Matt Roberts, Marketing Director, 8/14/17
Your brand is not just a product or service. Its reach is much farther than something tangible that is, in most cases, also offered by other companies. “Brand” also embraces your organization’s core values and extends to every relationship and interaction you have with customers, suppliers, employees, and stakeholders. To put it another way, your brand is your company’s mark of distinction.
Brand management can play a significant part in maintaining your reputation and ensuring people experience it in the way you intend.
What is Brand Management?
In marketing, brand management is a series of techniques used to increase the perceived value of a product or service. Effective brand management builds loyal customers through positive brand association and has a positive effect on your bottom line.
Why is brand management so important? In a world where consumers make decisions on brands in the blink of an eye, companies must be prepared to wield influence over the public’s view of them. In fact, many businesses will succeed or fail based solely on their ability to successfully market their brand.
Brand Management and Your Target Market
Developing a strategic plan to manage your brand equity requires a clear and comprehensive understanding of three things: the brand itself, its target market, and your company’s overall vision and goals.
A good relationship with your target market is a must for brand management. If you have bad branding, it will be reflected in weak sales, poor client retention, and sluggish growth. To be effective, brand management must fully look after your brand, using marketing techniques in a way that ensure the entire brand is highlighted, taken care of, and promoted. Ultimately, it’s about making a commitment to your customers and then delivering on that promise.
The Intangibles of Brand Management
The tangible elements of brand management include the product itself; its look, its price, its packaging, and so on. But there’s another side to it that requires more effort: maintaining the brand across all company touchpoints, both internal and external. In other words, it’s about managing how your customers experience your brand and how employees are representing it.
Marketing experts know that both customers and employees can build emotional attachments to a brand that then translate into strong loyalties, and even a sense of partnership or ownership. For your brand to reach its full potential with customers, it’s important to have an engaged and committed internal team that understand its role in the customer’s journey. From senior management to customer service, your brand must bring its customer experience vision to life for everyone.
Many companies focus their branding efforts on marketing enterprises like packaging and advertising. But if your organization fails to inspire its employees to be brand ambassadors, you’re missing out on one of your most powerful assets: your people. No matter what product or service you offer, building a strong brand requires that employees feel connected to and a part of it, as well as understand the role they play in turning your brand’s vision into reality.
The Bottom Line
Brand management is vital to the success of every organization, and smart companies know that strong brands are not built by marketing alone, but require every employee to play a role. While each brand management strategy is different in terms of resources and execution, the goal is the same: to build a brand that is distinct and profitable. Consistent messaging across every marketing channel will ensure that when people think of your brand their perception is right in line with how you want it to be perceived.