Many start-ups, including yours, probably begin with one product or service. But what happens when you want to expand your product range or your offer and the positioning you have built up so far is no longer suitable? A clear brand architecture helps you maintain the focus of your brand and even protect it.
What exactly is brand architecture?
A brand architecture leads to a clear structure. Not only for you, but also for your customers and employees. A clear structure allows you to maintain the focus of your brand, its communication and positioning, so that it does not become diluted. This means that the current positioning of your brand remains in the minds of your customers and employees. If new products or services are added that serve a new category, it is easier to distinguish them from your brand.
What are the differences?
In the German-speaking world, the terms umbrella brand strategy, multi-brand strategy and supported brand strategy are often used within the brand architecture. Daniela Hensel also has suitable examples for the three strategies in her book „Unterstanding Branding“. For the FedEx brand, an umbrella brand strategy might look like this: FedEx Freight, FedEx Ground, FedEx Express, etc. For a Unilever multi-brand strategy, it would look like this: Dove, Axe, Knorr, Sun, Breeze, etc. The third would be the supported brand architecture if we apply it to Hugo Boss: Hugo Boss, Hugo Boss Orange, Boss Black etc.
But it is much easier
In the USA in particular, a distinction is usually only made between two models. This makes it much easier for a start-up and we will only introduce this one to our customers. We are talking about the House of Brands and the Branded House. House of Brands would be e.g. Coca Cola with Coke, Fanta, Sprite etc. and Branded House would be Coke, Coke Zero, Cherry Coke, Vanilla Coke etc. We recommend you work primarily with House of Brands and Branded House if you think a new product is too different from your original product or service.
A clear brand architecture protects your brand
If you have a new product idea that supports your current product or service, expands it and fits the brand, you can do this to strengthen your own brand. However, if it’s a product that serves a different category or even a different customer target group, you should definitely separate it from your existing startup or brand.
The reason is that you have two different products, which is why your previous brand positioning does not fit, becomes diluted and untrustworthy. Another point is as just mentioned a different target group with different needs. We also launched a subbrand/branded house under the name yellowdot next to „burnt“ 2 years ago.
As „burnt“ focuses exclusively on scaling start-ups with our Brand Strategy Sprint, yellowdot is a brand for start-ups that have just founded, with a different service. This means that our focus is on scale-ups, but we also provide solutions for start-ups so they can position themselves properly from the beginning.
Not sure which strategy is right for you?
In the whole jungle of buzzwords, confusion can quickly arise. That’s why we recommend you start with House of Brands and Branded House. If it becomes more complex for you, so that you don’t know which brand architecture is the right one for you, please book an appointment and we will see how we can support you.