Table of Contents

Latest updates

1 Mar 2023 | version 01.02.01
Separated the content into different individual pages instead of having a super long one-pager.

20 Nov 2022 | version 01.01.01
Officially published on Github as an open-source repository and added a dark theme.

20 Sep 2020 | version 00.01.14
Major content changes. Added “Brand Entity” as a third part of what makes up a Brand, alongside with “Brand Identity” and “Brand Perception”. Also, added section “What is a Logo?”.

6 Sep 2020 | version 00.01.13
Made background colour lighter. Copy-edited content spelling and grammar.

26 Mar 2020 | version 00.01.12
Major content update. Added "Developers vs. Programmers" to "Terminology" section. Added multiple TPG case studies to "Brand Strategy" section. Added whole new section "Digital Product Development".

9 Mar 2020 | version 00.01.11
Added new books to the "Bibliography" section.

25 Feb 2020 | version 00.01.10
Added "Business Development" section.

16 Feb 2020 | version 00.01.09
Added "Basic Touchpoints" section.

01 Feb 2020 | version 00.01.08
Updated "Moodboard", "Visual Language", and "Tools & Resources" sections, and added "Brand Guidelines" section.

30 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.07
Added "Bibliography" sub-sections, "Poly Forum" and "Colophon" sections.

27 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.06
Added "Bibliography" section.

21 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.05
Added "Visual Identity" section.

20 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.04
Added "Key Messages" section.

16 Jan 2020 | version 00.01.03
Multiple content changes.

21 Oct 2019 | version 00.01.02
Added Community, Info, and Version features.

20 Oct 2019 | version 00.01.01
We've published our original alpha as a public beta.

Some info about our project

Our goal is to publish free and open-access educational information on branding and brand identity design.

Eventhough we've already spent several years trying to see how we put this project together, this project is still in its early stages of development.

For the future, we have high hopes of building a useful platform for creatives all over the world to use as a resource and make their professional careers easier.

Join our community!

Poly Forum is a place to discuss branding, share tips and resources, ask questions, request feedback, and connect with other creatives from around the world.

Learn More ›

1. Brand Strategy

Based on the information gathered from the Market Research, the Brand Strategy aims to define what’s the best possible way for the business to communicate its most appealing features to the target public and stand out over the competition.

The Polyfen Group

You can browse our Brand Strategy document at

1.1. Voice


Define the brand's Voice


Marketing Analyst

Estimated Workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


The best place to start choosing a direction for the Brand Identity would be to define what the Brand stands for at its core. What personality / mood / look-and-feel should identify the Brand Identity. What is the Brand going to be saying to its public.

The personality of a Brand can initially be defined by its Voice (what the Brand says) and Tone (how the Brand says it).

The Voice describes what type of content will be communicated by the Brand. The voice is what the Brand says, what type of information does the Brand offer to the public.

The most basic features of the Brand’s Voice are typically communicating the business’ services / products and its prices.

However, a Brand can also choose to publish educational content, or share curated links to relevant information on social media; Or perhaps the Brand’s Voice can focus on communicating the business’ mission and core values, or on promoting a humanitarian cause.

Case studies

Hubspot offers a suite of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and marketing tools. However, it has gained a reputable place in the marketing industry thanks to their regular and quality publications of original educational content through their blog, ebooks, and online courses.

Abduzeedo is a long-time running blog publishing design related original content. However, most notoriously, their Brand’s voice relies on publishing curated content in their series of daily posts “Daily Design Inspiration”, which showcases artworks from any and all designers and visual artists.

Toms is a for-profit footwear manufacturer who voices prominently their commitment to humanitarian causes. Most notably, with each pair of shoes sold, the company also gives a pair of shoes to a child in need.

In the digital age, more and more Brands are taking a stand to voice their opinions on socio-political matters. This is a risky and polarising move for Brands since they can gain the respect and loyalty of some Public Groups who share their socio-political views; However, on the other hand, they can also suddenly loose the support of long-time followers.

American Football player Colin Kaepernick was the first of many athletes to kneel during the national anthem played before each NFL game as a form of passive protest against police brutality and racial oppression. After Nike endorsed Kaepernick in a series of adverts, backlash ensued with a viral wave of conservative groups going so far as to burn their costly Nike shoes as a way to boycott the company.

The Polyfen Group
Our parent brand has a quiet voice and let’s the sub-brands do all the speaking. For instance, TPG’s Twitter account should be focused on Retweeting all posts by its subsidiary brands.

