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Guest Column: Optimising Brand Architecture with the 4Fingers™ Method

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Guest Column: Optimising Brand Architecture with the 4Fingers™ Method

While it’s general knowledge that a strong vibrant brand is at the heart of any business, the inherent hidden message is about having clear intent and acting with commitment to create such brands over time. In such a brand marketing journey, a business engages in questions around the brand promise, its market competitiveness and associated brand meaning for consumers. 


However, over the years, rampant or inconsistent business growth keeps throwing challenges resulting in the introduction of multiple new brands and sub-brands. Sometimes, such mushrooming of brands results in confusion or chaos as businesses neglect to integrate brands or strategically manage them as a portfolio of long-term strategic assets.


As a result, with such crowded ad-hoc brand portfolio, a new set of questions emerges about managing brand portfolio, strategic portfolio role for each brand and choices for expanding or slimming down the brand portfolio. In a nutshell, the challenging part for the business leadership team in such cases is around optimising the current brand architecture to compete in the market and to grow as per business plans.


There is a new way of optimising the brand architecture using the 4FingersTM Method. Before that, let’s first engage in the basics of brand architecture. As a starting point, businesses need to make a deliberate choice among different options of Branded House architecture like Google, House of Brands architecture like P&G and Hybrid architecture like Coca-Cola. Once a business is able to make the important and tough choice of specific brand architecture approach, then Aaker’s model is the most robust practical framework to capture different elements of Strategy, Portfolio Roles, Brand-Market Context, Brand Portfolio Structure and even portfolio graphics. 

Finally, robust metrics to evaluate any brand architecture framework related success would be around:


  • Powerful individual brands

  • Optimal allocation of brand building resources

  • Synergy in creating visibility, efficiency

  • Clarity of offerings

  • Platforms for future growth options


Coming to the focus of this article, the 4FingersTM Method is a systematic approach to undo the effects of historic neglect to integrate brands or strategically manage them as a portfolio of long-term assets in any business.


We can apply the different stages of 4FingersTM Method as follows:




Finally, the end output of such an exercise would be an End-State Brand Portfolio Framework, Decision Tree for future and Migration plan for the current portfolio. Thus, your business would live happily ever after with a live brand portfolio document offering clarity, efficiency, growth and ever-increasing equity in the market. 


The author is Founder and CEO of The MargDarshak Inc.


Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of

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