Behind Every Great Brand Is a Strong Foundation

Alena Caras, VP of Brand Strategy


Think about a top-tier brand. What word associations come to mind? FedEx, overnight delivery. Google, internet search. Dove, body positivity. Heinz, ketchup.

Brands work really hard – over decades – to establish this association, and it starts with laying a strong foundation, operating with agility and accelerating brand adoption.

Great brands aren’t built overnight, nor are they static. Like your business strategy, brand strategies have to adapt over time to maintain – or change, depending on the circumstance – the way they are perceived in the market.

That evolution isn’t possible without a strong brand architecture. Brand architecture is the structural set-up of the brand(s) and its product or service offerings. While each brand may be structured differently, the method for evolving – the secret sauce – remains the same.

For some, a brand architecture may include one brand with multiple product or service offerings, or it may include several brands within a structure serving multiple customers and a variety of products or service offerings. Regardless of size, a sound brand architecture looks at the composition of this framework, scrutinizes customer need states, and determines if the existing structure provides:

  1. Clarity. Clear articulation of the product or service offering, both internally and externally. Oftentimes organizations forget to communicate internally about how their products or services should be communicated out in the market. This is especially true when launching a new product or campaign. Internal confusion breeds external disconnect, which alters your brand’s image.
  2. Synergy. Connect brands back to a single brand promise. When there are multiple brands, products or service offerings, it’s important to highlight brand cohesion. Regardless of the equity of an individual brand, map back to a single brand promise when dealing with multiple offerings, products or services.
  3. Leverage. Review how each brand exposes cross-selling opportunities across the different product or service offerings.

As the digital age accelerates the pace of change, adapting quickly and pushing boundaries is more important than ever. Without a strong brand architecture, your brand will struggle to outpace its competition and stay relevant.

My ask of you. Think about your brand today and what you hope it represents in twenty years. How can you use clarity, synergy and leverage to achieve that goal?