1. More than “houses”
David Aaker’s famous edict of “House of Brands” vs. “Branded House” is a neat way of summarizing the two main types of architectures, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
2. The family tree
A brand architecture is a logical, strategic and relational framework for your products/services and offerings – it’s a bit like a “family tree” of brands, sub-brands and all named offerings.
3. Organization & structure
Brand architecture organizes and structures a brand portfolio by specifying brand roles and the nature of relationships between all brands, sub-brands, products, services and offerings.
4. Leagues & levels
A well thought out architecture should define the different leagues and levels of branding within an organization including how the corporate brand and sub-brands relate to and support each other; and how sub-brands reflect or reinforce the core positioning of the corporate brand to which they belong.
5. Outside in, not inside out
Architecture is about organizing how your business and offerings go to market in the most relevant, customer-centric and value-driven way. Architecture is not an organizational chart or a reflection of how your business is functionally organized by teams or groups.
6. A platform for name/naming optimization
Once a strong, clear brand architecture is established, a ‘top down’ framework is created to think more strategically and holistically about how brand/product/service names are deployed. Architecture guides where/how future products should fit, and what type of name should be considered and whether names should be linked to another or stand-alone.