Freelancer, jewelry-maker, and founder of a non-profit. Entrepreneurs are known for being creative, but to effectively market your business having a focus is crucial. This is why it’s important to know how to you define your brand as a multi-passionate entrepreneur using a brand hierarchy.
Some people struggle with getting creative, others struggle with being too creative. I’m the latter, so I know how difficult it can be to structure all your businesses and offers to communicate it better.
The key is defining your brand hierarchy to include all your businesses and offers.
What is a Brand Hierarchy?
A brand hierarchy or brand architecture is an easy and visual way of categorizing and structuring all the brands in your portfolio. There are four different types of brand hierarchies:
- Umbrella Brand
- Different brands operate under one main brand.
- They all use similar branding
- Example: FedEx
- House of Brands
- Different independent products/services operate under a main or corporate brand
- They all have their own branding and the corporate brand is barely visible
- Example: Procter & Gamble
- Independent brands that operated under the main brand for authority purposes
- The main brand is only present in visual brand identity to show endorsement
- Example: Marriot
- The main brand uses a combination of above-mentioned strategies to structure their brands
- The brand identity is dependent on what works best for it
- Example: Amazon
To correctly structure your brand, you have to understand the different types of brand hierarchies.
While brand hierarchies are often implemented by large corporations, small businesses can also use brand hierarchy in their brand management.
How to Define your Brand Using the Brand Hierarchies
As a small business owner, you probably don’t have a corporate or main brand. There is no brand connecting all the brands together.
In this case, you are the connection between the different businesses and offers, which means that your “personal brand” can be positioned as the main brand.
Most small businesses use the ‘Umbrella’ brand hierarchy for its ease and simplicity. This structure is only relevant when you’re using similar branding for your offers.
For example, you’re a freelancer that offers consultancy and photography for a niche market. While your services are for the same market, they each solve a different problem.
They can each be seen as an individual brand under the “umbrella” of the main brand and will have the same brand identity as well.
But, how do you define your brand when you also have a side-hustle aside from your main business.
This is very common among entrepreneurs and a hybrid approach would be the best option so you can combine strategies.
You then have an umbrella hierarchy for your freelance business and an endorsed hierarchy for your side-hustle. The side-hustle will have his own branding but will be endorsed by your personal brand.
Why It’s Important?
The biggest struggle of any multi-passionate entrepreneur is having clarity around their offers and brands so that the strategy is appropriate and the communication effective.
Learning how to define your brand using the brand hierarchies will help you to identify the positioning of each brand, how to accurately communicate it, and also how to build your business processes around the chosen brand hierarchy.
So, in order to get that clarity, you need to have a deep understanding of each type and what strategy applies to each. It’s when you learn about the different hierarchies that you can choose the one that best works for your business situation.