Creating brand architecture

If your organisation has a number of departments or offerings it’s natural that they might start to do their own thing over time. A football club that we worked with had a myriad of sub-brands for their different offerings, and this is exactly what had happened to them. We sat down with their brand portfolio and gave their brand family tree a bit of much needed organisation.

When you have multiple departments, which need to appeal to differing audiences, they can start to drift apart in both appearance and in messaging. As an external brand specialist, who wasn’t surrounded by this every day, we were able to stand back and take a look at what was happening and how it was affecting the brand architecture.

The brand and various sub-brands utilised what is termed a hybrid model (meaning some used the parent brand as the lead and some didn’t) and so using this model we created a structure for all the brands in the portfolio. In clearly defining the relationship each sub-brand has to the lead brand, as well as to each other, we were able to bring back some clarity to the whole family of brands.

This type of work is very important for a brand, as if the sub-brands become too autonomous then their relationship as a part of the overall brand portfolio becomes unclear to people, internally and externally. This leads to the potential for confusion, which can cause disengagement or at the very least reduced awareness of the overall brand. In this case the parent brand was what people had a relationship with, and bought into, and so it was vital to regain a clarity of the association with the parent brand for all sub-brands.

We worked with the club to clarify their brand hierarchy and brought the myriad of sub-brands back under one roof. Although appealing to different audiences, it is still very important to retain the shared identity of the master brand if this is what people are identifying with.

(This work was undertaken at 1977 Design)

Arsenal FC are a Premier League football club.

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