Brand Architecture and Portfolio Management

Step back for a moment and look at your organization from the eyes of your customer. Is it clear how the various brand, products, and service offerings fit together? Or is there an opportunity to improve brand clarity, synergy, and leverage?

A strategic approach to brand architecture and portfolio management can help define how to develop and structure the various offerings to achieve these objectives.

Product and brand alignment with customer requirements is the key to effective brand management. Through our brand consulting services, EquiBrand works with companies to organize and manage their branded offerings, with the end objective of maximizing strategic leverage and increasing the value of the brand portfolio.

Here is more information on portfolio strategy and plan development:

Brand Portfolio Management Issues

  • What improvement opportunities within the current brand portfolio strategy and framework exist to better align with the marketplace?

  • What types of brand portfolio management models should be considered? Should the company employ a masterbrand strategy or compete via individual brands and sub-brands? Should a house of brands, branded house or hybrid approach be used?

  • How many brands should be supported, and through what means? What strategic roles should each play and how should the brands work together as a team?

  • Are there any gaps in the current product portfolio and how should these be addressed?

  • How should a newly acquired brand be integrated into the existing brand portfolio?

Brand Portfolio Management Approach

  • Establishing an effective portfolio begins with understanding company business objectives and strategies

  • From there, we establish the category framework and inventory the current brand images and interdependencies within the portfolio

  • Brand portfolio principles and alternative models and frameworks are then defined and assessed by our brand portfolio consultants

  • Finally, a brand naming decision tree is developed to inform corporate and product brand name selection

  • Strategic work sessions are conducted to ensure the recommended brand portfolio meets the overall business objectives

Brand Portfolio vs. Brand Architecture

Brand portfolio and brand architecture management are separate, though related concepts.

Brand portfolio management addresses how a company can use its products and brands to achieve growth, drawing on the demand framework.

The perspective is inside-out, considering company goals and objectives.

An automotive example: Should we develop an electric vehicle?

Brand architecture management addresses how a company can best structure and communicate its portfolio of brands.

The starting point is outside-in, through the eyes of the customer.

In launching the new vehicle, should we create a new sub-brand (like Toyota did with Prius) or attach it to an existing one (like Honda Accord Hybrid)?

More on Brand Portfolio Management

As a top brand strategy consulting firm, we have deep expertise in managing complex brand portfolios.

  • Brand portfolio strategy development informs the optimal brand structure

  • Managing the brand hierarhy describes the various roles, models and types (e.g., house of brands vs. branded house)

  • Brand portfolio examples include cases to describe alternative approaches

  • Brand architecture template provides a useful framework in portfolio management

Brand architecture strategy defines various alternative approaches (through several examples), lists key objectives, and provides an overview of key issues and considerations. Various frameworks (e.g., endorsed brands) are also described.

Managing brand structure shows the various components to consider in developing the architecture, including a strategic audit, guiding principles, alternative models and brand naming decision tree. Included are sample brand architecture principles to demonstrate this important brand architecture component.

Brand portfolio examples provides perspective on alternative models, types and approaches along the brand relationship spectrum. Examples include branded house, house of brands and endorsed brands, drawing on the automotive category.

Brand architecture template includes practical tips for developing and evaluating brand portfolio alternatives, including pros and cons analysis. The template is designed to bring practicality and realism to managing the portfolio vs. a more theoretical approach.

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Learn more about brand architecture development

As a top brand architecture firm, we employ brand architecture principles, processes, examples and best practices in assisting clients with brand portfolio management. Contact us to learn more.
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