As a brand architecture firm, we believe “fewer, stronger brands” is the best philosophy when it comes to managing a portfolio, given the expense and effort required to build and maintain brands. So companies are wise to design a framework—an architecture—for developing and organizing brands in their portfolio. It keeps the portfolio clear and focused and helps ensure that each brand within it is seen as distinct and, ultimately, indispensable.
Optimizing brand portfolios entails designing a comprehensive, forward-looking approach for establishing the right mix and organization of brands. Specifically, it requires developing two key strategies:
Brand portfolio strategy: This addresses which markets to participate in, which customer segments to target, how to align brands with target segments, the number of brands needed to sufficiently (and efficiently) serve specific markets and the strategic role for each brand.
Brand architecture strategy: This addresses which types of brands to have across offerings (master, descriptive, sub-, endorsed, etc.), how much emphasis to give brands relative to one another, and what type of relationships brands within a portfolio should have—especially relative to the corporate (master) brand.