1.2. Tone


Define the brand's Tone


Marketing Analyst

Estimated Workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


While the Voice defines what a Brand says, the Tone determines how the Brand says it. Together, the Voice and the Tone make up the foundations of a Brand’s personality.

If the Brand should appeal to a younger, laid-back target public, for instance, a suitable tone would be casual and straight-forward; Whereas, if the Brand targets an older, more traditional target public, it would perhaps be more suitable to maintain a slightly more formal, conservative tone.

Case studies

Tesla is a good example of Brands —especially those positioned in the higher-end— which maintain a professional, no-frills, quiet tone and let the sublime design of their products speak for itself.

A loading screen could simply just say "Loading". However, Slack takes its loading screen as an opportunity to establish a friendly, casual, welcoming tone with whimsical messages.

The Authentic Weather app takes an unexpected approach to communicating weather information along with profanity and crude humour. An original take on quirky, vulgar, colloquial tone.

Once the comedian Nathan Fielder found his favourite apparel company (Taiga) was endorsing a notorious holocaust denier, he was inspired to launch a competing Brand (Summit Ice) committed to (1) making great windbreaker jackets, and (2) educating people about the holocaust.

This is an example of a Brand voicing socio-political matters, however, with the distinctive controversial, cringy, humorous tone that one has come to expect from Nathan Fielder and his TV series “Nathan for you”.

The Polyfen Group
TPG’s brand by itself has a quiet, no-frills, professional tone.

1.3. Keywords


List the brand's Keywords


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 hours


Based on personality devised for the Brand Identity, list of the most relevant keywords that should be associated with the Brand.

The Keywords identify the best features of the client’s business. A succinct list of the main qualities that the Brand should transmit to the target public upon the first impression.

Reinforced over time, each interaction should cultivate further an association between the keywords and the brand in the mind of the target public.

Avoid selecting generic, ambiguous, overused keywords such as “professional” or “excellent”; but, instead, seek to select specific, expressive, distinctive adjectives.

Keep the list concise and focused on a common theme. Ideally, approximately seven words.

The Polyfen Group

In no particular order:

  • Corporative
  • Executive
  • Business
  • Administrative
  • Trustworthy
  • Advice
  • Integral
  • Digital
  • Simplification

1.4. Creative concept


Brainstorm Creative Concept alternatives


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 – 4 hours


Similar to the Keywords, but more concise and distinctive, the Creative Concept is a word or phrase that represents the desired emotional response from the target public when interacting with the Brand.

Unlike a Slogan, a Creative Concept is not necessarily developed for public use. Its primary purpose is to be used internally as a mantra to guide the creative process when sketching a Logo, copywriting a slogan, designing an ad, or when developing any other type of Brand Communication. This ensures that all elements of the Brand will convey a consistent message.

A distinctive, unifying concept is essential for building a strong Brand Identity.

Based on the List Keywords, brainstorm possible alternatives for the Creative Concept of the Brand, and finally select the most suitable alternative.

Case studies
This is a very complicated world; it’s a very noisy world, and we’re not gonna get a chance to get people to remember much about us. No company is. And so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us. […] Our customers want to know who is Apple and what is it that we stand for, where do we fit in this world. [...] Apple at its core, its core value, is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. [...] The theme of the campaign is “think different”. It’s honouring the people who think different and who move this world forward, and it is what we are about; it touches the soul of this company. —Steve Jobs

You must focus your Branding efforts on owning a word in the prospect’s mind. A word that no one else owns. What “prestige” is to Mercedes, “safety” is to Volvo. —Al & Laura Ries
The Polyfen Group
Re-thinking Branding for the Internet Age

1.5. Moodboard


Collect images for Moodboard


Brand designer

Estimated workload

1.5 hours


A Moodboard is a collection of visual references including photography, illustration, architecture, design, and art. It serves as a source of inspiration during the creative process by identifying common colours and shapes associated with the desired mood of the Brand.

Some images might represent the lifestyle of a typical member of the target public; Others might represent the Brand’s Keywords or other qualities. Other images could include logos or graphics from other brands that can serve as inspiration. The representations can be quite subtle and abstract, or they can be descriptive and concrete.

Collect approximately 40 images which represent the chosen Creative Concept.

You can browse images on Unsplash, Dribbble, Behance, or Pinterest.


