When I started my career in Brand Management I did not know what Brand Architecture was. No-one did. It didn’t exist. Prof Leslie de Chernatony and myself were the first to create theory in this field in 1994 which we called ‘Brand-Bonding’ and published in the Journal of Brand Management
The brand architect was born out of a need to keep brands growing, to keep company wealth growing and to provide an ongoing sustainable competitive advantage for the firm. It made all the difference when I was heading up Nivea Skin Care in the UK and exploded the brand out of a General Purpose cream with some lotions into Specific Skin Care such as Visage etc and the rest is history.
At Wella, when I was the Lead Country Head to create Transnational brands out of the mess of numerous of local but similar brands created under the old Multinational structures I understood how much more effective the L’Oreal strategies were across borders. Those two projects plus my honorable competitors helped me to devise the five different competitive strategies that could be created depending on the proximity and fit of the Company Brand DNA to the Product Brand DNA, hence what was later named « Brand Architecture » by American academic David Aaker.
I was then fortunate enough to meet Sir Richard Branson who gave me the chance to rethink and propose an effective brand stretching strategy that the Virgin Group could work to. I laugh to think that I promised to make him rich and famous when he already was. What a fantastic guy !
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CEO’s, Entrepreneurs, Marketing Directors and Design, PR and Brand Content Agencies are encouraged to contact to me with the most impossibly difficult cases. The more complex, the better. Together, I have no doubt that we find great opportunies. There is always a way forward!