A recent LinkedIn post by Sir Richard Branson reminded me of the time when the now late Nelson Mandela phoned Richard Branson asking him to save the then struggling Health & Racquet Club (H&R) in South Africa, to prevent jobs losses.  

1 Idea – 1 Challenge – 1 Quote


1 Idea From Me

I read somewhere else that Branson remarked that when Mandela phoned you it’s going to cost you money, but you try and help. There is much to say about the fact that we are short on people with that kind of gravitas, but I want to focus on Branson’s strategy when he took over the ailing health club chain.  

Brand architecture

The Virgin brand name is primary in any of the many different Virgin brands – Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Money, Virgin Mobile and so on. Branson did not bring the H&R brand, as is, into the Virgin portfolio of brands. Rather he rebranded the health clubs to Virgin Active. This shows a good understanding of brand architecture.   Brand architecture refers to the strategic structure of an organisation’s brands and how they relate to each other. It provides a framework for future brand decisions. There are basically three types of brand architecture, namely an organisation-controlled brand architecture, an organisation-endorsed brand architecture and a stand-alone individual brand architecture.   With the organisation-controlled brand architecture the organisation itself and the sub-brands carry the same brand name. With the organisation-endorsed brand architecture the organisation and the sub-brands are brands in their own right, but the organisation endorses the offering with both brand names visible on the offerings. The offering as a brand will be primary and the organisation brand secondary. With the organisation-silent brand architecture each brand in the portfolio has a different brand name and is an independent brand that has no reference to the organisation brand.   The Virgin brand architecture is clearly organisation-controlled and thus it was the correct strategy to rebrand H&R to Virgin Active. Knowing your brand architecture can be valuable during mergers and acquisitions and keep your brand portfolio in order.  

1 Challenge To You

Identify the brand architectures of your portfolio of brands. Do your brands ‘hang together’ in a structured way or do you have difficult decisions to make to get your house of brands in order?  

How Does “Hope Is Not a Strategy” Relate to the Concepts of Mandela, Richard Branson, and Brand Architecture?

Hope is not a strategy emphasizes the need for proactive action rather than relying solely on hopeful thinking. This concept is reflected in the leadership approaches of Nelson Mandela and Richard Branson, who both emphasized taking tangible steps towards change. Similarly, in brand architecture, hope as a strategy is insufficient without a well-thought-out plan and execution. Success requires more than mere hope; it demands deliberate action and strategic implementation.

1 Quote

“A well-managed brand is the lifeblood of any successful company” – Tom Kelley Share this on Twitter   Let’s BRAND FOR SUCCESS! Pieter Steenkamp, BrandDoctor   If you found this article helpful, just click here to tweet it or copy this link: https://bit.ly/3NUQlGV   Meet Dr Pieter Steenkamp, your BRAND FOR SUCCESS guide. I am actually a brand doctor with a PhD in brand management from University of Stellenbosch Business School. As a brand management lecturer and researcher at a university in Cape Town South Africa and a regular visiting professor at universities in Germany, I stay up to date with the latest brand management developments. This affords me the incredible opportunity to consult with leaders of some of the most admired brands. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn Visit BrandDoctor site pieter@branddoctor.co.za