Design Moodboard's layout


Brand designer

Estimated workload

1 hour


At this time, the images collected for the Moodboard should be tessellated into a single canvas.

It’s advisable to collect the images in an A3 paper format, which is large enough to appreciate each image individually, yet the whole is other than the mere sum of its parts. Furthermore, an A3 format can be printed and hanged on a wall, to look at from a close or farther distance. And it can also be seen in a screen as a whole, and zoomed into the different sections of it.

It is also advisable to feature the most relevant images more prominently, in a larger size, and adding the secondary images at a smaller scale.

Lastly, in order to make an homogeneous mix of images, avoid placing similar images close to each-other.

There are also tools like InVision boards which make this process easier.

The Polyfen Group Template Files

Download ›

1.6. Naming


Brainstorm potential brand names


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

4 – 12 hours


Considering that many linguists advocate for the theory that language is the basis of —or at least it deeply influences— complex thought; The Brand Name is one of the most —if not, the most— important elements to identify a Brand.

The Visual Identity of a Brand can be updated overtime, and there tends to be a certain backlash from the target public until they familiarise themselves enough with the new Visual Identity.

However, if you change the name of widely recognised Brand overnight, the target public will most likely be baffled by the change, as if the Brand would have to gain the target public’s trust all over again, as if they have just met a new person for the first time.

Therefore, it is important to invest the sufficient time to get the Brand Name right before gaining Brand awareness of a large public.

There are multiple parameters that weigh into the quality of a Brand Name. Namely:

1. Easy to pronounce correctly

Every member of the Target Public should be able to read the name for the first time, without having heard it before, and pronounce it correctly and with ease. This is a especially difficult task for Brands that might target public from different countries. And in today’s globalised world, it pays off to have a Brand Name consistently recognisable in the same way by public members who speak different languages.

Generally, if a Brand Name is pronounced in the same way in english and spanish, then it’s most likely pronounced somewhat similarly throughout the globe.

In order to ensure a universal pronunciation, avoid diphthong phonemes. Those are sounds formed by a combination of two vowels within a single syllable. For instance, the english word “eat” would be pronounced as /i:t/ in english, and it would be pronounced as /e:a:t/ in spanish and many other languages. In general, avoid the use of multiple vowels in any single syllable.

Diphthong phonemes can even be present in single-vowel single-syllable words. For instance, the word “oh” would be pronounced as /oʊ/ by native english speakers, while it would be pronounced as /o/ by native spanish, italian, portuguese, french speakers and many others.

For instance, a common misconception is that, the brand name “Nike”, which was originally meant to be pronounced as /ˈnaɪki/, it is more often pronounced as /ˈnaɪk/ in non-native english speaking countries.

When branding for Asian markets, it's also important to consider that most Asian languages don't differentiate "l" and "r" letters from each other. "Why some Asian accents swap Ls and Rs in English "

2. Easy to spell correctly

Every member of the target public should be able to spell the name correctly upon hearing the name for the first time, and without having read it before.

Avoid using numbers, hyphens, apostrophes, and other punctuation signs, and TLD (for instance, ".com") as a part of your Brand Name.

If possible, avoid unorthodox capitalisation or spacing. For instance, if you hear for the first time a brand name composed of two different, distinctive words, you would be most likely compelled to guess that the Brand Name is spelled with space in the middle.

Think about the first time that you have heard the name “Facebook”, you could have guessed to spell the brand name following the corresponding grammatical rules as “Face Book”. The same applies to “MySpace”, which could be spelled as “My Space”; “Coca-Cola”, which could be spelled “Coca Cola”; “PayPal”, is often misspelled as “Paypal”; or “NikePlus”, which could be misspelled as “Nike Plus”, “Nike+”, or “Nike +”. Furthermore, upon hearing the Brand Name “FedEx” for the first time, you might guess that it’s meant to be spelled as “Fedex”, “Fed Ex”, or even “Fed X” perhaps. Another case to consider is that just as upon hearing “3M” for the first time you might guess to spell the Brand Name as “three M” or “three m” or even “three em”, or “Six Flags” could be mistakenly spelled as “6 Flags”.

Likewise, avoid double letters, such as “Hennessy” could be spelled as “Henesy” by some public members.

In order to ensure a clear and consistent understanding of your Brand Name, you must avoid uncommon capitalisation and spacing.

Composite Brand Names, made out of two or more words, should be set with a grammatically correct capitalisation and spacing in order to avoid confusion from the public in regards to the correct spelling of the Brand Name.

