Brand architecture in the digital age

This article is part of a series of articles on brand architecture in the digital age. Read more.

Green-lighting the launch of a sub-brand, variant or extension to a new category is an exciting time for any brand manager. One important decision concerns the new launches’ brand identity – how to balance the existing identity of its parent brand, with creating the new launches’ own visual space. Creation of an identity that is too far from the parent brand risks under-leveraging existing parent assets. However an identity that is too close to the parent brand could compromise the visibility of the new launch. To paraphrase Goldilocks: How do you create a new launch identity that neither too far nor too close, but is “just right”?

In this piece I outline factors to consider when creating the identity of a new launch. For clarity I will use the label ‘new variant’ to refer to any new brand launch that draws on a brand name from the existing (“parent”) brand.

The first priority is to protect the parent