Apple. Coca-Cola. Facebook. Nike. JPMorgan. What do all of these brands have in common?
Well, a) they are all-powerful and yield unparalleled impact on their respective industries, and b) they are integrated to the very core with swift and effective brand management.
And it’s not only these companies – no matter what successful brand you choose to look into, you will find that there is an inherent connection between brand management and brand success.
Therefore, the key to success for a struggling business owner in today’s day and age can very well be found in brand management.
At this point, we’re sure you have many questions: “what is brand management?”, “why is it so consequential?” and “how can I implement it?” Well, you will find the answers to these questions and a lot more information on brand management in this article, so keep reading!
Brand Management – What is It?
On a fundamental level, brand management is the upkeep and maintenance of all your branded content. It involves improving the things you offer your audience, and it also relates to the effort of evolving yourself in terms of customer perception.
Essentially, brand management is how you ensure that the content you’re putting out to your existing and potential customers aligns with who you are as a brand and enables the customer to associate a certain brand image with you.
Brand management is contingent on how well you know your brand, so effective brand management requires you to be on top of each of your branded assets. This includes everything from ads to email campaigns, web pages, TVCs, and social media channels. By employing effective brand management across these channels, you can ensure that you maintain a consistent brand image and that brand image is seamless communication to your audience.
In addition, brand management exists to make marketing processes better and simpler! When you already have a grasp on what you are doing and what you offer as a brand, it is easier to reiterate those concepts in your future marketing assets.
The Importance of A Good Brand Management Strategy
All that being said – why is brand management so important, and why have we been raving about it so much?
Well, the thing is that that brand management is integral to your brand image. If you neglect brand management, the best, you can create a vague, abstract image that does you no good in the wrong. Needless to say, the clearer and more prominent your brand image are, the more beneficial it is in terms of brand awareness.
This ultimately leads to the customer recognizing your brand as a go-to option for their needs, which eventually enables you to foster customer loyalty. All in all, brand management is an indispensable component of a successful business strategy.
Benefits of Effective Brand Management
But that’s not it – there are many additional benefits to brand management that your business you can make use of. Let’s have a glance at these:
As mentioned earlier, brand management leads to customer recognition. Customer recognition is important if you want the customer to pick your brand over other options. The more they recognize you, the more confidently they can choose you over your competitors, and let’s be real, who doesn’t want that?
On the topic of competitors – doesn’t being a part of the corporate sector come with the constant need to leave your competitors biting the dust? Well, with an effective brand management strategy in place, you can easily do that. The more pronounced your brand is in the circles, the more edge you get to have over your competitors.
Since brand management allows you to be more in touch with the services and products you offer, you can employ stronger promotional tactics. Not only do you get a better idea of how to market your products, but you can also promote them to an audience that is already interested in what you have to offer.
The better brand management you have in place, the more you can enhance your credibility. Needless to say, a credible brand has more value in the eyes of the customer. But it’s not just that! A credible brand is also able to establish thought-leadership in their particular niche more easily.
The thing about effective brand management is that it does not only work for customers. It also does wonders for the internal progress of your company! When you have established a certain image for your brand, it is way more convenient to communicate that image with your employees. And once the employees know what the company stands for, they can engage with more zeal and put in a lot more effort.
In short, effective brand management can open doors for you that you didn’t even know existed. However, to ensure that this actually happens, you have to make sure that you have the right brand management strategy in place.
How To Devise The Right Brand Management Strategy?
The right brand management strategy – what do we even mean by that?
Brand management is an extremely intricate, often complicated, process. There is no way you can haphazardly create a brand management plan and hope for it actually to work! Brand management, the right brand management, requires precision, consistency, and undisrupted effort.
But that’s just what we see at the surface level. When you dig deeper, you will find that the right brand management strategy has some indispensable key elements.
Key Elements to the Right Brand Management Strategy
The following can be considered to be the key elements to a good brand strategy:
To create a brand management strategy that works, you need to properly understand these elements and how they are all interconnected. Multiple aspects go into the formation of brand equity, including the entirety of the customer experience, the customer’s interaction with your brand across each interval, and your brand as it appears to the general public (people who aren’t your customers).
For example, your brand may be perceived as affordable by the general public because your customers have found you to be pocket-friendly during their visit to your online store! See how everything connects and forms the bigger picture? Well, this bigger picture is brand equity as a whole.
This, of course, has to do with how well your brand is recognized in the market. The more it is recognized in the market as a whole, the more likely it is that you will reach your target market. Essentially, it would help to aim for higher brand awareness because that comes with more benefits.
