Brand Architecture®: Every Breath You Take*

Great buildings, the ones that leave a lasting impression while serving a functional purpose, begin with a solid blueprint, based on information assembled by the architectural team. In the marketing world we often hear the term “Brand Architecture” (registered Trademark of Plunkett Communications Inc.) and it’s an accurate term when it is properly understood. The dictionary defines an architect as somebody whose job it is to design buildings. That’s a little bland for my liking—sort of like calling the Beatles “a band.”


I would say that brilliant architecture transforms the landscape in unique and creative ways, ways that touch us emotionally and intellectually. So too does effective brand architecture, bring together vision, knowledge, experience, needs, benefits and voice that together provide the structure, inspiration and personality that determines a lasting brand. Every successful brand (product, service or cause) is built on solid and well-defined brand architecture.

Brand Architecture is designed on the premise that every touch point of a brand is interconnected and needs continuous management. A brand is a living, breathing entity. I often say that every brand architect should have as a theme song the platinum hit by the Police, Every Breath You Take* (“ … every move you make, I’ll be watching you”). Because its every move is “watched” and under scrutiny in the marketplace. It must offer authenticity in representation and consistency in delivery. That means never underestimate the importance of every touch point in brand creation, delivery and communications. How your brand looks and performs (“every breath it takes”) should be an orchestrated part of your daily thinking — leaving the one hit wonders to the competition.

*Every Breath You Take from 1983 album Synchronicity by The Police

-Ken Tencer

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