Ben Gelnett


Hybrid vs. Monolithic Company Structures

A couple of weeks ago at BURKE, we were discussing a product launch / rebrand strategy with a client and realized that we needed to articulate the pros and cons of different brand architectures in order to quantify our recommendations. We compiled data and plenty of visual examples but the key to our perspective was context. As their agency partner, it was important for us to articulate a vision for how the business goals impact the creative. And while no two situations are the same, design thinking and corporate strategy are never as segmented as they may seem. Read below and see for yourself.

“Due to the speed at which M&A and corporate convergence takes place this century, brands the world over have had to rethink the way visual identities are structured. If you are the parent company, managing several distinct brand identities with different voices and assets can be an operational challenge and create confusion in the market. This is especially true when there is inherent synergies between the product offering. And while consumer demand and market trends may change with the wind, people subconsciously crave order and easy delineation. They are drawn to flagship brands that stand for a single purpose but can accommodate when necessary.

To some extent, this is why we have seen the ‘top down brand hierarchy’ approach become the rule of thumb over the past 20 years. Consumers require clarity in a cluttered market. Management wants all employees, regardless of departments or discipline, singing the same song. Investors want a core team of executives reporting consolidated earnings. This is a logical progression away from the antiquated convention of creating unique identities for a company’s specialties – especially when the specifics of products and services evolve rapidly based on changing technology and preference, and brands are meant to be stalwart and timeless.”

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