10 House of Brand Examples (Top Brand Architecture Case Studies)

Want to study 12 of the best house of brand examples in global branding? This article has you covered.

Brands aren’t static.

In fact they’re created in most cases with a vision for growth, expansion and even market dominance.

But what do companies do when their ambitions for expansion outgrow their existing brand?

When their reputation might not translate into another market? Or

When the goal is to build an expansive brand portfolio across many markets?

The answer, in many cases is the house of brands strategy.

When it comes to brand architecture, the house of brands strategy is one of the most common and effective and in this article, we’re breaking down 12 of the best house of brand examples. 

Importance of House of Brands in Brand Strategy

A house of brands strategy emphasizes diversity and independence, allowing a parent company to manage multiple brands, each with its own identity and market focus. 

This structure enables a company to address varied consumer needs and preferences, leading to broader market reach and diversified risk.

Key points of a house of brands strategy include:

Brands operate autonomously with distinct identities.

The parent company can target different market segments.

Market penetration is enhanced due to brand variety.

Risk is spread across multiple brands, reducing dependency on any single one.

This approach allows for flexibility and responsiveness to market changes and consumer trends without the constraints of a singular brand focus.

Characteristics of a House of Brands Strategy

illustration model of house of brands

A house of brands strategy is a form of brand architecture where each sub-brand is maintained as a separate entity with its own branding and marketing strategies, under the oversight of a parent company. 

This contrasts directly with a branded house strategy, where sub-brands are integrated and aligned closely with the parent brand's identity and values.

Companies employing a house of brands strategy can develop distinct brand personalities, target specific market segments, and spread risk across their portfolio

It’s akin to a parent company operating a collection of specialty stores in a shopping center, with each store appealing to different customer interests, yet all contributing to the center’s overall profitability.

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Pros and Cons of House of Brands

The house of brands strategy comes with its own set of advantages and challenges. Its benefits are clear:

It meets the diverse needs of consumers.

It enhances market penetration.

It spreads risk through brand diversification.

It spreads risk through brand diversification.

It demands a substantial investment in developing unique brand identities and marketing strategies.

Each brand requires its own dedicated management team, increasing resource allocation.

Ensuring that brands maintain their distinct identities under the corporate umbrella, without sharing the same brand identity, requires meticulous management.

When executed correctly, a house of brands can yield remarkable results.

House of Brands vs. Branded House

When pondering the merits of the house of brands versus the branded house approach, it’s crucial to consider your company’s unique landscape. Here’s a breakdown of the two brands models:

House of Brands Strategy

Companies with diverse market segments benefit from a house of brands strategy, which allows for the management of multiple brands under one corporate umbrella without diluting the brands.

This approach targets various consumer needs and maintains niche market specializations.

However, it requires significant resources to manage effectively and may result in internal competition among the brands within the portfolio.

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Branded House Strategy

Companies aiming to build a strong, unified brand presence should consider a strategy that ensures consistency across all aspects of branding and marketing. 

This approach can lead to stronger brand recognition and loyalty by presenting a singular, cohesive brand message.

However, companies should be aware that this can limit their ability to offer diverse products and may not appeal to a wide range of consumers who have varied preferences within a single-brand framework.

Strategic Considerations

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to brand architecture.

It's important to evaluate both brands models in light of your long-term business goals.

Consider the potential impact on your brand’s identity and market positioning. Ultimately, choose the strategy that best aligns with your company’s vision and strategic objectives.

House of Brand Examples

brand logos illustration

Let’s examine real-world examples of the house of brands approach. Global corporations use this strategy to manage diverse brand portfolios, addressing various consumer needs across different industries.

Procter & Gamble (P&G)

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is a leading example of a house of brand strategy, managing a diverse portfolio with brands such as Tide, Pampers, and Gillette. 

Each brand operates with a unique identity and strategy, allowing P&G to target specific consumer needs without the risk of brand dilution often associated with brand extensions. 

This approach contrasts with branded house strategies, as it avoids imposing a singular brand identity across different products, which can limit market reach and consumer appeal.

Unilever

Unilever’s approach to brand management also utilizes a house of brands strategy. 

Its portfolio includes distinct brands like Dove, Lipton, and Ben & Jerry’s, each with dedicated branding and marketing strategies.

This allows Unilever to address diverse consumer segments, leveraging the company’s scale while maintaining brand independence, which is critical for adapting to market changes and consumer tastes.

Nestlé

Nestlé employs a house of brands strategy to oversee its broad product range, including Nescafé, KitKat, and Purina. By treating each brand as an independent entity,

Nestlé can customize marketing efforts and product development to meet the preferences of different consumer groups.

This strategic choice supports Nestlé’s market adaptability and helps in maintaining a strong presence across various categories without the constraints of a single-brand focus.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson has mastered the art of managing consumer brands through a house of brands strategy. 

This approach allows them to address the diverse needs of the health and wellness market.

With distinct brands like Neutrogena, which offers a range of skincare products, and Tylenol, known for its effective pain relief, Johnson & Johnson can tailor their marketing and product development to specific consumer needs.

Unlike the branded house model, where a single brand’s identity extends to all products, Johnson & Johnson’s strategy ensures each brand maintains its individuality while benefiting from the parent company’s resources and reputation.

