Expert opinions

Why does a developer project need an umbrella brand architecture?

Today, more and more development companies are striving to pump their brand, based on the development of not one project, but building own product line under a single parent brand. The question arises of how exactly to promote the project and what kind of branding strategy will work best for the business.

Let’s start with the definition of what is meant by the term “umbrella brand architecture” and why development companies need it:

Umbrella architecture is a kind of brand promotion and market share expansion strategy, which implies the launch of new projects by a well-known, parent brand. This promotion format does not only make it easier to bring a new project to market, but also to save marketing budget, as dealing with an unknown product requires much more investment and effort.

Why is it needed?

First, it’s a system. And without it, no business can exist. Secondly, the well-built architecture of the brand allows you to revise quickly your communication and business strategy with much smaller obstacles. If you have everything arranged, then you can approach one from your strategies and move along some plans and meanings, and not rebuild the entire system.

Third, if you have a number of agency contractors (PR, SMM, performance, etc.), who are engaged in the production and writing of content, then the system guide to using your brand will immediately reduce the number of iterations and duration of onboarding between you and your contractor.

We propose to analyze use cases how the umbrella brand architecture is built.

Case 1. Regional developer, 14 years in the market, quite different types of objects in the company’s portfolio, each of them has its own corporate identity and communication.

Task: to create a system, consistent brand, organize and systematize the entire portfolio of the company, to outline the principle of interaction between project brands and the developer’s brand.

When creating an umbrella architecture, it is necessary to preserve uniqueness and “own face” of each of the brand projects, to preserve identity showing simultaneously that all projects belong to the portfolio of the same developer.

Solution: creating a clear and voluminous design guide that will determine all the work of brand architecture. In other words, creating a common color system, scale the design system and regulate its use in different projects. The process also includes the creation of a single communication strategies (phrases, meanings, which are determined depending on the main project values) at the expense of slogans.

For example, we take as a basis the phrase – “More space for….” Every consumer from the target audience can finish it in its own way: more space – for me, for inspiration, for creativity, and so on. A similar frame makes the company’s communications more consistent and systematic. Consumer meets the word “more” on billboards and associates it with the brand. But this communication remains individual, because in the phrase “more space for…” you can insert any word depending on the situation, value or target audience.

Case 2. Federal developer, 7 years of activity in the market, the company operates in several directions, each one corresponds to its own type of housing and price segment: comfort, business, premium and commercial real estate.

Task: to build the right umbrella architecture, systematize projects under the parent brand and create a competent communication system for all activity areas of the company.

Solution: Promotion and communication should be conducted in this case in separate channels, but at the same time it is necessary, always and everywhere, to maintain connection of projects with a parent brand. Despite the fact that the company combines several directions, the maternal brand must always remain integral due to the clearly built and strategically deliberate brand architecture.

In our unstable time, when everything changes almost every day, you can not find some kind of magic pill that will save you and fix everything. Your business and you as the person who owns or works in it, need heavily a clear system, competent guides and consistent actions. Only they can be a reliable support for you. Take care of your brand today, and it will stand you in good stead tomorrow.

By Stanislav Okrukh, founder and creative director of a creative consulting agency SmartHeart

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