Case Studies - Brand Hierarchy Switch

The case studies of marketers (brands) who have moved their business from a “house of brands” structure to a “branded house” structure involve Coca-Cola,RSC Bio Solutions, and High Desert Church. One of the reasons for switching to a “branded house” structure is to enable better “clarity, synergy, and leverage.” Most of the case studies found did not specify the date and the duration of the brand structure transition. The rest of the details of these case studies were presented below.


In 2015, Coca-Cola shifted from a “house of brands” structure to a “branded house” model in the U.K

  • In 2016, Coca-Cola rolled out the strategy in all its locations around the world.
  • The company’s all-encompassing brand positioning has always revolved around refreshment in the last 100 years.
  • However, the company turned away from this original brand promise seven years ago due to the heavy competition in this area.
  • The company then started to turn its brand positioning to the emotional side of its consumers with the “open happiness” messaging.
  • The company called the move “One Brand” and it implemented the change in 11 markets.
  • With this transition, the brand promise was slightly changed to “choose happiness” to highlight the notion of options.
  • The transition entailed the consolidation of marketing activities under just one Coca-Cola master brand for all of its sub-brands such as “Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Life, Coca-Cola Zero, and regular Coke.”
  • The move was seen as a transformation that can enable better “clarity, synergy, and leverage.”
  • Marketing all four brands under the Coca-Cola umbrella conveys the huge range of its product assortment in terms of classifications such as calorie content and sugar content. The move is also meant to empower its consumers with clear choices.
  • The new strategy also establishes “brand-building synergies” by combining all marketing expenses under a single brand. At the same time, the new structure aims to increase the penetration and evaluation of the sub-brands.
  • The new approach also enabled the company to leverage its key initiatives such as the “Coca-Cola Journey new multi-media platform.” The launch of this major campaign helped the overall portfolio gain more consumer traction.
  • As a result of the move, rivalries among the sub-brands and conflicting messaging were also eliminated.
  • There were no available details found on the agency that helped in the transition. Around those times, Possible, Havas, and Publicis-owned Moxie are some of the agencies associated with the company’s marketing campaigns.
  • Other agencies that worked with Coca-Cola to define its marketing strategies include HireInfluence, Brokaw, Definition 6, Response Media, Simple Story, Design Matters, Inc., This is Red, and others.

RSC Bio Solutions

  • RSC Bio Solutions is considered as one of the leading companies that provide nature-friendly lubricants and cleaners for the marine and land industry.
  • The company engaged the services of the BRIGHT+CO Marketing agency to transition to a new “branded house” structure.
  • Based on the analysis done by the marketing agency, RSC’s signature products were not positioned well in the market. This then opened up an opportunity to establish an effective market penetration approach with a “branded product portfolio.”
  • As per the SWOT analysis done by BRIGHT+CO, the market where RSC is playing is highly saturated. However, an opportunity to standout was identified as competitors of RSC are also not that effective in differentiating their offerings in the market.
  • Given these insights, it is then extremely crucial for RSC to have a solid differentiation approach to avoid its products from getting involved in price wars.
  • Getting involved in price wars is considered as detrimental to the company as the brand is not groomed to emerge as the champion in price wars. Its costing model is higher than lower-cost manufacturers.
  • RSC will then need to find other ways to differentiate its brands to be more competitive.
  • BRIGHT+CO then recommended a “branded house” strategy that will put all RSC’s product assortment under one brand umbrella.
  • RSC’s marketing properties such as its logo and other materials will be used across all product divisions.
  • The RSC Bio Solutions brand was then positioned as “the innovative game-changer in sustainable fluids.” This main marketing message then became the battle cry of the brand in all its marketing initiatives.
  • By bring all its products under a “branded house,” RSC was able to avoid cannibalization among its offerings.
  • The new “branded house” approach also positioned the RSC brand as having “more advanced fluids, more performance, and more environmentally-friendly.”
  • The transition to a “house of brands” to a “branded house” happened in a span of one year (2015 to 2016).
  • After one year of transformation, RSC Bio Solutions saw its online reputation jumped by 796%.
  • The company’s website also saw a 9.3% reduction in bounce rate.
  • Public relations also reached 4.1 million impressions at a 1:1 advertising spend of $242,614. This translates to a 4:1 return on their PR investment.
  • RSC’s paid media program also got more than 5.2 million impressions and more than 27,000 clicks to the website. The program includes “search, trade media, and digital display ads.”
  • The company was also able to expand its prospect database by 4%. It also saw more than 1,400 “ready to buy” leads for the sales organization.

High Desert Church

  • With some advice from the Fishhook agency, the High Desert Church transitioned from a “house of brands” model to a “branded house model.”
  • The Fishhook agency provides marketing services to various religious organizations.
  • Before the transition, the High Desert Church found it challenging to develop marketing campaigns for all its campus brands.
  • Furthermore, the church found it hard to convey its campus brand positioning for its target audience.
  • To effectively reach its target market, the church then converted to a “branded house” model to ensure that its message will be clearly transmitted to the local communities.
  • With this transition, the church was able to provide consistent brand messaging for all its campus locations.
  • Furthermore, the church was able to implement its brand marketing initiatives more quickly.
  • The transition also enabled the church to be more flexible when it comes to tailoring its marketing campaigns in accordance with the needs of each of the communities surrounding its campuses.
  • There was no information found on the year or years on when this transition took place. Based on the article’s date, the change happpened around 2016.

Research Strategy

To gather case studies of marketers (brands) who have moved their business from a “house of brands” structure to a “branded house” structure, we looked through the websites of marketing agencies to determine examples of these brands. Some of the sites that we searched include Adage, Brand Marketing, the Drum, and other similar sources. Based on this search approach, we were able to find several case studies of companies that made the shift. However, most of the case studies found such as those of Flowserve and the Greenville Health System were outdated. We then selected those that have more or less happened in the last five years. Furthermore, there was no mention of the date and the duration of the transition to the “house of brands” structure. For Coca-Cola, there was no mention of the marketing agency or any consultant involved in making the transition. We then looked through media publications, company websites, press releases, reports, and other sources to look for the missing requested information in the case studies we found. However, what we found are mostly general supporting insights on the transition made. We were not able to find any additional pieces of information on the case studies found. We also searched for any interview excerpts from company executives or any company analysis done to find the missing information.

Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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