There is a major difference between business management and brand management. A brand is something that has a more personal and emotional connection with the audience.
Building a brand is all about creating and sustaining a narrative that helps the audience connect with your story and come to associate positivity with it.
But how exactly can you do brand management in the best possible manner?
This question continues to baffle brand managers and business owners all across the world but there is a certain roadmap that can be followed to build your brand up in a way that you envision.
And for that to happen, you first need to understand what brand management is and what it actually entails?
What is Brand Management?
Perhaps the simplest brand management definition is to consistently maintain your brand image in a way that it elevates your brand perception over a period of time. By effectively managing your brand, you can increase brand awareness, customer loyalty, and maximize profits by retaining your customers.
A brand is something that keeps on evolving from time to time. Take, for example, McDonald’s; their logo kept on changing over time.
The above image represents how, from time to time, McDonald’s changed its branding.
A brand is a consistently evolving entity, and it can be easily affected and influenced by external factors such as news trends and current events. To drive the story of your brand and make it seem successful is a quite challenging undertaking.
You need to leverage your branding and brand assets in a way that effectively communicates and instills your brand’s perception into the potential consumers’ minds. As a result, this could lead to brand loyalty and long-term profitability for the company.
Even though there’s nothing, you can do about the bad press your brand gets. If you strategically manage your brand, you can respond to even bad press in a way that protects and improves your brand’s integrity, without ever deviating from the brand’s core values.
Process And Principles Of Brand Management
The key to successful brand management is consistently analyzing and monitoring your strategies. Brand management consists of tangible and intangible components. Tangible components are your brand assets and a part of branding. (We’ll discuss more about it in the brand asset management.)
The principles of intangible components that evaluate your endeavors and success in managing your brand are as follows,
Brand awareness is how well your target audience is aware of your brand. In brand awareness, you distinguish your brand (product or service) from your competitors who fulfill the same needs. The end result of effective brand awareness is an increase in market share. Potential customers generally don’t engage with a brand that they’re not aware of. Therefore, brand awareness is also one of the crucial components of marketing and brand management.
Brand reputation is all about your brand’s perception in terms of quality, customer service, and value. As your market share increases, the general public will develop a perception about your brand. This can be good or bad; it entirely depends upon the customer experience and word of mouth. Some of the time, even the best companies are bombarded with negative feedback and bad publicity.
If you’re a brand manager, you should always be aware of your brand’s reviews. Brand reputation is important as it makes the buying decision much easier for the consumers. According to a report, consumers are willing to pay 22% more to brands if they have a solid reputation. This additional profit boosts your brand equity right away.
Brand equity is the brand value you have in the market. Consumers evaluate the value of your brand based on their personal experiences, associations, and perceptions. Simply you can say that it’s brand equity that makes the potential customer buy your brand (product or service) instead of something that’s much cheaper and generic.
The peak of brand equity is when the general public starts to use your brand’s name interchangeably with the product category itself like it happened when people started using the brand name Kleenex instead of tissues or Xerox instead of photocopies.
As mentioned in brand reputation, consumers are always ready to pay more if they think that your product or service is unique or special. In this way, brand positioning (the uniqueness of your brand in the market) is also connected with brand equity.
Brand loyalty depends entirely upon the frequency of customer engagement, experiences, and purchases from your brand. It’s the only brand management principle that isn’t under the marketing department. But it can affect your brand equity in terms of online reviews and feedback.
The only way to build brand loyalty is to deliver excellent customer service and strive to build a lasting relationship with customers. If your brand also has an online presence, you should have a responsive website with a dynamic user interface and interactive social media platforms to engage with your target audience. As a result, you will have a strong following from your customers. Over time, they will become brand ambassadors and laud your brand across various online platforms.
Brand recognition is when your target audience can recognize your brand without even focusing on your brand name. That can only be achieved when the logo, color palette, design, and packaging of your product or service is instilled into your audience’s minds. Brand recognition is necessary for the success of your brand. When potential customers start to recognize your brand with just your branding, they will be most likely to buy your product instead of your competitor’s.
Brand Asset Management
Brand asset management is the marketing technique to formulate and maintain consistency in the tangible components of branding. It includes organizing, setting up a physical or cloud storage system for your brand assets, guiding the team on using brand assets, and finding and resolving issues and errors on routine checks.
The brand name is an integral part of any company. It’s the only element of brand assets that don’t change. It’s also crucially important to have your brand name trademarked to prevent its unauthorized usage. Otherwise, it could be a nightmare if someone abuses and steals your brand name.
Besides your product or service, the brand name will be showcased on your official website and social media pages. It will help your followers and target audience to search and easily engage with your brand.
Logo And Color Palette
Your logo and brand color palette distinguish and showcase the uniqueness of your brand in a creative manner. These brand assets are crucial as they serve a deeper connection with your target audience.
Your brand’s letters have to be arranged in a way that they look pleasing to the eye in your branding collateral. These guidelines should be followed in every part of branding, whether it is your social media posts, advertisements, or website.
Graphics is comprised of various brand assets, which could be any design that is related to your brand. It should have a uniform and responsive design, whether it may be utilized in billboards, newsletters, advertisements, or even your digital marketing channels. The graphics will help in creating awareness and recognition of your brand and make your brand appear more professional.
Digital Marketing Channels
Millions of users are online every day and they expect their favorite brands to have a highly maintained online presence. About 65% of consumers like to research the product online before actually going to a brick-and-mortar store.
Most likely, these potential customers will go through your brand online first before they even try out your product. Therefore, your branding needs to be consistent. Moreover, your brand must be actively visible to connect with your target audience easily and not miss out on any business opportunity.
Moreover, you need to galvanize your employees into utilizing their social media accounts to boost brand awareness. When they share their experiences and spread the good word about the company, it’s beneficial for everyone, your brand, the customers, and the employees.
Packaging of your brand is crucial if you have a brand that entails a physical product. According to research, about one-third of customers make the buying decision based on just the packaging. You have to make the customer go,”WOW!” when they see your brand’s package.
Therefore, take tremendous amounts of time in ensuring that the visual representation of your brand resonates with your audience. You need to go the extra mile with your brand packaging because your users are not just opening a box but opening an experience.
One of the most prominent examples of the great brand packaging is Glossier, a famous cosmetics brand beloved by millennials worldwide.
The packaging of their products is presented as gifts that include stickers and a wonderful thank you card.
A well-thought-out style guide is imperative to keep everyone working for the brand on the same page. A brand style guide or brand book works as an instruction manual to portray your brand’s message in a consistent manner. When designers, content marketers, and developers follow the brand book as the standard guidelines, it makes their work so much easier.
Moreover, taking marketing initiatives also becomes a breeze as all the brand’s message is aligned with the brand’s goals. When everyone in your company follows the style guide, it will be the brand’s content to stand out from the competitors and on the same page. Being coherent is crucial as it helps the brand to resonate with potential customers and build brand awareness.
Brand management may seem trivial, but it has a massive impact on your bottom line. The success of top-tier brands isn’t only based on a good product or marketing but also by adopting a continuous process of improving customer experience. Therefore, brand management plays a critical role in building a deeper connection with your followers and customers. Read this article and find more about Digital Marketing.