Branch into Brand Architecture

Branch into Brand Architecture

Branch into Brand Architecture

Think of a family tree.

Regardless of how far it goes back, you see many branches-grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, children etc.
Family trees structure a family and determine how each is tied together.

Now,  let’s think of a family name.

The father usually carries the name and then the children he produces carry on his name. 
This name links a family together, loses other members in the process, but depending on what same may call fate, the name is carried on through the birth of new children.


Family trees behave similarly to brand architecture. A company has a whole lineage of brands: parent brands (grandparents), subbrands (parents) , and then endorsed brands (children). Brand architecture links all of the brands together, but also differentiates them based on their purpose.

Parent Brands

Parent brands are extensions of a brand into many different product categories. Examples include companies like Apple or Microsoft that have many different products, but the products are associated with their name.


Subbrands are new brands that are still tied to the parent brand, but have created an identity for themselves. They are more relevant to a new target or to a different product category. For example, Apple’s introduction of their iPhones created a subbrand for their company.

Endorsed Brands

Endorsed brands are the brands people are most familiar with and are household names. They are given credibility by the subbrand and the parent brand, but are their own identity in the customer’s eyes. An example of an endorsed brand would be the specific iPhone 5 or the iPhone 5c. They are specific products working under both the iPhone and the Apple name.

Family names are just more examples of how the branding and sub branding works. Defined with brand architecture, the “family name” of your brand will be determined, and then the following “children” will be linked to it. These sub-brands still have their own identity -they’re still people anyway!

[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”StanceBranding” suffix=””]Brand architecture narrows the focus of a company and determines the levels of the brand and how they relate to each other[/inlinetweet], if they do. Grandma may not be related to Cousin. Furthermore, it also determines which brands need the main focus and if there is any that are parasites to your company and success.

Family trees are important. They determine our identity and explain our history. Without them, we would have no idea who we are and the who are the greatest influencers in our lives. Family names allow us to know our direct identity, the people we share our immediate relevance with. These determine our own brand architecture. They help us know our levels and how all of our levels complete us as a whole.

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