Hub-and-spoke system is a product-management organization where a brand or product manager is a figure at the center of the management organization, with “spokes” leading to various departments representing working relationships with that product or brand manager.
Further discussion on hub-and-spoke system:
Companies that produce many brands or products will often set up a management organization to manage their products or brands, especially if they have too many or have a large variety of products and brands. As an example, Google, Inc. has many products and varieties of brands (Drive, Google Glasses, YouTube, etc.). It’s important to note the management organization does not replace the functional organization, but serves as another layer of management.
Management companies make sense only if a company’s products are very different from one another, such as the example with Google products, above, or if the company has too many products and brands that they can not effectively handle marketing themselves.
Within the management company, a brand manager is figuratively at the center managing the brand and the “spokes” lead to the various departments and outside vendors that support the brand manager and brand or products. Hence, the term hub-and-spoke system.
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