brand management

Brand Management – What It Means For Your Business

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Branding is essentially about clarifying who you are, what do you do and what differentiates you. It’s about a lot more than a logo and visual identity.

As mentioned in my post on Branding Strategy last week a brand is a promise that tells customers what they can expect from you.  Having a great product or service is crucial and it goes without saying that you need to give great customer service too.

 

Why Brand?

A brand is necessary but not sufficient.  Marketing works better if you have a strong brand.  The brand transforms the customer’s product experience. It’s the brand that lets the world know what to expect.

Your brand is also a key component to engage and motivate employees. The brand provides a buffer and a cushion. It’s the most valuable intangible asset your business creates as it grows and succeeds.

Branding is an art and a science. Marketing and branding strategy depend on how creatively and originally strategies are conceived and crafted. The hope is to improve the odds for success. It helps to have a consumer mindset and to be able to interpret marketing trends.

 

Why Management of Brands Is Necessary

When you look at brands and how some have fared – such as Yahoo, Myspace or Kodak – based on what is done to them, it’s obvious that management of the brand is going to play a big part in its continuing success.

If we come back in 10 years’ time will the successful brands of today – Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Netflix – still be successful? It will depend on how they’re managed and what is done to them.

Brands that innovate and stay relevant don’t die or fade with the passage of time.  They never stand still and are always striving to move forward in the right direction. The brand needs to be managed properly to create meaning and differentiation.

Big businesses have brand managers whose function is essentially to maintain brand equity. That’s how they can reap the benefits of strong branding.

Brand management is built on a marketing foundation and focuses directly on the brand and how that brand can remain favourable to customers. Like most areas of life brand management has been altered by the internet and social media, if for no other reason than the fact that consumers can now talk back at brands. They’re no longer subjects that are at the receiving end of marketing messages crafted by the company. Their response to those messages itself alters the communication in ways that the brand had not intended.

 

The Brand Manager’s Role

A brand manager within a large organisation has responsibility for ensuring sales of a brand. The brand manager has the discretion to do whatever is necessary to secure sales, whether that involves changes to the product itself, its price, the places where the product is sold, how it is promoted, packaged and generally the entire brand proposition.

The brand manager will co-ordinate with various teams across the organisation to implement their strategy and thus promote more sales.  Whether the task involves packaging changes, creative designs, marketing campaigns, IT to enhance the website, legal for regulatory or intellectual property issues such as brand name clearances, the brand manager will draw in the necessary skills to achieve their goals. Their role impacts the bottom line in a measurable and visible way.

The Brand Manager Understands the Brand Landscape

The brand manager makes it their job to understand the role of each department. If, for example, the brand manager decides to alter aspects of the brand, such as its name or visual identity to achieve the desired outcome of increased sales, they are not going to take risks such as of the product infringing on existing trade mark rights. It would be an embarrassing and costly mistake to allow the brand to suffer by ignoring basics of trade mark law.

That’s how the brand is cared for and nurtured to success in large organisations.

When it comes to the small business end of the market, the business owner is the one who needs to fill the role of the brand manager and herein lies the problem. The business owner will invariably lack the understanding of branding and the part that various disciplines need to play to secure success for the brand.

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