Providing Structure


Brand architecture is a system that organises brands, services as well as products to help potential clients access and relate to the brand. When it is implemented successfully it enables consumer to form opinions and preferences about the brand by only being in interaction with one of them example in the company.

There are a number of business triggers to investigate your brand architecture or portfolio management:

When you have multiple brands or branded products/services, and they are not easy to navigate or understand When some brands perform better or worse than others and the business wants to focus on high-potential (revenue) areas When returns on marketing investment (cost) by brand, product or service are below what they should be Following business reorganisation or merger, when areas of business then overlap and must be rationalised Entry into new business areas in which the brand has a low or no reputation

While they have internal and external benefits, they should be designed from the outside in, rather than from the inside out – that is, they should be driven by customer points of view rather than internal. They must be supported by organisational processes and flows – they must not pull in opposite directions. There will always be exceptions but the key is to have a strategic plan to manage the exceptions.


Brand Architecture — A branding framework which organizes and explains the nature and relationship of each of your brands in the context of the overall business, the product each brand represents, and of each other.

Portfolio or Family — The multiple brands or branded products and services which relate to each other.

Brand Portfolio Management — The process of managing a company’s brands to increase long-term brand equity and financial value. It takes brand architecture, a potentially rigid internally driven framework, and makes it a more dynamic, solutions-oriented model.

Brand Architecture Models

Branded House


Branded house has one single brand that is sort of a master of all others. The master brand name can for example be seen in the description name of sub-brands. The parent or master brand is always present and linked to all products and sub-products. There is only one set of branding elements. Companies such as Boeing, IBM, Virgin and Disney use type of architecture. But also NIVEA is a great example.

Blended House


It is important to note, that many organisations are a mixture of these two types that indicates that neither one of the types are not the absolute best. The hybrid brand architecture is a mixture of the different brand organising strategies. The advantage of this approach is the ability to employ the individual brand strategies and sub-brand hierarchies that make the most sense for your product or service. E.g entering new fields of businesses or market segments, where your reputation and position is weak but your name gives a sort of reassurance. The visual bracket is created by a fragmented brand element. Amazon prime is a great example, just using the smile and typeface.

House of Brands


The House of brands is basically a group or collection of brands that have no visible connection outwards and work independently from each other. For example, General Motors, Unilever and Procter & Cable use The House of brands system. There can also be competing brands under same master brand (Gravity Group, 2017).

Success Criteria

The brand architecture should be a key element in the implementation of the brand strategy.

The brand architecture should leverage visual and other brand equities to strengthen the authenticity and recognition of the brand.

The brand architecture is able to cope with the specific category characteristics and market dynamics.

The brand architecture should allow the integration of prioritized sub-brands or ranges in order to boost attention and interest in the brand‘s proposition.

The brand architecture has to facilitate positive purchase decisions in favor of the brand.

The brand architecture should offer the shopper transparency and fast shelf orientation.

The brand architecture should reduce complexity where necessary while leaving enough flexibility for meaningful differentiation and positioning of individual offers, e.g. limited editions.

The brand architecture should allow different growth mechanisms, e.g. extension of existing ranges, introduction of new ranges, additional segments.

The brand architecture should be a natural component of a brand‘s identity system contributing to a unified brand expression along the total customer journey.

The brand architecture should allow the creation of visual assets that excel by their longevity.

H E Y ! B R A N D
by Ronald Bartikowski
Forsteck 5, 22589 Hamburg
+49 157 3132 9432

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