How should companies build and leverage brands across their enterprises? The first step is to develop a comprehensive, forward-looking approach toward establishing the right mix and organization of these assets. When it comes to brands, "fewer, stronger" is typically the best philosophy to embrace, given the expense associated with building and maintaining them over time. This requires responsibly "stretching" branded assets vertically—across price tiers—and horizontally—across product categories. It is also important not to confuse “named offers” with brands; too many of the latter tends to strain resources and dilute strategic focus.
Brand portfolio strategy addresses which markets to participate in; the number of brands needed to sufficiently serve chosen markets; which types of brands to use (e.g. co-brands, sub-brands); which customer segments to target; how to align brands with target segments; and the strategic role and scale for each brand.
Brand architecture strategy addresses how best to structure the brand portfolio (organizing principle + hierarchy); what the optimal externally-facing relationship is among offers and the corporation; and which entities should be branded (vs. merely named). This helps customers navigate the portfolio more easily and better determine which offers are best for them.