Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Brand Concepts - Part 2

Let us now see what we really mean by Brand Architecture? It is nothing but the organizing structure that specifies brand roles, and the relationship among brands, keeping their market driven roles in mind. Usually I would divide the Brand Architecture into 4 dimensions.

  1. Brand Portfolio - Includes all the brands & sub Brands
  • This is how HLL’s (Hindustan Lever Limited's) brand portfolio looks like: Surf, Surf Excel, Modern, Rin, Pond’s, Lakme, Aviance, Aim, Clinic Plus, Sunlight, Dalda, Kissan, Le Baron, Close-up, Vim, Ala, Liril, Pears, Wheel…. and a long list that includes numerous variants and branded products as diverse as thermometers and glycerine

2. Portfolio Roles

  • Strategic Brand-Represents a meaningful future in terms of sales and profits. Like what Xbox is for Microsoft
  • Silver Bullet-is a brand or sub-brand that positively influences the image of another brand. Like how IBM Thinkpad boosted IBM’s corporate brand image
  • Lynchpin Brand-Leverages a major business area though it may not be the core business. Example - Jetrewards for Jet Airways

3. Market Context Role - A combination of brands that fulfils a specific product or market related need. There are various roles here:

  • Endorser brand-is usually an established brand that provides credibility and substance to the offering.Like HDFC endorsing its home loans
  • Driver Role - The degree to which the brand drives the purchase decision and usage experience. Thus people refer to their credit card as “Citibank card” and not Visa from Citibank. Here Citibank plays the driver role.
  • Co-brands: are brands formed by collaborating brands from distinct organisations
    to create a new offering. Ex- Indian Oil Citibank Card

4. Portfolio Graphics - the pattern of visual representations across brands and contexts.

  • Taking HLL as an example the visual representation of Surf and its variants represent one string of brands that are different from the look and feel of Pond’s & its variants.

So, what does Brand Architecture really achieve?

•Clarity of product offerings
•Leverages brand equity
•Provides a platform for future growth
•Effective and powerful brands - Those that have a point of differentiation and customer appeal.

Hope this topic was helpful. Until Next time....


1 comment:

Padma said...

Hi Jay,

A pretty good article that helps in understanding the branding concepts.

Just adding to your views, brand needs or branding are more of company needs, it's values, offline presence and how it wants to convey those values to the users, while "user needs" or usability emphasis on "easy to use", "intuitiveness", "consistency", "trustworthy" etc.
A significant balance between "branding" and "usability" will work in a good way. Wherever the branding concepts doesnot match the users mental model, usability should take the driver's seat and branding should take control wherever it has scope of enhancing user experience.