

Marketers should keep the following five guidelines in mind: 

  1. Adopt a strong customer focus. Recognize what customers know and want, and how they will behave. 

  2. Create broad, robust brand platforms. Strong umbrella brands are highly desirable. Maximize synergies and flow. 

  3. Avoid over branding and having too many brands. 

  4. Selectively employ sub-brands. Sub-brands can communicate relatedness and distinctiveness and are a means of complementing and strengthening brands. 

  5. Selectively extend brands. Brand extensions should establish new brand equity and enhance existing brand equity.