As companies grow, they often end up with more than one brand in operation. This results in the challenge of ‘brand architecture’. Should the brands be linked, or should they be separated? Which has the bigger impact, and is this impact positive or negative?
It can become complicated for a number of reasons, which is why a number of large companies are moving towards one brand. Coca Cola are the most prolific company to recently do this. In 2015, they trialled their ‘One Brand Strategy’ in Britain, and in January 2016, they announced they would roll the trial out globally. Their aim is to leverage the Coca-Cola brand to boost sales of sugar free variants such as Coke Zero and Diet Coke due to weak sales and health concerns, but they have also heavily hinted they will be scrapping the colours consumers have come to associate with such drinks and adjusting the packaging.
In this post, we take a look at the key differences between a one-brand company and a multi-brand company, and advise on the best move for your business.
The three different branding architectures
The “Branded House”
– The company is the brand, such as Apple. They use a singular name across all of their activities, products and services.
The “House of Brands”
– This focuses of the branding of multiple sub-brands while the primary is barely prominent. P&G is a good example of this. We hear a lot about Pampers, Duracell, and Gillette, but rarely about P&G itself.
The “House Blend”
– Google is a good example of this. The ‘Google’ parent brand adds credibility to the sub-brands such as Gmail and Maps.
Which will work for my business?
Choosing the methodology that works best for your business is crucial. For the majority of smaller companies, the ‘Branded House’ option works best, as your parent brand will already be recognisable to your current audience. However, bigger companies have the capacity to create numerous strong independent brands.
Be certain to thoroughly research your market and the success of your competition in order to assess where you should stand.
What are the key benefits of a one-brand company?
- Having one strong brand keeps communication clear and concise, and avoids feeding customers with information overload.
- The more brands your company manages, the more money you will need to spend. Think carefully about how many brands you are willing to support and what resources you are willing to invest to keep them viable.
- One strong brand can work effectively across several or all of your products while helping them build equity for one another.
- However, if your business is serving multiple markets with very varying products, you should certainly consider a multi-brand strategy.
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