When you picture some of the world’s most successful companies, there’s often more to their success story than just their products or services. It’s something intangible yet strikingly powerful—their branding.
The brands that etch themselves into our memory are the ones that have been meticulously crafted, nurtured, and managed over time. They’ve been built through the relentless dedication of brand management professionals.
In this post, we’ll delve into brand management, its importance, the skills needed for the job, and tips to master the art of brand management.
In the simplest of terms, brand management is the process of managing a brand.
Brand Management encompasses the development of a strong relationship with the target market, embodying the brand’s promise, maintaining its reputation, and assuring the brand’s overall visibility and consistency.
But it’s not just about maintaining an image; brand management is about creating, upholding, and enhancing a brand’s perception in the eyes of its customers.
Importance Of Brand Management
Brand management is what can influence your customers’ purchasing decisions and set you apart from competitors.
In an era where consumers are bombarded with choices, a well-managed brand stands out, drawing the attention of potential customers.
Furthermore, brand management plays a crucial role in mitigating risks and protecting a brand’s reputation. In the face of a crisis or negative publicity, a well-managed brand can bounce back more quickly due to the trust and goodwill it has built over time.
For example, take Coke’s 1985 marketing fail. They released a new version of their soda called “New Coke.” After its release, the company was receiving 1,500 complaint calls per day but was able to repair its reputation quickly by reverting to its original formula.
Benefits Of Brand Management
Effective brand management can unlock numerous advantages for your business:
Customer Loyalty: Robust brand management ensures consistency in messaging and experience, which helps build trust and foster customer loyalty. Research shows that current customers spend 67% more on average than those who are new to your business.
Brand Equity: A strong brand commands high brand equity which decreases consumer price sensitivity. Apple for example can charge $2,500 for a new MacBook Pro while a comparable Dell retails for $1,500.
Greater Recognition: Effective brand management amplifies brand recognition, making your business more visible in a crowded marketplace.
Effective Marketing: When your brand is well managed, marketing efforts become more targeted and effective, resulting in better returns on marketing investments.
Brand management is a multifaceted role that requires a blend of creative and analytical skills:
- Communication: Clear, effective communication is key to articulating a brand’s identity, values, and mission.
- Creativity: Developing unique and memorable brand elements and marketing initiatives requires a high level of creativity.
- Analytical ability: To manage a brand effectively, one must be able to analyze market trends, competitor strategies, and customer behavior.
- Strategic thinking: A good brand manager is a strategic thinker, aligning brand objectives with overarching business goals.
- Adaptability: Brand managers must be prepared to pivot their strategies in response to changes in market dynamics and/or customer preferences.
Brand management also comes with a wide array of responsibilities including:
- Developing and implementing brand strategies to drive brand growth
- Conducting market research to understand customer preferences and market trends
- Maintaining brand integrity across all company marketing initiatives and communications
- Analyzing brand performance and identifying areas of improvement
- Collaborating with different departments, including marketing, sales, and product development, to ensure brand consistency
Tip 1: Master Your Brand Positioning
Knowing your brand’s position in the market is critical. It helps you understand your brand’s uniqueness and the value it brings to customers. Work towards creating a compelling brand positioning strategy by focusing on your unique selling proposition, understanding your target audience, and building credibility.
Tip 2: Consistency Is Key
Consistency lies at the heart of successful brand management. Whether it’s your messaging, your visuals, or your customer service, maintaining consistency ensures your brand is instantly recognizable and fosters trust with your audience. Establish a style guide so that your whole team is on the same page.
Tip 3: Empower Employees
Your employees usually have the closest connection to your brand. Therefore, you should be empowering them to be your brand’s greatest ambassadors. Encourage them to understand and embody the brand’s values, mission, and vision. This internal brand advocacy can greatly boost your brand’s reputation, particularly in this age where employees’ opinions can reach wider audiences than ever before.
Tip 4: Weave Branding & Customer Experience Together
A strong brand is about the total customer experience. This includes every touchpoint, from the first ad a customer sees to the customer service they receive. Strive to make each interaction with your brand a reflection of your brand’s promise. Listen to your customers, take their feedback seriously, and work consistently to improve their experience.
Tip 5: Be Adaptable
The market is not static; it’s dynamic and ever-changing. A good brand manager must demonstrate the ability to adapt to changes in market trends, consumer behavior, or business strategy. Being open to innovation and evolution while keeping the essence of your brand intact is a must.
McDonald’s is a textbook example of effective brand management. Known worldwide for its “Golden Arches” and fast service, McDonald’s has created a strong brand that stands for convenience, quality, and affordability.
Day in and day out, store managers and employees adhere to the company’s policies and standards to ensure a consistent customer experience. Everything from order efficiency, customer service, and food preparation, it’s all a result of proper brand management.
This “trickle-down” effect of ideals from high-level executives all the way down to individual employees ensures that the McDonald’s brand remains consistent across all its locations.
No matter where you are in the world, you can expect the same quality and taste from McDonald’s. The company also frequently adapts to local tastes and preferences in different countries, showcasing its understanding of its diverse consumer base.
Disney’s exemplary brand management is largely attributed to the visionary leadership of its founder, Walt Disney, and the successors who have carried his legacy forward. Walt Disney’s belief in creativity, innovation, and dream-making laid the foundation of a brand that promises magical, unforgettable experiences.
This ethos, deeply embedded in the company’s DNA, has been maintained and enhanced by successive leaders, such as Michael Eisner and more recently, Bob Iger.
Lego is another prime example of powerful brand management. The company has built a brand centered around creativity, learning, and quality. Their products are designed to inspire and empower children to create and imagine, reinforcing their brand values.
But Lego’s brand management efforts don’t stop at building blocks. It extends to highly successful movies like “The Lego Movie” and “The Lego Batman Movie” and video games like “Lego Star Wars” and “Lego Harry Potter”.
These digital extensions of the brand not only help drive more revenue but also serve to boost sales of physical Lego sets, creating a cycle of reinforcement for the brand. These initiatives showcase Lego’s innovative approach to brand management, successfully leveraging multimedia platforms to strengthen its brand identity.