Connect with us

MARKETING

How to Develop Brand Architecture

Published

on

How to Develop Brand Architecture

Just like every building needs a foundation, every business needs brand architecture. It’s the structure that allows you to organize your offerings, develop a brand identity, and gain brand equity.

The right brand architecture provides clarity around your products or services and influences how your brands and sub-brands relate to one another.

Without this framework, there’s no connection between your brand’s offerings, messaging, and identity. This inconsistency can confuse consumers and dilute the overall value of the brand. (Think of it like walking through a building where every room has vastly different interior design).

To ensure your brand architecture fits your business, this post will share the various brand architecture models, highlight real-life examples, and provide steps to choose the best structure for your company.

What is brand architecture?

Brand architecture is the organizational framework a company uses to structure its brands, sub-brands, and products or services.

The framework helps define both the breadth and the depth of a brand, which makes it easier to develop marketing campaigns, identify growth opportunities, and ensure consumers understand the offerings.

Image Source

Companies use brand architecture to inform internal efforts. It acts as the foundation for the brand identity, style guide, and brand story, but it also helps increase efficiency by highlighting opportunities for cross-promotion, brand awareness, and mergers and acquisitions.

Brand architecture isn’t always obvious to consumers, who use it as a way to categorize the company and understand how it meets their needs. For example, people may not know that Alphabet is the parent company of Google. But they have a specific perception of Google’s brand equity and transfer it to products like Google Sheets, Google Docs, or Google Search.

Ultimately, brand architecture is meant to bring order to a brand’s offerings and build brand equity. Not every architecture will work for every business, so let’s look at the options to see which may be the right fit for your brand.

Brand Architecture Models

The most common brand architecture models are branded house, house of brands, endorsed brands, and hybrid brands.

Branded House

brand architecture example: masterbrand

Image Source

A branded house architecture combines several house brands under a single umbrella brand, leveraging the well-established master brand for its equity, awareness, and customer loyalty. Oftentimes, the house brands are designed to target different audience segments to maximize reach and revenue.

For instance, Apple uses a branded house architecture to create a seamless look and feel across its sub-brands: iPad, iPhone, iMac, Watch, and TV. By leaning on Apple’s loyal customer base, the sub-brands increase their equity and more easily attract buyers.

1643256127 395 How to Develop Brand Architecture

Image Source

The following companies use a branded house architecture:

  • FedEx: FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, FedEx Freight, FedEx Office, etc
  • Virgin: Virgin Mobile, Virgin Pulse, Virgin Money, etc
  • HubSpot: Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, Operations Hub

House of Brands

brand architecture example: branded house

Image Source

A house of brands architecture downplays the master brand in order to feature the sub-brands. This structure allows the sub-brands to shine on their own because they aren’t tied to the messaging, appearance, or positioning of the master brands. But it also increases the complexity because each brand has a distinct audience, brand identity, marketing strategy, and equity.

Due to that complexity, companies that use a house of brands structure are often large global brands with established equity. While the master brand may be widely recognized, like the consumer goods company Unilever, it can also be behind the scenes, like the fast-food company Yum! Brands.

brand architecture example: house of brands

Image Source

The following companies use a house of brands architecture:

  • Procter & Gamble: Pampers, Tide, Bounty, Bounce, Dawn, Tampax, and more
  • Yum! Brands: KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and The Habit Burger Grill
  • GE Appliances: Monogram, Café, GE, GE Profile, Haier and Hotpoint
  • Focus Brands: Aunties Anne’s, Cinnabon, Jamba Juice, Carvel, and more
  • PepsiCo: Pepsi, Lays, Quaker Oats, Gatorade, Aquafina, Tropicana, and more

Hybrid Brand

brand architecture example: hybrid brand

Image Source

A hybrid brand architecture combines the house of brands and branded house models. The goal of this structure is for the sub-brands to have similar styles as the master brand while maintaining distinct brand identities.

Companies that use a hybrid architecture may mention the master brand in marketing, but most adopt this model as a way to keep the master and sub-brands separate after rounds of mergers and acquisitions. It’s also a good approach for brands that want to cater to vastly different target audiences, like Marriott Bonvoy.

