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How to Decide on a Brand Architecture

The relationship between your business and your brand is called brand architecture. Brand architecture neatly packages the segments of your business into a single, understandable entity. Most brands qualify as one of three types of brand architecture:

  • Parent-dominant brands: Businesses that follow this form of brand architecture introduce each new product brand under the strong business brand identity of the parent organization. Adopt a parent-dominant branding strategy if

    • Your business has a modest marketing department and budget.

    • All your products support a single business brand image and promise.

    • You want to heighten the value of your business brand as part of a long-term plan to prepare your business for growth or sale.

  • Parent-endorsed brands: These brands enter the marketplace as their own brands but have the strong and visible endorsement of their parent organizations. The brand emphasis is on the product, but the business brand adds instant credibility. Consider a parent-endorsed branding strategy if

    • You have the staff and financial resources to build a number of brands.

    • You want to build strong visibility and equity for each individual brand.

    • You want to appeal to new target audiences whose interests may be easier to reach with a new brand than with the identity of your parent brand.

    • You compete in an arena where all other businesses brand each line.

  • Parent-silent brands: These brands are owned by their parent companies but stand entirely on their own in the marketplace.

    Building parent-silent brands is the most costly branding strategy of all. You need to build a strong, stand-alone brand for each and every product, plus you need to build a business brand that can carry its weight, as well as carry each new brand until that brand establishes itself as a seemingly independent entity.

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