Another matter to consider is the avoidance of ambiguous phonemes. For instance, upon hearing the phoneme /i/, an public member would guess that the syllable is spelled with either “i”, “y”, “e”, “ee”, “ea”, or “ie”. Just as the phoneme /ʊ/ could be spelled in english with an “u”, “oo”, or “w”. Furthermore, the letter “j” might be pronounced as /dʒ/ (as in “jump”) in some languages, as /h/ (as in “hot”) in others, and as /j/ (as in “yellow”) in other languages. Likewise, the letter “c” could be pronounced as /k/ in some cases, and as /s/ in others, and additionally as /ts/ in slavic languages.

The vowel “a”, and secondarily the vowels “o”, “u”, and “e” (in single-vowel syllables), seem to be the most accessible in regards to their universal pronounceability across different languages. And the consonants “b”, “d”, “f”, “k”, “l”, “m”, “n”, “p”, “r”, “s”, and “t” seem to be the more commonly pronounced across the most languages.

Leaving the letters “c”, “g”, “h”, “i”, “j”, “q”, “v”, “w”, “x”, “y”, and “z” as preferably avoidable.

It is of utmost importance that your target public knows what your brand name is, and how it’s meant to be spelled.

Consider that of course if a business is set on targeting exclusively a public of an specific language, then the universal pronounceability and spellabillity are not as important. However, it is always good to future-proof the Brand Name and give the business the option to expand to new markets without having to sacrifice the quality of their Brand Name.

3. Relatively short

A short name will be usually easier to pronounce and remember. The shorter, the better.

However, considering that nowadays most short Brand Names are already taken. An alternative is to come up with a compound Brand Name, made up of two or more words, or initialisms. For instance, SalesForce, Mastercard, Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker, Land Rover, Harley-Davidson, H&M, BMW, UPS, IBM, HSBC.

4. Coherent

The name should fit the overall direction of the company, represent the Creative Concept, belong to the industry, and have an accepted connotation.

For instance, most brands would avoid using adjectives or nouns with a generally negative connotation such as “evil”, “hell”, or “satan”. Although, for a heavy-metal music band, those would make for a coherent Brand Name in regards to their industry and niche.

However, for most brand outside of those particular niches, it would be more suitable to avoid any words that could have a negative connotation altogether.

5. Adaptable

A modular name that is easy to abbreviate can be a tremendous advantage. When a Brand Name is mentioned over and over again, the target public will seek to replace it with an abbreviation. This is especially common amongst the employees of a company who need to mention the company's name on a daily basis.

For instance, Facebook is abbreviated as simply “fb” on a casual setting, just as Instagram is abbreviated as “Insta”.

Additionally, if the brand might branch out into different sub-brands, a modular, adaptable name can connect the sub-brands to the master-brand.

For instance, at The Polyfen Group, we internally refer to our company simply as "Poly"; and we've carried on the DNA of our master-brand to the names of our family of sub-brands "Polyfen", "Poly Atlas", and "Poly Forum".

6. Consistent

Even though you might abbreviate a brand's name internally, amongst the company's employees. It is important to maintain a consistent use of the name on all public Brand Communications. Otherwise, people might be confused in regards to how the band name is actually meant to be spelled.

Ensure that the brand name is always capitalised, spaced, and punctuated in the same way throughout all the brand communications, including the logo.

Unorthodox capitalisation, spacing, and punctuation can be an issue both for how easy it is to spell a brand name correctly upon hearing for the first time, and it additionally poses a problem for consistency.

For instance, the use of the brand name on behalf of Facebook is inconsistent and can confuse the public as to how it is actually meant to be spelled, since in most brand communications the Brand Name is spelled as “Amazon”, while their logo, the centrepiece of their Brand, is set in all lower-case letters, as “amazon”. The same can be said of “Facebook”, whose logo spells “facebook”, “eBay” and its “ebay” logo, or “Adidas”, whose logo spells “adidas”. Other examples of all lower-case logos include “Intel”, “Accenture”, “Pepsi”, “Mastercard”, and many others.

On the other hand, the same issue occurs when a logo is set in all upper-case letters. Such as “American Express”, whose logo spells “AMERICAN EXPRESS”, “Oracle”, whose logo spells “ORACLE”, “Samsung” and its “SAMSUNG” logo, or “Hermès” logo spelling “HERMÈS”. This is a very common tendency, which, besides of creating inconsistency in the use of the brand name, it also reduces the readability of the logo, especially in longer words set in all-uppercase, and especially if the word contains diacritic signs, like the “grave e accent” in “Hermès”. Other examples of all upper-case logos include “Siemens”, “Toyota”, “Honda”, “Kia”, “Chanel”, “Louis Vuitton”, and many others.

