Yesterday, I spend some time with a good friend whose business is expanding and we were discussing how to extend the brand into new products and offerings. We talked for a while about all sorts of ways to build the brand architecture, the effects of building it each of the different ways and the questions to ask in order to get to the right answer for their business.
At the end of it, I commented that there are several different options for how to build out this family of brands and while there is no technically "right" answer, there is one that fits their business model best. He commented that there was still some fuzziness about what the goals and vision for the overall business is and so that made answering the questions about the brand more difficult.
If you first answer the questions about what are you goals, plans, and vision as a business, then it's a whole lot easier to answer the questions about how to build the brand.