I like to think of it as Ralph Lauren being a 'Lifestyle Brand', each sub-brand fits a different life: Purple Label for someone who is the board of directors or high end socialite - Black Label for the office/business man, or the traveling business man - RRL for someone who enjoys quality but with a style suited for a Ranch, Polo Ralph Lauren for casual/sport wear, RLX for certain sports and outdoor activities, Rugby for the collegiate and preppies. Ralph Lauren also sels fragrances, leather accessories, silver accessories, and home furnishing. Then Chaps and Club Monoco for the outliers, Chaps being for those who don't care/can't afford Polo RL - Club Monoco as an alternative to brands such as Express, albeit Club Monoco has much better quality - but its style and aura is the similar to Express
I completely agree that the 'Big Pony' is a bit excessive, but it can be tasteful when utilizing it correctly. By correctly I mean dressing up like you are about to go for a polo or rugby match - or in a slick casual sense. However once you start wearing it 3x larger than your size with jean shorts and chains - yes that is not classy, nor was it the intended way for it to be worn (I really don't care how people wear it, and of what demographic - in my mind Utopia is the whole universe wearing Ralph Lauren). That being said the intent is to wear it as if Doug Pickett or Nacho Figueras wears it.
Lately I've seen every brand copy the giant logo trend, Burberry, Lacoste, Express, and a few others. It got ridiculous with US POLO ASSN started doing it and now a big pony shirt to the non-discerning eye looked no different than a US POLO ASSN polo. I sometimes wear Big Pony polos usually when amongst friends hanging out whether its in a park, or barbecues etc.. I find it to be a preppy and cultured icon and can stand it being big for that purpose..It was meant to be a closer resemblance to the current outfit a Polo player wears - with the number on the side and sometimes on back.
In the end, I think RL has diverged its brands a bit too much - one thing I learned in Business School was to keep your product lines to a small, especially when they tend to overlap - there is overlap between many of the sub-brands - especially now that they introduced Black Label Denim and Denim and Supply - the amount of sub-brands is excessive.
Just my thoughts and criticism.