Your brand is not just a product or service. It’s 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 image 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.
Brand management is defined as the activity of supervising the promotion of a particular brand of goods. This is a bit of a formal, narrow definition of what brand management actually consists of, and doesn’t really apply to many of the practical applications around these days.
In marketing, and practically speaking, 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. Additionally, strategic brand management can help companies improve brand recognition, boost revenue, and achieve long-term business goals.
Why is brand management so important? A great brand gives that organization greater mindshare of potential buyers. For example, not everyone needs a new car today, but by ensuring that their brands are recognized all the time, car manufacturers make it easy for a consumer to make that choice as soon as the need arises. Brand awareness and recall can help organizations be the first choice, when the need for their product or service arises.
A strong brand identity does more than just make you the first choice for many customers. It can go a long way to increasing trust, brand loyalty and even product pricing. Some key benefits to maintaining effective brand management include:
Once you have established an effective brand image, buyers will tend to gravitate towards your product or service and act in your favor. Creating a community around your brand can help you pinpoint champions that will give valuable social proof to others who may be on the fence about making that purchase.
Your brand works as a glue that helps to hold customers to your products. Branding goes beyond just marketing and should be a part of touchpoints throughout the customer journey, including post sale. These initiatives can help customers remain loyal to you, continue doing business with you, and spread word about your company.
Additionally, keeping a loyal customer base helps you identify who your most valuable customers are and how you can better target them specifically. In the end, it’s always a better ROI to retain your current customer base rather than recruiting new ones.
To employees, your brand acts like an anchor, guiding their direction. When a company has a strong brand image, employees will feel more engaged at their jobs, working harder for the company’s success and becoming a great ambassador for the business. A great brand doesn’t replace a company’s mission, vision, or values, but should be inspired by those things, and help to amplify them.
When a Brand is aligned to the purpose of the company, magical things can happen, including making it easier to attract top talent. A great brand can be used not just for customer acquisition, but for employee acquisition and retainment as well. A brand that employees rally behind, makes it easier for the employees to interact with customers, but also helps them be more engaged in their own work.
Developing a strategic brand management system 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 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 guidelines 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.
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.
This blog post was originally published on December 10, 2021