The particular practice of setting a brand name in all upper-case letters is not entirely unacceptable. However, the designer must be aware that readability and consistency are being sacrificed for the sake of aesthetics.

On the other hand, Brand Names including initialisms —such as “DHL”, “UPS”, “HSBC”, “BMW”, or “H&M”— , must be set in uppercase accordingly.

A suitable compromise that works around this issue is the use of small caps, which clearly distinguishes the correct capitalisation of the words, while featuring an uppercase alphabet. An example of this can be seen on the logos of “Jack Daniel’s”, “Johnnie Walker”, “John Deere”, and “Tiffany & Co.”.

As you can see, even some of the largest, most renowned Brands are guilty of using their Brand Name inconsistently. Admittedly, since the public is quite familiar with the brand names of these large brands, they are less likely to be confounded by the inconsistency use of their Brand Names. However, this issue especially poses a threat for new and emerging business who want to get their name out there. If the target public is not sure about what the actual name of your brand name is, then your brand is not communicating it clearly enough to the public. The Brand Name should be spelled in the Brand’s logo just as it’s meant to be spelled in any other form of communication.

7. Unique

All of the previous criteria (easy to spell, easy to pronounce, coherent, adaptable, and consistent) relies on the Brand Name actually not being already taken by a different business.

Checking if another company has registered the desired Brand Name as a trademark in the same industry and in the same country that the business will be operating can be a hassle; And registering a trademark, although useful for a legal dispute, doesn't necessarily grant exclusive ownership worldwide for perpetuity.

However, it is important to secure the Brand Name in as many mediums as possible to ensure that the target public will associate the desired brand name exclusively to the specific business being branded.

Leaving the trademarks right aside, the first step in claiming a brand name is buying a web domain and establishing an online presence in social media.

Nowadays, when people want to access a website of a brand they've just heard of, they will most likely type the Brand's name into Google. However, given that most websites use ".com" domains, a small minority of users might try typing "[yourbrandname].com" as a web address.

In any case, having a ".com" web domain might give a more reliable impression, since most people are used to ".com" domains. Although, in present times, it is incredibly hard to find good ".com" web domains available for purchase.

A possible solution would be registering a different TLD like ".co", ".io", ".org", or ".net". Another alternative, would be adding a prefix or suffix to your Brand Name, something like "weare[yourbrandname].com", or "[yourbrandname]".

*Refer to Naming Architecture for further insight on this topic.

Naming is exhaustive and iterative process. All authorities in the Branding industry seem to agree on one thing in regards to naming: It is impossible to find the perfect name; be ready to compromise. However, it is important to consider all of this parameters when selecting a brand name so you have a clear idea of the pros and cons of each potential name before reaching a final decision.

It takes time to get used to a new name for a company. Although the owner/s of the company being branded might not love the top name choice at first, they will surely grow to love it as the name grows to be associated with the brand over time.

8. Compromise

The perfect Brand Name doesn't exist, it's a fallacy. Be ready to compromise and go for the most suitable direction you've surveyed, even if it's not perfect. The Brand Name will grow on the business owners and target public over time.

Case studies

The Brand Name Prada is short, memorable, unique, and more importantly, it is unmistakably pronounced in the exact same way throughout most of the world. Making it one of the most recognisable Brand Names worldwide.

Intel, which is a conjunction of “Integrated Electronics”, is short, memorable, easy to pronounce and spell, and its meaning is related to the industry it belongs to.

The best thing about electric car manufacturer Tesla’s Brand Name is not only that is short, easy to pronounce, and easy to spell; but, it also has the added value of referencing an historical figure (Nikola Tesla) very much relevant to the vision and mission of the company.

The Polyfen Group
To understand the name of The Polyfen Group’s brand we must first acknowledge that Polyfen was our original business unit, our first Brand. Once we expanded our business to include Poly Atlas we decided to maintain a certain consistency that binds all our portfolio of Brands together with the suffix “Poly”. Hence, we naturally came up with “The Polyfen Group” as the name of our parent, corporate-facing Brand.


