It’s easy for entrepreneurs to think that establishing and building a brand is all they need to do for their businesses’ long term success.
It’s also easy for them to pour a tonne of resources into establishing their brand and then leaving little to no resources into their brand management.
The brand enters the market with a bang and then dies the next morning due to neglect.
Brand management helps in the ability to stand out beyond the competition. Brand management plays a significant role in maintaining your company’s reputation and ensuring people experience it the way you intend.
Buyers will tend to gravitate towards your product or service if you have an effective well maintained brand image.
What is brand management?
Brand management is the process of managing the reputation and equity of a brand. It includes, developing a promise, making that promise and maintaining it.
It includes managing the tangible and intangible characteristics of the brand.
The tangible characteristics of the brand are anything that the audience experiences directly which influences how they see the brand. Examples include visuals, design or marketing materials.
Brand managers are responsible for management of the tangible assets of the brand. Tangible assets include: brand name and tagline, logo and colour palette, typography, image style, graphics and iconography, digital marketing assets, website ux/ui, environmental design and packaging.
These are all direct experiences the audience experiences with the brand. The brand manager strategically makes decisions about how to use these assets, when to use them and where to use these assets to shape the brand image in the mind of the audience.
Intangible elements include: brand awareness, brand recall, brand loyalty, brand recognition, brand reputation, customer retention, customer lifetime value, leads, sales and ultimately revenues.
The brand manager uses the tangible elements to influence the intangible brand elements.
Advantages of Brand management
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.
A brand manager must fully look after the brand using marketing techniques in away which ensures that the entire brand is highlighted, taken care of and promoted.
1. The first advantage of brand management is that it helps create an emotional connect between customers and products. Emotional connectivity with the customer is the holy grail of brand equity.
The aim of brand management is to convey the brand message vividly, create customer loyalty, persuade the buyer of the product and establish an emotional connectivity with the customers.
2. Enhanced brand awareness and recall. Brand management helps the business grow as consumers become loyal and advocate for the products and services. Customer loyalty further helps boost business.
3. It helps in taking critical and important feedback which helps companies improve based on customer insights.
4. It helps companies adapt their strategies with changing times based on the needs and requirements of the customers.
5. For employees, the 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 great ambassadors for the business.
For example Google employees feel proud to be working for the company and they are active ambassadors of the company without any incentive for it.
When employees at your company feel the energy of your organisation and see the results their jobs produce, they are much more likely to want to be part of your company.
6. More leads, sales and revenues
Every business needs a brand manager. The brand manager is the broadest role in branding and marketing. Brand managers are responsible for a lot, from crafting the brand identity to the UI/UX design.
Everything the brand does from its communication to operation, marketing to customer service falls under the control of the brand manager.
It is the brand manger’s job to ensure the brand is out there in the market place communicating clearly, consistently and effectively.
The brand manager asks a lot of questions and provides the answers to these questions. What are we doing?
Why are we doing it this way? Is it working? If yes why? If no why? Can we do things better? Can we increase our sales?
Brand managers are usually associated with big businesses. Smaller businesses usually have the owner to manage the brand.
The small business owner will be in charge of marketing, communication, advertising, social media, messaging, content marketing etc.
In a bigger business the brand manager has an army of specialists at their disposal: a social media manager, copy writers, Facebook Ads manager, Google Ads manager, web developers etc.
The key responsibilities of brand managers include:
Understanding who the audience is
What the audience is looking for
Understanding the gaps and opportunities in the market place
Story telling and crafting the brand personality
Developing the marketing strategy and ultimately driving sales. All their marketing efforts have to lead to more sales, which is the point of the whole business.
Skills a brand manager must possess
1. Advanced communication
Brand managers need to go out and communicate the brand to the audience. This includes internal and external communication.
2. Outside the box thinkers
Brand managers need to understand the challenges that stand in their way. They need to craft solutions for these challenges. They have to get the brand fron A to B through effective marketing campaigns.
3. Savy knack for market analysis
Brand managers need to read between the lines and gather insights. What trends are simmering in the market? What is happening in the market from the data both qualitative and quantitative data?
4. Adaptability and flexibility
What a customer wants today may not be what they want tomorrow. Markets are always changing.
Markets are not static and are forever moving. Technology and the behaviours of customers lead to these changes. If a brand manager is too rigid and opinionated, this will cause problems for the brand in the future.
Brand managers need to listen to what the customer is telling them and to pivot the brand in that direction.
The key to brand management success is to have clarity of image and consistent application.
The brand manager must have a clear image as to how the brand must be perceived in the mind of the customer because it is with this clarity of image that the brand manager makes a decision as to how he/she can use the brand’s tangible assets at their disposal.
Consistency of application will help hammer this perceived image in the customer’s mind.