Brand identity is all about the overall style of your brand. This, too, is a multi-faceted aspect that includes things like your brand’s color palette, the logo positioning, the right-down type of images, and the language you use to reflect on your brand.
Who would have thought, right? But the very name of your brand also plays into the overall brand strategy you have. Your brand name makes sure you are set apart from others in the game and essentially feeds into the aspect of brand awareness.
Brand loyalty relates to the chances of your customer coming back to your brand the next time they want to buy something. Essentially brand loyalty gauges how well you have served the customer – the better you serve them, the more likely they are to come back and engage with your brand further.
Brand image is, of course, the overall impression that your brand gives off to your existing and potential customers. The brand image comprises everything – from something as specific as the brand logo to bigger things like your brand’s overall message to the audience.
This is very similar to brand awareness, but it has more to do with how well the members of the general public would be able to recognize the elements of your brand elsewhere. To do well in this segment, you have to pay attention to the particular.
This is where the money comes in! Forgive the exaggeration, but your brand value relates to the approximate amount of money you can get for your brand if you were ever to sell it. This figure is important as it allows you to understand better where your brand stands economically.
Building the Right Brand Management Strategy
According to us, building the right brand management strategy is a four-part journey. We have broken down each part into as much detail as possible to make things easier for you.
Part One: Identifying Your Brand Heart
The first thing you need to do is establish your brand heart. Essentially, this means that you have to understand what you stand for as a brand. You can do this by focusing on the following five elements:
By answering these questions, you will understand your own standing as a brand a lot better. Once you are clear about who you are, you then construct the ultimate brand message.
Part Two – Constructing the Ultimate Brand Message
Now, you have to focus on routing the brand message you want to convey to every individual who interacts and engages with your brand. Ideally, your message will address what your brand stands for and what its core values are. These elements will be conveyed using a tone that aligns with your brand.
For example, if you are a women-centric brand, your message should address women, using a feminine yet empowering tone. Or, if you aim to cater to children with your products, your message will be a light-hearted one, communicated in a playful tone.
Part Three – Designing Your Visual Identity
The third part has everything to do with design. Believe it or not, this is quite possibly the most important yet the most neglected aspect of brand management!
It is through the elements of brand design that you can actually bring your brand to life. Always remember that visuals speak louder than words, and therefore, they deserve attention from you.
Your visual identity consists of many elements, including your logo, typography, color, and imagery. Not only that, but it requires you to be consistent and purposeful. It won’t do much good if you decide to throw in random colors, use a random font, and call it a day. Every choice you make while designing your visual identity should have a purpose behind it.
Not only that, but your visual identity should also be flexible, comprehensive, and intuitive. But most importantly, it should be formed based on a collaborative effort from all team members.
You Need An Online Proofing Tool for Brand Assets
This is where online proofing tools like GoVisually ensure that all the relevant members of your team and brand get to collaborate easily. And that all of them can have a say in the brand’s visual identity. In addition to that, GoVisually also helps take your creativity to the next level by streamlining design reviewing processes.
For example, GoVisually lets you get feedback in real-time in one space instead of corresponding changes and feedback over emails. You can review, add comments and approve projects without losing your mind over ways to send files back and forth!
Part Four – Setting Precise Brand Guidelines
After constructing your visual identity, you need to move towards setting precise guidelines for your brand. The guidelines are essential in terms of deciding how you mean to use the brand. It is most important to ensure that you are not compromising on the quality of any aspects during your entire brand journey.
There are two types of guidelines that you should create – guidelines to shape your verbal identity and guidelines to shape your visual identity.
Brand Management – Tips from Experts
Now that we have understood what goes into creating a brand strategy, we should look into ways that can help us maintain our brand management tactics over a long period of time.
What better way to do this than to turn to experts?
MerlinOne compiled a list of brand management tips from top companies’ managers such as Pica9, Hummingbird Creative Group, and Think Entrepreneurship. These tips include:
- Once you discover what works, stick to it.
- Boost brand awareness using obvious offline marketing tactics.
- Achieve specificity and relevance to target customers.
- Create a strong social media presence and stay on brand.
- Make your brand visible by maintaining a high profile.
- Remain consistent in your branding.
- Be proactive in controlling your brand’s presence.
- Use SEO to steer the conversation about your brand.
- Engage your audience frequently with questions and interesting content.
By getting this whole brand management thing sorted, you will be able to evolve from just a brand to an impactful brand in no time.
What are you waiting for? It’s time to begin your brand management journey, and that too with GoVisually by your side to make it even better!