PepsiCo

In the food and beverage sector, PepsiCo’s portfolio of consumer brands demonstrates the effectiveness of a house of brands strategy over a branded house model. PepsiCo manages a variety of brands like the iconic Pepsi, the wholesome Quaker oats, and the flavorful Doritos snacks, each targeting different tastes and dietary preferences. 

This approach allows PepsiCo to fine-tune its strategies for each brand, ensuring that it meets the evolving demands of consumers and maintains a competitive edge in the market.

L'Oréal

L'Oréal utilizes a house of brands strategy to cater to the diverse and sophisticated beauty and cosmetics market.

The company’s portfolio includes consumer brands such as the luxurious Lancôme, the accessible Garnier, and the niche Kiehl’s, each serving different consumer demographics and beauty needs.

By operating multiple brands independently rather than following a branded house model, L’Oréal can effectively dominate various segments of the market, ensuring that each brand can achieve its full potential in connecting with its target audience.

General Motors (GM)

General Motors (GM) employs a house of brand strategy across its range of automotive brands, such as Chevrolet, Buick, and Cadillac. 

Each brand serves different consumer needs, from affordable family cars to luxury vehicles, showcasing GM’s effective brand strategy in maintaining distinct brand identities and meeting diverse market demands.

Estée Lauder Companies

The Estée Lauder Companies control a collection of luxury skincare and makeup brands, including Estée Lauder, Clinique, and MAC Cosmetics. 

Targeting specific consumer groups, the company exemplifies a strategic approach to catering to a wide range of beauty needs.

This strategy not only enables Estée Lauder to establish strong brand loyalty but also secures a robust position in the competitive market by ensuring each brand resonates with its intended audience.

Volkswagen Group

The Volkswagen Group operates a diverse array of car brands, including

Volkswagen

Audi

Porsche

Each offering distinct products that range from everyday vehicles to luxury sports cars. 

Their effective use of a house of brands strategy allows for clear brand distinction and meets diverse consumer preferences, which is essential in the automotive industry’s segmented market.

The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company operates a broad beverage portfolio beyond its flagship product, with brands like

Sprite

Fanta

Dasani

Each brand is positioned to appeal to different consumer tastes and occasions, demonstrating Coca-Cola’s effective brand strategy through the strategic use of its house of brands to maximize market reach and consumer engagement.

How to Implement a House of Brands Strategy

man raising hand to answer question

After reviewing several successful examples of house of brands strategies, you may ask, ‘How can my company adopt this strategy?’ The secret lies in effective development and management. 

Here are the steps to follow:

Start by identifying different market segments and consumer needs that your company can cater to.

Then, create or acquire brands that can effectively serve these segments.

Each brand should have its own unique brand identity and marketing strategy.

All brands should operate coherently under the corporate brand.

By following these steps, your company can successfully adopt a house of brands strategy.

Remember, a house of brands strategy requires careful management to ensure distinctiveness among brands and coherence at the corporate level. 

It’s not an overnight process, but with careful planning and execution, your company too can reap the benefits of this dynamic strategy.

Conclusion

Within the branding landscape, a house of brands strategy presents itself as a powerful tool for companies to manage diverse brand identities under a single corporate umbrella.

By allowing multiple brands to operate independently, companies can cater to diverse consumer needs, enhance market penetration, and manage risk through diversification.

Examples from companies like Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Nestlé illustrate the power and versatility of this strategy. However, it’s important to remember that implementing a house of brands strategy requires careful planning, strategic alignment, and effective brand management. 

It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but for companies operating in diverse market segments, it offers a powerful means to build a strong reputation and achieve their business goals.

Key Takeaways

A house of brands strategy involves each sub-brand operating independently under a parent company, allowing for diversity, market segmentation, and risk diversification.

Successful examples of house of brands include Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Nestlé, demonstrating the strategy’s ability to cater to a wide range of consumer needs by maintaining unique identities for each brand.

While this approach offers flexibility and market penetration, it requires significant investment, careful brand management, and strategic planning to ensure each brand’s distinctiveness and the overarching corporate brand’s coherence.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a house of brands strategy?

A house of brands strategy involves multiple sub-brands operating independently while being united under a parent brand. Each sub-brand maintains its unique identity and strategy separate from the parent brand.

What are the benefits of a house of brands strategy?

A house of brands strategy offers the flexibility to target diverse consumer needs, enhance market penetration, and manage risk through diversification, ultimately allowing a company to explore different market segments and consumer needs effectively.

What are the challenges of implementing a house of brands strategy?

Implementing a house of brands strategy requires a substantial investment in time, resources, and management to maintain independent yet coherent brand operations under the corporate brand. It’s a complex and resource-intensive endeavor.

How does a house of brands strategy differ from a branded house approach?

In a house of brands strategy, multiple brands operate independently with their own identities, while in a branded house approach, the focus is on the parent brand. This allows for more diverse branding and market positioning.

Can you give an example of a company that uses a house of brands strategy?

Absolutely! Procter & Gamble is a great example of a company that uses a house of brands strategy. They have a diverse portfolio including well-known brands like Tide, Pampers, and Gillette, catering to a wide array of consumer needs.

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