Or Endorsed, or Branded…
Who cares and what does this even mean?!
Well, if you don’t want to grow your business in any shape outside of where you are right now, then you needn’t bother reading this! Seriously go and make a cuppa and just relax in the knowledge that you are happy as you are.
… Still reading? Good, if you’re like me and you’ve always had plans for growing your business to something bigger than it is now then understanding and ultimately choosing the right structure before you spend time developing your brand will save you a lot of hassle down the line.
Every organisation needs to create a framework into which it’s brands fall. This is what brand guru’s are talking about when they say ‘brand architecture’, we’ll call it your brand structure, same thing, it just makes more sense this way to me! Your structure should be clear, simple and most importantly consistent! If you’ve not yet given much thought to this then it’s likely you are going to fall short on all of these!
So, there are 3 basic Brand structures out there; Single, Endorsed or Branded. And each one has its place in helping you achieve the business you want. A quick search in google will show you pages and pages of research into what the best structure is, how each one works in detail, coupled with lots of ‘interesting’ facts and copious ‘buzz’ words which I’m sure were invented just to confuse you! If you are really interested in learning more about the various brand structures, reading some case studies and determining their benefits hit up google and prepare from some in-depth reading, or give me a call – I do love a bit of brand talk!
Anyway, my aim here is not to confuse or go into too much detail, but hopefully introduce you to the 3 core principles behind creating a growing brand, so that you can get a glimpse into the bigger picture of what your designer should be creating for you when you start any brand project.
Let’s dive in…
The Single Brand Structure, otherwise referred to as a ‘Branded House’ takes an organisation name (let’s call it ABC to make this easier) and uses this to brand each aspect of the business, so ABC might offer various products or services and each one would carry the ABC brand name… So, for example “ABC Finance” and any new venture would also carry the “ABC” name in front of it eg. “ABC Security”.
The design style would change slightly but “ABC” would be the core brand identity and all new ventures would carry this same brand style.
Think Virgin… the main brand identity for Virgin sits with each new venture, all branded with the same identity and values, whether its on a train, financial services, holidays, or a mobile phone, the Virgin brand tells you its going to be relaxed, informal and friendly. You know instantly what the feel is for anything that carries the Virgin name.
The Endorsed or Sub Brand Structure allows a business, lets call it ‘EXample Finance’ to develop its own brand identity and set of brand values which are separate to the parent brand “ABC” however there is a clear and direct link between the sub brand ‘EXample’ and the parent brand “ABC”.
This structure allows you to develop a variety of brands each directly endorsed by the “ABC” group brand.
Think Cadbury… each product has its own sub identity with its own variations of values however there is always a direct and clear link back to the identity and values of the core brand Cadbury.
The Branded Structure, otherwise known as ‘House of Brands’ allows you to own a number of independent brands each with its own unique identity and set of brand values, on the surface they look unrelated to each other and to the parent organisation.
With this you can create a completely new look and feel for each brand, which is good if you are looking to compete in the same market but at different targets.
Think Diageo… they own a multitude of big brands such as: Guinness, Smirnoff, Tanqueray, the list goes on and on… each has its own distinct identity. Diageo in comparison has its own lesser known identity if you are a consumer but if you are a drinks distributor then its a well known brand which servers Diageo perfectly, it’s intention is to attract the distrubutors not the consumers.
How you want to grow and develop your brand for your business goals will decide which structure is right for you.
Hope you found this useful, I’d love to know what brand structure you are using or if you have yet to decide pop me a message below or hop on over to Facebook and lets see if we can help.