What is Brand Management and Why Would You Need It?
Brand management? What on Earth is that? Sounds like a load of marketing jargon, right?
Well, it sort of is. But it's also a very real process that ensures your brand is strong, consistent and recognisable. In other words, it's the how and why of making your brand stand out in a sea of competitors.
Why bother? Let's take a closer look. By the end of this article, you'll know exactly what brand management is and can decide for yourself if it's something your business needs.
What is Brand Management?
Brand management is a series of procceses with the aim of creating and sustaining a positive reputation for your company's brand. It involves managing your brand's overall image as well as aligning all aspects of its connection to your audience and long-term brand strategy.
The brand management process consists of four key steps:
- Identifying your target audience: Brand management starts and ends with your target audience. You need to understand who they are, what they want and how they think. This will help you develop a brand that appeals to them.
- Developing a unique and differentiated brand position: By analysing your market and competitors, you can create a unique and differentiated brand position that sets you apart from the competition.
- Creating a consistent brand image across all touchpoints: From a solid visual identity to a consistent tone of voice, all touchpoints with your target audience should reinforce your brand image to improve customer loyalty.
- Managing and protecting your brand over time: Brand management is an ongoing process. As your business and the market evolve, you need to continuously adapt your brand to stay relevant.
What is Strategic Brand Management?
Strategic brand management involves creating a brand management strategy to guide all your brand management decisions.
It includes long-term goal-setting for your brand: defining what you want it to achieve and how you're going to get there.
Developing a strong brand management strategy is essential for any business that wants to build a successful and sustainable brand and name. Without one, you'll likely end up wasting time and resources on activities that just don't get you anywhere.
And really, what's the point in focusing all of your effort on creating a great brand if you're not going to manage it properly? A well-executed strategic brand management plan will help you build a strong and resilient brand that can withstand the test of time.
Why Would You Need Brand Management?
There are so many reasons why your business might need brand management. In fact, regardless of whether you are an eCommerce store or a company developing and selling coworking software, if you have a brand, you should be considering how you handle your brand management.
Maybe you're launching a new product or service and need to create a brand from scratch.
Or maybe you've been in business for a while but your brand isn't performing as well as you know it could. (Some signs that your brand might need a makeover could include declining sales, high customer churn rates or poor client feedback. In this case, you might need help from a rebranding agency)
In any case, if you want to build a strong and successful brand, you need to focus on brand management. By developing a well-thought-out brand management strategy, you can ensure that your brand is healthy and thriving for years to come.
How can effective brand management help me?
Brand management aims to manage all aspects of your branding strategy, building brand value in the hearts of your customer base.
In 2018, Motista released a report stating that emotionally connected customers have a 306% higher lifetime value, meaning that the more connected a customer is with your brand, the more they will spend.
Great brand management works to improve:
- Brand equity by delivering a positive and consistent brand experience;
- Brand recognition by ensuring all touchpoints are aligned with your overall brand strategy, and ultimately;
- Brand loyalty as loyal customers are less price sensitive and more likely to keep buying from you.
A strong brand can also help you attract new customers, as it drives visibility and credibility. And when done right, brand management can even help you charge premium prices for your products or services. Which is what we all really want – right?
In short, effective brand management is the engine that drives business growth. If you want to build a successful and sustainable business or startup, you need to focus on your brand management.
Key Brand Management Elements You'll Need
So we've taught you the basics about brand management, great. But what about the nitty-gritty details?
What do you actually need to do to manage your brand effectively? Here are some key elements of brand management that you'll need to succeed.
Professional brand managers
A brand manager is a professional who oversees all aspects of a brand, from its strategy and positioning to its identity and voice. A brand manager is responsible for creating and executing a brand management plan that will help the brand hit its goals, both short and long-term.
Most businesses need at least one full-time or outsourced brand manager. Larger businesses may need a team of brand managers to oversee different aspects of the brand. In either case, learning how to choose outsourcing agency is crucial for your business's success and growth.
A brand manager needs to be highly organised, creative and analytical. They should also take the time to gain a deep understanding of the brand, the market and the competition.
