Branding your business is the important step in improving your marketing efforts and allowing you to stand out in the market. A brand helps increase business recognition and awareness, with the target audience. It also enables you to send out your company’s message and spread your company’s mission. Simply put, a brand shows your audience exactly where you stand and what your business is all about.
However, before you start developing your brand, first you must create a brand architecture that will suit you best. Brand architecture helps you to connect all the aspects of your business into one entity, which you will place on the market and start competing with others. Here are a few tips on creating the optimal brand architecture.
Understanding the brand architecture
Think of a car, for example. It has four wheels, chassis, a steering wheel, an engine, and so on. Together these components come together to form the architecture of a vehicle that you can drive. The similar principle goes for building the brand schema. It combines your relationship with the audience, your products or services, your brand’s visuals, and so on, into a single brand and presents it to the audience, as well as helps them better understand or even relate to your organization. There are three basic concepts of brand architecture.
- Corporate brand – Also known as Umbrella brand or Masterbrand, it is a type of brand architecture where a company stands for a single, strong brand. Furthermore, any new products or services your company endorses will carry the Masterbrand signature. This type of architecture saves money on advertising since all products are known to shareholders and customers, as they bear the Master brands message. Also, a corporate brand improves the equity of its underlying brands, as they are instantaneously accepted by the audience due to their relation to the Masterbrand.
- Endorsed brands or sub-brands – This type of architecture endorses individual product brands that are on their own, but they also have a parent brand. Simply put, it’s about individual brands that operate under the supervision of their corporate brands but are doing things on their own. A good example is Nestlé’s Kit Kat or Nescafé.
- Individual product brands – This type of architecture endorses individual brands with no connection to parent brands. In short, stand-alone brands. However, individual product brands can still have a parent brand, with no visible connection though. Also, a parent brand doesn’t provide individual brands with any benefits or additional equity in this case. A good example is Unilever’s Dove or Procter & Gamble’s Pampers.
There is always an option of using a hybrid architecture, which you can design yourself and in accordance with your preferences.
Pick your unique features
Having something unique is a fundamental part of your brand and its architecture. However, your products and services will also need to be functional if you want to have customers in the first place. But, that doesn’t stop you from combining functionality with unique benefits and maximizing your brand’s marketing efforts. For instance, your customers will expect certain functionality from the products and services that you offer before they make a purchase.
Furthermore, if your products or services offer something more than basic functionality, then there is added value to your services, which makes your customers more interested. Finally, add something unique to your products or services and you’ll have something that your competitors don’t have. This is almost always a “will buy” factor for your customers. Nevertheless, your unique features can include other or all aspects of your business. The important thing is to have something unique to incorporate into your brand architecture.
Create unique visuals
Your brand’s “looks” is also an important part of your brand’s architecture. The distinctive image of your brand helps your audience relate to your organization and also distinguish it from other brands. People will like your visual aspect as much as they will like the way you do business. That’s why you must implement a visual identity of your brand into your brand’s architecture. This involves images, videos, graphic design and other visual elements that will help your audience engage with your content.
For instance, every brand has a corporate video that helps them deliver their message to their audience. Your corporate video will define your brand in both your marketing efforts and your brand promotion. Also, color combinations, fonts, and the tone of voice in which you deliver your message or write your content is an important factor of your brand’s visuals. An impeccably clear visual style is what you should aim at, so check out what eye-catching design trends dominate 2017. After all, your brand’s visual identity is one of the core features of brand architecture that helps present your brand to the audience.