5 Signs You Need a New Brand Architecture | The Garage Group
5 Signs You Need a New Brand Architecture
At the heart of it, Brand Architecture is a strategic, clearly documented organization of the brand’s current and future portfolio of offerings with the intent of driving clear, simple choices for the consumer while paving the way for new innovation. More than that, it gives a roadmap for brands to make focused choices on where they will and will not play.
If done well, great Brand Architecture results in trial, repeat, and innovation that leads to growth.
A good strategy means you understand ‘I have this great idea and where do I put it? Where does it go? Why does it go there?’ …A good strategy needs to be simple and make sense so that you can figure out how you make the right choices.” – Rachel Sexton, Innovation & Strategy Director, RB
Though, in just about all of our conversations with marketers related to Architecture, there tends to be a big sigh of frustration. Most of us recognize that our Architectures are not optimal nor used to their fullest potential for one reason or another. For most of us, Architectures tend to be a purely paper exercise that collects dust after never being fully bought in by the organization.
So why should you dust it off? Clearly aligning on and documenting Brand Architecture is one of the most underutilized strategies brands use today since a solid Architecture will not only organize your brand but guide innovation, drive simplicity at the shelf and build momentum for your organization.
Here are 5 signs that you might need to dust off your current Architecture:
You can’t shop your own shelf.If you can’t explain how your brand is organized, the consumer can’t either.
It doesn’t match consumer behavior.Brand Architecture that drives trial and repeat is externally focused, rather than focused on internal technology and language. If your architecture doesn’t reflect consumer purchase and usage behavior, it’s missing out on the opportunity to drive increased market share.
It’s not representative of your global footprint.The world is getting smaller and smaller, especially as brands continue to grow outside of the US. Brands that show up consistently around the world are much more able to tell a cohesive story that drives their business.
It’s not aligned with your brand’s equity.Capturing how you intend to stretch the brand across categories or drive depth within a category are critical components to a solid Brand Architecture.
It’s not inspiring.Great Brand Architecture casts a vision for areas where the brand can innovate and grow. You may need to rethink your architecture if it feels limiting and uninspiring for driving big growth on your brand.
How to get started? To build a strong Architecture:
Leverage outside inspiration. Check out how other brands in and outside of your category are bringing their Architecture to life. Trying to see how to do an age-based Architecture? Check out Legos. Trying to see who does Good, Better, Best well? Check out Wamsutta in Bed, Bath and Beyond. It’s important to see other brands and categories who are doing it well (and some not so well) to make it easy for reapplication.
Ensure multi-functional team members collectively own the architecture. Make sure this isn’t just one person (or agency) leading the process – to truly drive throughout the organization it’s a team exercise including marketers, consumer and product researchers and agency teams.
Leverage outside help to facilitate the process. We find it extremely helpful to have unbiased experts in the room to facilitate the process and overcome roadblocks between agencies or team members. Whether you use the Garage Group or another agency, leveraging an outside group will enable a truly holistic architecture that pushes the team beyond the paper exercise and into what an Architecture is really meant to be.
The Garage Group helps corporate teams take an entrepreneurial approach to building strong architecture directions that drive trial, repeat and innovation strategy.