Many people in the business talk about brand architecture but I wonder how many actually think of it in finite terms. Could they put their brand architecture into a wireframe for instance? Or a 140 word Tweet?
The brand architecture process starts with information gathering and the interview of company executives and employees, category pundits, and customers. Lately, I’ve found it effective to troll the blogosphere for insights from customers and competitors’ customers. A review of the business fundamentals, i.e., “Where’s the money?” and an assessment of primary market research is also important. When all the info is gathered and “boiled down,” what remains is fit into 4 nice boxes which constitute the branding architecture: One branding idea atop three support planks.
The branding idea is really a promise to the consumer that fulfills a need. The need can’t be something goofy and ephemeral, though, like “happiness” (listening Coke?) and must be product-rooted. The support planks have to be logically tied to the branding idea; they have to be reasons to believe. Also, brand planks are best when they flow organically from the product – when they are truths. They then become easier to sell.
One promise, three planks. Sound easy? Have at it. Peace!