Define the Naming Architecture


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


Ideally, the chosen Brand Name should be available for purchase as a “.com” web domain, as well as available as a username in all the corresponding social networks.

However, considering lack of availability of brand names nowadays, it is advisable to list the diagram the different names that can identify the business in different use cases.

A Naming Architecture, would typically include the following variations:

1. Primary Brand Name:

The preferred Brand Name as should be communicated in all Brand Touchpoints. For instance, “Polyfen”. And it should be preferably spelled in the same way in the Brand’s logo, and all other Brand Communications.

2. Fallback Brand Name:

A fallback alternative for Touchpoints where the Brand Name is not available. For instance, “PolyfenTeam”. The fallback Brand Name should as well be preferably secured as a “.com” domain as well. Additionally, if the primary Brand Name is unavailable in different mediums, ensure that the fallback Brand Name is used consistently throughout those channels.

3. Judicial Business Name:

The official name under which the business behind the Brand is legally registered as a taxpayer. For instance “Facebook, Inc.” for “Facebook”, “The Polyfen Group Co LLC” for “The Polyfen Group”, "Polyfen", and all our family of Sub-Brands, “Alphabet Inc.” for “Google”, “Microsoft Corporation” for “Microsoft”.

4. Diminutive Brand Name:

A diminutive alternative for casual use, especially amongst the members of the business. For instance “Poly” for “Polyfen”, “fb” for “Facebook”, or “Insta” for “Instagram”.

The Polyfen Group
Primary Brand Name: The Polyfen Group

Fallback Brand Name: The Polyfen Group Co

Judicial Business Name: The Polyfen Group Co LLC

Diminutive Name: Poly

1.7. Brand architecture


Define the amount of brand identities corresponding to the business


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


A business can use a single brand to identify all their Brand Communications. However, in some cases, it’s suitable to develop different Brand Identities for the products, services, divisions, or subsidiaries of a business. For instance, the business registered as “Microsoft Corporation” is identified with the “Microsoft” brand, which has a sub-brands for many products, most notably “Windows”, the operative system.

Before considering if a particular business needs to be identified with multiple Brands, one must understand that the marketing efforts of a business would have to be distributed amongst the different Brands. Hence, small businesses would likely struggle to spend the time and resources necessary to maintain multiple Brands and promote each separate Brand through different social media accounts.

Creating a separate brand for a product, service, division, or subsidiary of a business should be kept to a minimum and it should be only done when the Sub-Brand would communicate a distinctively different product, service, division, or subsidiary of the business.


Define the relationship between the Brands


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


If a business is to be associated with multiple Brands, we must then define and diagram the Brand Architecture, the type of relationship between the Brands.

Case studies
Monolithic brand Architecture
Characterised by a strong, single Master-Brand. Customers make choices based on Brand loyalty. Features and benefits matter less to the consumer than the Brand promise and persona. Brand extensions use the parent’s identity, and generic descriptors. — Alina Wheeler, “Designing Brand Identity”

The FedEx Corporation counts with a Sub-Brand for each of its business divisions. All easily identified as part of the FedEx family.

Endorsed Brand Architecture
Characterised by marketing synergy between the product or division, and the parent. The product or division has a clearly defined market presence, and benefits from the association, endorsement, and visibility of the parent. — Alina Wheeler, “Designing Brand Identity”

Nike counts with a line of products inspired by the famous basketball player Michael Jordan; the iconic shoes and apparel belonging to the “Jordan” collection can be identified with its own logo as belonging to a separate Brand from Nike. However, on most Jordan products, the Nike logo is also prominently displayed.

Pluralistic Brand Architecture
Characterised by a series of well-known consumer Brands. The name of the parent may be either invisible or inconsequential to the consumer, and known only to the investment community. Many parent companies develop a system for corporate endorsement that is tertiary. — Alina Wheeler, “Designing Brand Identity”

Even though Unilever’s Sub-Brands are publicly endorsed by their parent company, each Sub-Brand is marketed strongly so the consumers will identify them independently of Unilever.

Colab brand architecture

On special occasions, Brands which are not necessarily owned by a single corporation decide to team up to develop a unique product or service; More commonly, a limited-edition product or a novelty collector’s item.

On the eve of HBO airing the last season of Game of Thrones, the TV series production company teamed up with multiple whisky producers to distill a series of single malt scotches each one inspired in a different house or faction from the series.

