How to know if your brand architecture is affecting your customers?
Brand Architecture, also known as brand hierarchy, isn’t always an obvious strategic factor or easy to understand for many organisations and business owners.
Most business owners don’t start thinking about organizing their product and service portfolio until they have several product lines and the relationship between the products is often extremely vague.
It is then that you realize that the customer is confused and unable to choose, which in turn can start to affect your bottom line.
There are several variants to define a brand structure which can be listed as:
Master Brand style ie FedEx
Brand House style ie Proctor and Gamble
Endorsed brands ie Apple – ipod – iMac etc
Hybrid Brand – Microsoft – mix of own products and stand alone brands.
Why should you structure your business, product and service brand?
01. Customer confusion
If customers are confused and don’t understand the structure of your organisation, services or products, they will default to price-based decisions.
Confusion can result in customers spend too much time flitting between similar names and products they will most likely leave without making a purchase or even contacting you
02. No solid rationale
Lack of thinking in how the structure appears to customers, what makes sense to your business internally can be totally confusing for customers.
Disconnected bottom up thinking creates additional confusion and stops the various business products or services from benefitting from each other. The outcome is a range of disperate components with mixed messages. Language barriers add another layer of complexity and confusion
03. Imposing ownership branding
Imposing in a retrospective sense owner brand identity on existing sub-brands can become confusing and leave customers wondering who they are dealing with. It could mean that your product or service is even overlooked due to unfamiliarity of its appearance. This can be especially confusing during mergers and acquisitions. This undermines trust and credibility, two key factors of building brand value.
04. Disorganisation undermines business planning
Careful planning of marketing strategies is one of the most important parts of business development. Without a clear brand structure, you risk damaging future sales opportunities, wasting effort, budgets and undermining other business units.
Benefit of developing a clear business, product or service brand?
01. Business Clarity
Clarity simplifies choice for customers. Customers can make a purchase decision based on emotional and functional benefits. Clear structures and messages avoid customers getting mixed signals.
Clarity is also vital in avoiding similarly named competitors from stealing your customers or the risk of bad press relating to similarly named competitors affecting your trading reputation.
02. Each unit can tell its own story
Every brand has its own type of customer and its own unique set of messages and benefits to deliver. It helps to clearly define its market.
It helps people make decisions with confidence, encourages trust and helps repeat business.
03. To help with cross-selling and up-selling
A strong brand architecture helps to decide which products are complementary and are intended to supplement the main purchase. Lack clarity and your brands become almost impossible to match with customer needs and expectations – you may accidentally offer customers the product aimed at a different customer segment, and unintentional sabotage or undermine the brand image in the main purchase.
If you have concerns about your brand hierarchy, why not email us or give us a call?
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