How should D2C brands structure their offerings appeal to a wider consumer base attribution

How should D2C brands structure their offerings appeal to a wider consumer base attribution

The decision between multiple brands & unified brand identity hinges on several key considerations

Kruti Berawala

Mumbai: In brand building, brand architecture plays a pivotal role in shaping the identity and growth of a brand. In our digitally accelerated era, the landscape of brand architecture has encountered a significant shift, presenting newer challenges and considerations.

As consumer preferences continue to evolve, the demand for specialisation across product categories is soaring. Traditionally, products within the same family were often grouped under a single brand, allowing the brand to gain recognition under one category before expanding to others. Today, however, the rise of specialised offerings raises the question of whether each new category demands a distinct brand, or if a unified approach can be maintained.

The entrepreneurial landscape has also witnessed increased dynamism, with founders venturing into multiple categories shortly after inception. While this ambitious approach can lead to consumer confusion and necessitate higher marketing expenditure, if not planned well, it also presents growth opportunities.

Conventional brand architecture models such as the House of Brands and Branded House, though effective in certain contexts, may not seamlessly align with the needs of modern Indian direct-to-consumer (D2C) startups. The House of Brands model, designed for disparate offerings and diverse target audiences, contrasts with the Branded House approach, which leverages existing brand equity across verticals.

In light of these complexities, many brands are opting for a hybrid brand architecture, blending elements of both models to strike a balance between differentiation and brand coherence. This nuanced approach acknowledges the unique challenges and nuances of the contemporary market landscape.

The Coca-Cola company, known for its flagship brand Coke, has built significant equity over a century. Fanta launched almost a hundred years later under a flavoured beverage banner, illustrates how much brands can evolve to meet market demands. During World War II, a German trade embargo cut off access to Coca-Cola syrup, leading to Fanta's creation from local ingredients. Fanta was reintroduced in 1955 across European, Asian, and African markets, with a cautious approach in the U.S. market to protect Coke's brand equity. This strategic expansion reflected the company's commitment to balancing brand identity with product diversification to meet global market demands.

Similarly, the trajectories of modern delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato underscore the importance of deliberate brand expansion. Swiggy seamlessly integrated new offerings under its existing brand umbrella, while Zomato, facing challenges in grocery delivery, acquired Blinkit and employed an endorsed brand architecture to leverage its existing brand equity.

The rebranding of Meta (formerly Facebook) provides a compelling case study in adaptive brand architecture. By restructuring under the Meta umbrella and articulating a broader vision for the Metaverse, the company has attempted to position itself for future growth and diversification, while retaining the essence of its core offerings.

The decision between multiple brands and a unified brand identity hinges on several key considerations: the differentiation of product offerings, the target audience for each brand, and pricing parity across the portfolio. Brand architecture is a dynamic framework that should evolve in tandem with market dynamics and strategic imperatives, serving as the bedrock for business and brand strategy, and eventually, all growth initiatives.

This article has been authored by Stratedgy co-founder Kruti Berawala.