Composite Brand Architecture

Brand Architecture is not always black or white. It is common for business to adopt a more flexible approach combining multiple types of architecture. Most often in larger corporations one would find that the Master-Brand has sub-brands which, in turn, are parents to further Sub-Brands. Within the whole family/portfolio of brands belonging to a business, some of the Brands might be better identified as Monolithic, while others as Endorsed, or Pluralistic.

"Alphabet, Inc" is the business facing Master-Brand of multiple pluralistic Sub-Brands, which include Youtube, Google, Android, Waymo, Nest, Waze, Calico, and a few others. Of these, the most notable is Google, which is parent to a wide range of Monolithic products, including Gmail, Google Maps, Google Translate, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Chrome, Google Ads, and many more.

The Apple Watch - NikePlus edition is an example of two big Brands partnering up to develop a unique product. Note that in this case, the colab Brand Architecture type happens to connect two Monolithic Brand-Architecture Sub-Brands.

Furthermore, if we take a closer look into Nike’s full Brand Architecture, we can see that it counts with (1) a Monolithic Sub-Brand (NikePlus), (2) an Endorsed Sub-Brand (Jordan), (3) Pluralistic Sub-Brands (Hurley and Converse), and lastly, (4) a Colab Second-Sub-Brand (Apple Watch, NikePlus edition).

On a tangent, consider that the business structure and the Brand Architecture of an enterprise is not necessary diagrammed in the same way.

The business should be structured as it’s more suitable for the internal business operations, whereas the Brand Identity Architecture should be diagrammed as it’s more suitable for the public.

The business operating as the FedEx Corporation is responsible for managing seven subsidiary divisions. While the business structure positions the corporate division on top, for the tar get public, the Brand Identity places the Sub-Brand on the same level as the subsidiaries, all under the umbrella of the FedEx Master-Brand.

The Polyfen Group
Our Brand Architecture is defined as an “Endorsed Brand Architecture”; However, there is an evident relationship between the family of Brands both in their Brand Names and Logo Systems. This aspect, often found in “Monolithic Brand Architecture”, aims to bind the family of Brands together and leverage our Brand Awareness.

1.8. Key Messages

The goal of the Key Messages is to narrow down the Brand's Voice and Tone into concise paragraphs focusing on expressing different aspects of the Brand. These paragraphs can be used across different Brand Communications including the Brand's Facebook page, Website, and Social media profiles.


Write an About paragraph


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


The first paragraph of the Key Messages should concisely describe the purpose and the people behind the business; How many people work in the business? Is it a new business or an established business? Where is it geographically based? What service / product does the business offer? What's the vision / mission of the business? What do the members of the business have in common, what brought them together?

This paragraph should be particularly useful for an "About" section of a website, and for the "About" section of the business' Facebook page.

The Polyfen Group
The Polyfen Group is a location-independent team with HQ in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Our team is small, but efficient and experienced. Additionally, we count with a vast network of expert consultants in Business Development, Creative services, Sociology, and IT. Our team works remotely, distributed in Argentina, Europe, the USA, and Australia; We are highly organised for seamless remote work.


Write a Services / Products paragraph


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


Breakdown the business offer and list the most appealing features of the business offer; What problem does the business solve for its target public?

The Polyfen Group
The Polyfen Group offers integral Branding solutions for emerging businesses worldwide; Namely, Polyfen offers Brand Identity Design. Additionally, we count with a digital product, Poly Atlas, a free guide to the Branding process; and a non-profit organization, Poly Forum, dedicated to promoting free and open education and networking in the creative industry.


Write a Differential paragraph


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


How does the business stand out over its competition? What its USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?

The Polyfen Group’s business model with segmented Sub-Brands allow us to provide holistic solutions to our customers while ensuring that each part of the Branding process is taken care of by a team which specialises on each service we offer. Additionally, our location-independent business model allows us to offer high-quality services at competitive prices.


Write a Summary paragraph


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


Summarise the previous three paragraphs (About, Services Products, Differential) into a single, concise paragraph.

The Polyfen Group
The Polyfen Group is a small, efficient location-independent business incorporating different organisations, services, and products centred on the Branding process offering high-quality work at competitive prices.


Write an Bio sentence


Marketing Analyst

Estimated workload

0.5 – 1.5 hours


Narrow down the Summary paragraph into a single, short sentence.

This sentence is particularly useful as a Bio line for Twitter and Instagram profiles.

The Polyfen Group
The Polyfen Group incorporates a suite of organisations, services, and products centred on the Branding process.