Brand Architecture Examples
A number of brand architecture models have been developed in recent years, though most of them have their roots in the seminal brand work of Dr. David Aaker. Dr. Aaker coined the terms “branded house,” “house of brands,” and endorsed brands, which are three different types of brand portfolio approaches. While other brand architecture examples exist (i.e., some talk about a “monolithic,” “endorsed,” and “freestanding”), the basic concepts are the same, relating to how near or close brands should be managed perceptually, and all should be considered in developing and managing your organization’s brand architecture strategy.
Three Brand Architecture Models
- Branded House (also called a monolithic brand) emphasizes a single master brand, that sits over of the other brands within an organization. This is a particularly good option when the products are in the same category or offer a similar set of benefits. The basic concept is to “put more wood behind” the arrow, essentially gaining economic leverage by investing at the master brand level, and then using product names or descriptors to call out product-level attributes. BMW and Mercedes are examples of the branded house approach.
- House of Brands (also called freestanding brands) are designed to stand entirely on their own in the marketplace. This allows an organization to develop a portfolio of brands, each with a unique brand positioning tailored to a particular product or market segment. General Motors — and its family of brands — is considered a house of brands example.
- Endorsed Brands fall somewhere in the middle. Here, brands are combined in such a way that one is designed to work in concert with the other. There are numerous examples of this strategy: Think Courtyard By Marriott, Polo by Ralph Lauren, Microsoft Windows, and the like. Honda Motor Company uses an endorsed brand strategy, as shown here:
Recommended Brand Architecture Model
In our brand consulting work, we often find a desire among clients to want to consider how each of the three brand portoflio and naming models might work in their organization. In reality, though, the “right” answer for any client is really dependent on the client’s unique situation, and requires establishing a brand architecture definition, constructing a brand audit, defining brand principles and considering alternative framework pros and cons, as described here.
During our brand consulting engagements, we employ a variety of brand architecture templates, tools and frameworks to assist clients our clients in developing a clear, strategic approach to brand architecture management. To learn more about EquiBrand’s brand portfolio service offerings, please use our contact form.