What is Brand Management in Marketing?
- October 19, 2022
One of the most common mistakes done by entrepreneurs today, is defining their business as a ‘Brand’, without truly checking all the boxes required to establish and manage it. A well-planned brand management strategy is a necessity to, not only create goodwill and trust amongst customers, but also to systematically achieve the company’s vision and goals. Businesses need to invest a considerable amount of time and thought to set up their brand, or partner with experienced brand consultants or branding agencies, to streamline their branding. Once, the brand is established, its image can then be constantly maintained through brand management services.
But what is brand management exactly? Why is it necessary for businesses to undertake professional brand management services and how do they perceive and measure the benefits? In order to understand this, one has to go back to the basics of branding and work their way up. Developing a proper brand strategy to create brand value requires an in-depth understanding of the brand’s vision, its target audience, communication channels and competitors as well.
What is Meant by Brand Management?
In simple words, brand management definition is used to describe different strategies and techniques used to increase the brand’s value and its right implementation. This includes building a loyal customer base, creating awareness about the brand, being updated with the latest market trends, and increasing the perceived value of the company’s products and reputation over time. Overall, brand management encompasses the following 4 major aspects of the brand –
- Brand Identity: Logo, Packaging, Brand Colours, Branding Guidelines
- Brand Equity: Positive Consumer Perception, Brand Recognition
- Brand Personality: Communication conveyed through the brand’s voice and visuals
- Brand Positioning: Target Market, Competitor Analysis, USP
What is the Role of Brand Managers?
Brand management goes beyond the marketing of a company and is even responsible for its strategic expansion. A brand manager for a company, be it as a consultant, an employee or a branding agency, is responsible for the entire image of the company, as a brand. A major part of this is understanding the customers’ expectations, analyzing how the brand’s products and services are perceived in the market, keeping tabs on competitors, and ensuring that the brand remains up-to-date with the latest trends. A brand manager and his branding team are in-charge of managing the tangible, as well as intangible elements of the brand, as well as strategizing the growth plan of the business, including which products and services to be included under the brand’s umbrella.
Stages of Brand Management Lifecycle
Brand management is a continuous process. It’s a spiral path that a brand constantly needs to undergo, to ensure that they are not run over by competition. The brand management lifecycle consists of the following five stages –
This stage includes setting up the exact goals of the company’s branding and defining what is meant by brand management for the company. The most important aspect here is to align the branding goals with that of the company’s long-term vision and to have a finer understanding of the market before setting up the goals.
Once the brand goals are set, the second stage is to study the brand positioning, as to where the brand stands with respect to competitors, customers, and the industry as a whole.
Based on the first two stages, brand managers come up with a proper strategic plan, that includes different timelines, guidelines, processes and brand portfolio. This is divided into short term branding activities, as well as long-term commitments, on both, digital as well as traditional branding sources.
This is the ‘action’ stage of brand management, wherein the branding plans are implemented.
In this stage, brand managers constantly monitor the progress of the executed branding, using different parameters and methods. The findings of this stage are used to come up with new brand goals, or to make amendments the current goals, if any, and the cycle continues.
How Brand Management Works?
Based on the existing brand presence, whether the company is a new-entrant or a well-established brand, brand managers have to work on the different aspects of branding. One has to remember that brand management is a long-term process, and that it needs to be constantly upgraded with the changing times. As opposed to marketing, brand management is about instilling trust in the minds of the customers and building a presence that can help the business to develop a strong brand identity. Though a crucial and important aspect of marketing, the returns on brand management can only be seen in the long-run.
7 Effective Brand Management Techniques
The process of brand management comprises of numerous different processes and guidelines. The role of the brand manager is to choose the most effective and relevant techniques, and to ensure that they are religiously followed. However, though there may be different outlooks, there are a few points that remain universal to every brand management strategy. Here we list 7 ‘must-haves’ for every brand management strategy:
1. Creating a tailor-made brand strategy
A brand strategy that was successful for one company, might not necessarily work for another one. Every product or service has a different brand message, a different USP and different demography. Based on these changing factors, brand managers have to adapt and innovate, to come up with a strong, unique brand strategy for every brand.
2. Listening to your Customers
Your customers are your biggest critics, as well as your most loyal fans. However, in both cases, brand managers need to intently understand their customers’ feedbacks. Better customer experiences are a sure-shot way to build an ever-lasting brand loyalty among customers; the foundation of a brand’s success.
3. Using a brand style
In a market that is flooded with competition, how does your brand stand out? The crux of a good brand strategy is to unify all your branding into a single, distinct style, to make it easier for your customers to identify your brand out of the clutter.
4. Being mindful of future obstacles
When it comes to expansion, brands must comply with different regional rules and regulations. However, the fact also remains that there has to be uniformity in a brand’s presence, no matter how large they grow and how far they reach. The best practice in branding is to be aware of different compliances and to be prepared for the same, as much as possible, right at the beginning of branding.
5. Setting up branding processes for your team
It is of utmost importance that everyone associated with the brand are aware of the guidelines and compliances of the brand. It is the duty of brand manager to set up proper guidelines and processes, and to communicate it with everyone involved, so that they are well aware of the dos and don’ts. In this particular case, a well-defined brand book becomes a highly useful tool.
6.Having a strong digital presence
In today’s world, a business without a digital presence is as good as invisible. While creating a branding plan, brand managers need to give high-priority to the brand’s online future. Good social media presence, viral ad campaigns, a seamless website and easy digital communication channels with customers are points that are a part of every brand strategy.
7.Keeping up with trends
The modern-day consumer demands and preferences change within the blink of an eye. Brands that are unable to cope with this fast-paced change in trends risk becoming obsolete. Brands need to constantly evolve and adapt their branding strategies to thrive. And the most effective manner to do this is through innovative thinking and constant market analysis.
Examples of Brand Management
Brand management helps in building and maintaining the brand image, for as long as the brand exists, and it needs to be constantly updated to stay ahead of competitors. Here are three perfect examples of famous brands, to understand what is brand management and how brands are using it:
- Even though it’s a well-established brand, Coca Cola still invests in ingenious branding tactics, including new bottle shapes and packaging, social media ad campaigns, witty taglines and so on. Their famous tagline, ‘Open Happiness’ still stands out after many years and connects emotionally with their audience.
- When it was losing market share to competitors like Nike and Adidas, Reebok undertook a complete brand makeover, changing everything about the brand (including their logo) to reinvent themselves. Reebok transformed their messaging and visuals to connect with their consumers in a more effective manner, while improving their presence online to reach bigger markets. This strategy worked and Reebok was able to recapture a fair share of their market.
- Because of their intensive brand management strategies, conglomerates like Unilever, Reliance and Tata Group are able to become market leaders across different industries. Though their products have an individual identity, the brand name of these companies helps build trust amongst their customers. Many a times, their target markets buy their newly-launched products because of their previous experience with the brands and their other products.
Need Help in Brand Management? Contact Us.
The value of a brand is simply the price that a consumer is willing to pay, above the cost of a product or service. That’s the reason we see products from different companies, with the same utility and functionalities, differing in price. It is the brand’s value that builds a customer’s trust and higher the trust, the more they are willing to pay. As brand management experts, MAD Designs provides your brand with the complete brand management support so that your business can capture your target audience and create your own brand identity in the most creative and effective ways.