Brand architecture, what does it mean?

22nd September 2017

Brand architecture is simply the structure of brands within an organisation.

If you imagine a flow chart, or if you have seen a website map before, brand architecture can be set out in a similar way. Take your parent or primary brand and then detail all the sub-brands that sit under it. Consider how the sub-brands within your company’s portfolio relate to one another, and how they are differentiated from one another. Your brand architecture should clearly define the different levels of branding within the company. The brand architecture will also demonstrate how the sub-brands reflect or support the core proposition of the parent brand to which they belong. Here at Frost Creative we are well equipped to support businesses large or small with all their branding needs.

If you are reading this and have a built a business turning over £5 million + without any real marketing support, then we applaud you!  Firstly for your success but secondly for not nodding off reading this article. Over the years we’ve been working with a broad range of clients from all different sectors and managed to develop tailored branding solutions that work for businesses of any size and budget. Generally when we support clients with brand architecture, it’s in relation to how our clients should manage the parent brand and a family of sub-brands and there is no reason why a business of any size should not be doing things correctly. If the business wants to move forwards then it needs to be managing it’s brand effectively.

We recently helped Mighton Products with their brand architecture and you can view some of the work by clicking hereWe were able to align all their sub brands to the parent brand effortlessly through simplification;  now they have a set of brand guidelines that their in-house team can work from.

With Mighton we were able to address their brand architecture which split into the following three areas:

  • Corporate brand / umbrella brand / family brand = Mighton Products. To relate this to other brands you will know: Virgin Group and Heinz are brands used across all of their activities, and this name is how they are known to all their stakeholders – consumers, employees, shareholders, partners, suppliers and other parties. These may also be used in conjunction with product descriptions or sub-brands: Mighton Ultra, or examples of household brands; Heinz Cream of Mushroom Soup, or Virgin Atlantic.
  • Endorsed brands, and sub-brands – For example, Mighton Panadoor, Mighton Aquarius.  Household brands you will know; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Microsoft Xbox or Polo by Ralph Lauren. All these brands include the parent brand in the name – which may be a corporate brand, an umbrella brand, or a family brand – as an endorsement to a sub-brand or an individual product brand. The endorsement should add credibility to the endorsed sub-brand in the eyes of customers. For our client Mighton, they are the leading Sash Window Hardware company and within the industry have built a strong reputation. By putting their name to a product adds kudos.
  • Individual product brand – For example, Angel Ventlock or Mightonite. These individual brands are presented to customers, and the parent company name (Mighton Products) is given little or no prominence. Other stakeholders, like shareholders or partners, will know the producer by its company name.

If you would like to know more about our branding services then get in-touch.