When I think about brand architecture, tending to my first garden in Brooklyn comes to mind. I was so excited to be in my first house with the chance to have my very own garden. Surrounded by brick and cement, I carefully purchased the best seedlings I could find and put them in several planters on the patio. This was going to be great. Growing tomatoes is easy, I thought. With a little water and sunlight, I would be making tomato sauce in no time. I even promised my neighbors first pick. My excitement at seeing these plants producing kept me motivated for a few weeks. Until I became lazy, that is, and didn’t tend to them as often as I should have. You can probably guess what happened next. Eventually, I was left with wilted, brown stalks with distorted looking fruit that no one wanted to eat.
Your hard work and initial investment will be lost if you don’t diligently maintain a clear brand architecture. It ultimately dictates the future growth and success of the company.”
Maintaining your brands is much like cultivating your garden. Neglect can lead to a catastrophic ending. Your hard work and initial investment will be lost if you don’t diligently maintain a clear brand architecture. It ultimately dictates the future growth and success of the company.
Regardless of the model you follow, you want to be able to offer your brands individually because your architecture directly impacts your consumer relationship. It enables you to clearly define the brands’ positioning and messaging so you can meet the needs of the consumer relative to each of your brands.
Maintaining your brand architecture means you are focused on the health of your portfolio. In the case of my wilted tomato plants, this meant digging into the soil around each one to reveal its specific needs so that I could nurture and protect each plant. For your brands, consumer insights can be the “Miracle-Gro” that allows your portfolio not only to survive, but thrive. You may need to test communications, assess your brand equity perceptions, investigate the purchasing decision, understand the competitive landscape, monitor your position and consumer relationship, analyze the structure of the market, and identify your core target.
Maintaining your brand architecture means you are focused on the health of your portfolio.”
I ultimately discovered that the only way my tomato plants were going to be fruitful was if I defined their terrain, kept tending to the soil so they had a solid foundation for growth, and weeded out the junk. Similarly, when your brands start competing for the same space, it creates clutter, becomes draining to the corporation, and confusing in market. Creating a defined space makes way to sprout new brands and/or products within your portfolio. At the same time, it creates clarity in the market. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
Ready to do some pruning and create your brand space?