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Categorising Arcadis’

portfolio of brands

Arcadis, a leading global natural and built asset design and consultancy firm, has launched and acquired a large portfolio of brands since its origins in 1739.

In 2019, it became clear that the firm needed a better understanding of how these brands fit together and the relationships between them. The Team had recently undertaken a strategic brand refresh for the global organisation and the time was right to ensure there was a clear rationale and shared understanding around the Arcadis brands.

Enabling meaningful conversations around new brands and where they sit in Arcadis’ architecture.

Understanding the role of each brand

Arcadis had a ‘house of brands’; a number of brands that are quite distinct from each other. However, what makes Arcadis’ portfolio different from a pure ‘house of brands’ is that most of the brands are either from Arcadis or associated with Arcadis through brand linkage.

The task was to understand the role each brand played and organise them into a cohesive, rational system. This was given added importance by continuing M&A activity and the creation of Arcadis Gen, a new digital enterprise aimed at promoting scalable products.

A decision tree for categorising brands

The Team created a typology of all the Arcadis brands. We then analysed them according to various attributes, from legal incorporation to positioning.

This informed the creation of a decision tree for categorising existing and new brands. By working through the tree, it is possible for internal stakeholders to objectively see where any Arcadis brand fits in the architecture: categories included fixture-brand, feature-brand, sub-brand and arms-length brand.

Informing the approach to emerging brands

The decision tree has already informed the approach to emerging Arcadis brands, helping stakeholders to understand, based on their attributes, which of the categories a new enterprise belongs in.

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