By taking a hybrid approach, the company maintains a diverse portfolio of brands that includes luxury hotels, such as the Ritz-Carlton, alongside budget-friendly options, such as Residence Inn.

brand architecture hybrid: mariott bonvoy brands

Image Source

The following companies use a hybrid approach:

    • Alphabet: Google, Nest, YouTube, Fitbit, Waze, and more
  • Microsoft: LinkedIn, Skype, GitHub, Mojang, and more
  • Amazon: AmazonBasics, Presto!, Mama Bear, AmazonFresh, Zappos, and more
  • Levi’s: Levi’s, Dockers, Denizen, and Signature by Levi Strauss & Co

Endorsed Brand

brand architecture example: endorsed brands

Image Source

Another option for brand architecture is the endorsed brand model, which has a master brand and sub-brands that rely on an association with it. Each sub-brand benefits from the strength of the others because they all share the same endorsement.

Oftentimes, an endorsed brand incorporates the logo and colors of the master brand. Of course, this allows the sub-brand to leverage the reputation of the main brand for improved brand equity, awareness, and security.

The endorsed approach is great for companies that use a hybrid approach and want each sub-brand to have its own identity, without separating it from the master brand. Unlike the house of brands approach, the endorsed model lets everyone know the main brand behind the products or services. And unlike the branded house approach, an endorsed brand can have a different look or feel from the master brand.

brand architecture example: endorsed brands marriott hotels

Image Source

The following brands use an endorsed approach:

  • Nescafe by Nestle
  • Playstation by Sony
  • Rice Krispies by Kellog
  • Polo by Ralph Lauren

How to Develop Brand Architecture

Defining brand architecture is one of the first steps a company should take when building a brand because it lays the foundation for an organized, intuitive branding strategy. Although brand architecture can become complex, with dozens of sub-brands, the right structure can ensure each brand remains true to its identity.

You can develop a brand architecture for your business in three steps: research, strategy, and application.

1. Research

Strong brands don’t simply choose a model and run with it. Conducting research is an essential step to developing brand architecture because it gives you the information you need to organize offerings in a way that makes sense for your company, customers, and industry.

The more data, the better. But gathering the following information will provide the insights you need to get started.

  • Brand audit – Brand loyalty, brand awareness, brand perception, brand equity, brand assets, and brand portfolio
  • Market research – Buyer personas, market segmentation, product/service use, pricing, customer satisfaction, and competitive analysis

Before you make any decision, it’s wise to review your company’s mission, vision, and values to ensure the brand architecture aligns with business goals.

2. Strategy

With data in hand, it’s time to design the brand architecture. If you’re revamping an old architecture, this step may require tough decisions on whether to get rid of or sell brands that don’t fit into your desired architecture. If you’re starting from scratch, you have to decide how closely you want your current (or future) sub-brands to be connected to the master brand.

You can test out each architecture by seeing what the brand would look like in each approach and creating a list of pros and cons. Maybe the branded house model won’t work because you have several distinct brands that can’t be grouped under the parent brand.

When you find a structure that may work, outline the connections between the master brands, sub-brands, and products or services. You need to know how everything works together because defining distinct brands, designing cross-promotions, or marketing to customers.

Along the way, make sure to consider your available resources (employees, budget, time). Certain approaches take more work than others, so you want to choose a brand architecture that fits your current capacity as well as your future vision.

3. Application

Choosing a brand architecture is just the start of creating a lasting brand that people love. But for the sake of this article, the last step is to share the finalized structure with your team.

Since brand architecture is part of your brand identity, you can unveil it alongside your overarching brand positioning strategy. Make sure to include a clear structure that highlights the relationships between the master brand, sub-brands, and offerings, in addition to any connections between sub-brands. Everyone on the team should know the strategic role of every brand within the architecture framework and how it relates to customers.

As your company grows, your brand architecture must change to include any new offerings or brands — whether it’s the result of a new product launch or an acquisition.

By taking time to conduct brand research, develop a brand architecture strategy, and share it with your team, you’re setting your entire organization up to make efficient branding decisions that have a long-term effect on brand equity.

brand consistency


Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

MARKETING

Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

Published

on

Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

(more…)

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Published

on

A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

MARKETING

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Published

on

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

​​

via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading

Trending