A consistent brand identity
Brand awareness starts and ends with a consistent brand message and identity. Regardless of whether your an online quiz maker software or offering coaching services, you must develop a solid brand message and identity
Your brand identity should be instantly recognisable, whether that's in your tone of voice, brand name, colour scheme, tagline or digital design.
Remember, your brand identity defines the emotional connection that you want your target audience to feel with your brand. By delivering a consistent brand experience, you can ensure that your target audience remembers your brand and associates it with positive feelings.
In communication software Slack's 2019 rebrand, they released their new logos and stated on their site:
"Over the next few months, you’ll see all the other visuals around Slack aligning around this new direction: on the website, in advertising, and in some places in the product (though not in a way that will keep you from the important business of getting things done, of course). It’s still us. We’re still Slack. But more consistent and, we hope, more instantly recognizable."
This really captures the idea we're trying to hone in on here. Good job on the consistency, Slack!
Your brand promise
Your brand promise ties together your brand voice, key USP and brand values. It's the one thing that you want your target audience to remember about your brand. What can you do for them?
Your brand promise should be short, sweet and to the point. It should also be something that you can realistically deliver on.
For example, if your B2B service offers 24/7 fast and reliable customer support, your brand promise might be "we're always here to help." (But if that's an outright lie, then you're in for some serious customer service issues down the line, so don’t say we didn’t warn you.)
Your brand promise is the foundation of your brand identity. It's what sets you apart from your competition and reminds your target audience why they should choose you over anyone else.
Your brand promise should be reflected throughout your brand identity, within the relevant assets, and, most importantly, it should be something that you really can deliver day in and day out.
Successful brand management strategies
But how do I know what a successful brand management strategy looks like? How do I avoid putting hours of work into the wrong areas?
Don't panic. The simple answer here is: trust the experts.
At Huddle Creative, our branding experts live for this stuff. We know what it takes to build a strong and successful brand. We also know just how to measure success in the world of branding, so we can help you build and then fine-tune your brand management strategy until it works.
While you can definitely read up on brand management online, the truth is that experts spend years honing their craft. So, if you're serious about building a strong brand, it's worth working with someone who knows what they're doing.
Valuable brand assets
A brand asset is any file or resource that comes together to form a brand's personality and define its look and feel. These assets are a vital part of building brand awareness and brand recognition and can include anything from colour palettes to taglines, logo files and shapes.
Valuable brand assets will reflect your brand's message and values. They should be high-quality, consistent with your overall brand identity and most importantly, original.
Brand assets also include your creative content. From blog posts and social media posts to infographics and email newsletters, this content should all be on-brand and reflect your brand's unique tone of voice.
As the hub of your brand, your website is also one of the most valuable brand assets. It should be optimised for SEO (for instance, effective link building strategies with the help of good SEO link building software or good content with target keywords), easy to navigate and consistent with your brand messaging architecture.
When Office 365 underwent its rebrand in 2020, they transitioned users into their new, one-branded Microsoft 365 despite the only difference being the branding. Same great service, more aligned name, quality creative assets and a brand new style.
Brand management software
From your brand management platform to your content management system (CMS), there are a variety of tools available to help you manage your brand effectively.
The most important thing is to find a tool that works for you and your team. There's no point in paying for a top-of-the-line brand management platform if it won't be used to its full potential.
Brand management tools allow you to plan, create, and evaluate your target market's perception and awareness of your brand. You can use the right brand management solutions to maintain your brand both locally and internationally while giving every market the attention it deserves.
Get it right. Trust the brand development experts.
Building a strong and successful brand takes time, effort and expertise. If you're serious about getting it right, trust the experts at Huddle Creative. We know what it takes to build a strong brand, and we can help you get there.
From creative rebrands to complete brand identities, we'll work with you to build a brand that resonates with your target audience and sets you apart from your competition. And, we'll help you measure success along the way, so you can fine-tune your brand management strategy until it works.
So, what are you waiting for? Take a look at our branding services and let’s fine tune your brand.