The ‘Branded House’ versus ‘House of Brands’ debate
One of the classic branding/marketing conundrums every company or organization needs to confront in setting its overall brand and marketing strategy is: Are we a “branded house” or a “house of brands”?
The branded house approach means that one primary brand is firmly established and carries through all the product offerings: Chabad Hebrew School, Chabad Preschool, Chabad Jewish Discover Center, Chabad Summer Camp, etc. The house of brands approach creates a distinct brand for each product: Hebrew High, Chai Club, The Maintown Gan, Jewish Learning Institute, Gan Israel Summer Camp, etc.
What is the advantage of each approach?
The advantage of the house of brands strategy is that each brand is free to market itself independently, and create its own market position or niche, unconstrained by the baggage (perceived or real) or meaning of the parent brand. This is especially effective when each programs is targeting a different demographic, since it allows each audience to identify with the product that fits its needs, and can also be exploited when selling the program to donors or investors. It also creates a sense of breadth in the activities of the organization, but it can be expensive and complicated to promote and maintain. On the flip side, the branded house strategy creates more stability and clarity by allowing the various programs to share the same vision and market position, and it makes it more natural to promote each program to participants of the other programs.
Ultimately, the branded house versus house of brands decision should not be taken lightly or be allowed to succumb to the temptation of either approach. It should be part of a carefully crafted strategy that is in tune with the organization’s goals and the makeup of its target community.