5 Best Practices When Developing a Brand Hierarchy
It seems obvious, brand hierarchy. You have a corporate, or parent brand, then you have product brands, or sub-brands, and sometimes you have ingredient brands.
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Master brand Sub-brand Product description Ingredient brand
But sometimes it gets more complicated. Like this:
Sometimes an organization creates brands haphazardly, so that customers don’t know how they relate. Or it creates brands that map to internal organization, versus how the customer would want to see them. One of our clients serves businesses, but because its internal organization makes a distinction between large and small business, it has separately branded product lines for each. Yet the customer, large or small, doesn’t make that distinction and wants the same products. Another had separate brand names for its research arm, its foundation and its health delivery service, which made it so the good work of the research arm and foundation didn’t increase the brand equity of the health delivery service.
Brand hierarchy matters, because it signals to the customer, through names and organization, how they should think about your products and services. Your goal is to organize your brand architecture in a way that features your brand assets and makes things easier for your customers.
So what are the five best practices when creating your brand hierarchy?
1) Organize your brands the way the customer thinks about your products and services
2) Keep it as simple as you possibly can
3) Invest in brands where you see future potential
4) Retain and maintain brand equity in existing brands
5) Formalize brand hierarchy and brand hierarchy management to align with customer needs
Other great resources for learning more about brand hierarchies are Wikipedia’s brand architecture entry and this article by Professor Rajagopal.
Parker LePla's complimentary brand consultation can also help you sort out how to formalize and/or develop a brand hierarchy that aligns with your customers needs.