Brand architecture (merkarchitectuur) is the structure of brands within an organizational entity. It is the way in which the brands within a company’s portfolio are related to, and differentiated from, one another. The architecture should define the different leagues of branding within the organization; how the corporate brand and sub-brands relate to and support each other; and how the sub-brands reflect or reinforce the core purpose of the corporate brand to which they belong. According to Rajagopal Brand architecture may be defined as an integrated process of brand building through establishing brand relationships among branding options in the competitive environment. The brand architecture of an organization at any time is, in large measure, a legacy of past management decisions as well as the competitive realities it faces in the marketplace.

Types of brand architecture

There are three key levels of branding:

  • Corporate brand, umbrella brand, – Examples include Virgin Group and Heinz. These are consumer-facing brands used across all the firm’s activities, and this name is how they are known to all their stakeholders – consumers, employees, shareholders, partners, suppliers and other parties. These brands may also be used in conjunction with product descriptions or sub-brands: for example Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup, or Virgin Trains.
  • Endorsed brands, and sub-brands – For example, Nestle KitKat, Cadbury Dairy Milk, Sony PlayStation or Polo by Ralph Lauren. These brands include a parent brand – which may be a corporate brand, an umbrella brand, or a family brand – as an endorsement to a sub-brand or an individual, product brand. The endorsement should add credibility to the endorsed sub-brand in the eyes of consumers.
  • Individual product brand – For example, Procter & Gamble’s Pampers or Unilever’s Dove. The individual brands are presented to consumers, and the parent company name is given little or no prominence. Other stakeholders, like shareholders or partners, will know the producer by its company name

Meer kennis enĀ  informatie hierover kunt u verkrijgen tijdens de NIBAA masterclass design en branding en/of opleiding brand management en opleiding design management, opleiding reputatie management, cursus communicatie management of opleiding merkmanagement in Utrecht. Thema’s die hierin behandeld worden zijn: merkidentiteit, positionering, merk, strategie, marketing, brand identity, merkarchitectuur, branding, brand portfolio, merkmeerwaarde, merkwaardecreatie, design management, brand equity, brand building, internal branding, merkwaarden en diverse merkconcepten (www.nibaa.nl)