Evaluating your brand architecture as part of your rebrand? Here’s what to consider

Evaluating your brand architecture as part of your rebrand? Here’s what to consider


Philip Guiliano

If you’re in the early stages of planning a rebrand that will affect multiple sub-brands, you have important strategic decisions to make. Will you rebrand each sub-brand independently? Reorganize them into a smaller number of brand families? Or consolidate everything into one master brand?

The route you choose will have significant implications for your organization. As such, it’s important not to make your decision in haste. Since your top priority is to strengthen your market position and drive value, it’s crucial that you make decisions about your brand architecture with the right input and ramifications in mind.

Your branding agency can help you think through which choice is best from a strategic perspective. But there are also important operational considerations to factor in.

Here’s what you need to consider early in the planning process to make the best decisions about your rebrand and roll it out effectively.

Make decisions about your rebrand based on strategy, not cost

Decisions about your brand architecture should be made based on which approach best solidifies your organization’s market position and drives your business forward. They should not be made based on incomplete assumptions related to cost and/or logistics.

Yet all too often, marketing leaders choose one structural option over another because they:

  • Believe the preferred approach will cost too much or require too many organizational resources to implement
  • Fear that internal stakeholders will struggle to accept a change to a well-known legacy brand
  • Assume sub-brands have strong equity that must be preserved (and think it can’t be replicated in another way)

But remember: These reasons are merely hypothetical until you gather research to confirm or disprove them.

It’s important to work with your branding agency to quantify how much your desired architectural approach could increase your brand value. Then, consider working with a rebranding implementation expert to help you conduct scenario planning and create accurate financial projections for the various rebranding options you’re considering.

10 steps to brand implementation success

Here are 10 steps to take to ensure that your new brand is implemented into the marketplace correctly.

Download now

BrandActive can help you analyze the financial impact of:

  • Converting all your sub-brands independently versus rolling them up into a master brand
  • Implementing a gradual transition strategy (e.g. a hybrid brand or endorsement approach) to introduce your new brand to stakeholders over time
  • Spreading the impact of your rebrand out over multiple years versus implementing a fast rollout
  • Making smart use of your organization’s CapEx and OpEx policies

Analyzing this type of data will give you the information you need to make the right rebranding decision for the long-term wellbeing of your organization.

Do a deep dive into the details of your brand architecture

You’ve invested a great deal of time and energy into nailing down your positioning, identity, and visual systems. Now it’s time to chart out and document exactly how your brand architecture will function.

Whether you want to keep or reimagine your sub-brands or consolidate your entities into a master brand, it’s essential to think through every detail of your brand architecture early in the rebrand planning stage.

To be sure you’re weighing every salient detail, you’ll need to consider questions like these:

  • What is the relationship between our parent brand and each sub-brand?
  • How will we visually represent our parent brand and sub-brands on our branded assets?
  • Should we co-brand any of our audience-facing touchpoints to take advantage of existing brand equity?
  • Are there regulatory considerations around how and when to display new legal names?
  • What information will our partners need (e.g.  independent retailers, franchises, clinics within a health system) to roll out our new sub-brands in all relevant channels?
  • How do the naming conventions for each sub-brand play out across locations, divisions, departments, employees, and products?

The way your brand is structured will influence the cost of your rebrand, what you prioritize in terms of branded asset conversion, and how quickly you can bring your new brand to market.

Whether or not you consolidate your sub-brands into a master brand, it’s essential to consider every detail of your brand architecture early in your rebrand planning.

For example, if you’re moving forward with a master brand strategy, it will likely be important to convert your sub-branded assets quickly to reduce brand confusion among your stakeholders. On the other hand, if your employees and audience are deeply attached to parts of your legacy brand, you may need to balance speed to market with giving them enough time to adjust.

Plan to get details like these squared away at least six months prior to your official launch.

Assess your rebrand’s impact on your brand and marketing operations

With so much changing as a result of your rebrand, make sure you have the appropriate people, processes, tools, and technologies in place to support your brand in a consistent, repeatable way.

Specifically, answer the following questions:

  • If we’re decentralizing a previously centralized marketing operation in order to support a variety of sub-brands, what are the roles and responsibilities of each team?
  • What is the role of our corporate marketing team in overseeing each sub-brand?
  • How can we train and empower our people to serve as ambassadors of each brand?
  • What changes should we make to workflows and approval processes in light of the changes we’re making to brand architecture?
  • Does it make sense to re-evaluate our marketing spend and allocate funding differently?
  • If we’re consolidating several legacy sub-brands into a master brand, what cost efficiencies can we implement to boost ROI?
  • What process, resource, and technology efficiencies can we gain by implementing this rebrand?
  • Do we need to invest in better collaboration tools to ensure brand consistency across locations and channels?

Achieving the ROI you expect from your rebrand depends a great deal on your organization’s ability to effectively manage the brand going forward. Therefore, assessing and strengthening your brand and marketing operations is not optional; it’s a critical driver of long-term success.

Are you ready to make data-driven decisions about your brand architecture?

Planning for a rebrand requires marketing leaders to flex a unique set of muscles. This is particularly true when you’re re-evaluating or restructuring your brand architecture. On the one hand, you must think strategically about how your brand structure will support your organization’s long-term business objectives. And on the other, you can’t afford to ignore the operational implications of each decision you make.

The good news is you don’t have to figure this out alone. BrandActive can help you gather the data to help you bring your strategy to life. And it’s never too early to start the conversation.

So, if you’re thinking about a rebrand, just reach out. We’d love to help you get it off on the right foot from the very beginning.