Whether you’re starting research for branding or brand management, getting ready for a re-launch, or increasing brand awareness, there are some key marketing concepts that come into play at all phases.
Brand management starts with a comprehensive knowledge of your “brand”. Right. So, what is a brand then?
A brand represents who your company is and what it stands for. This includes your name, logo, messaging, merchandise, design, and any other feature that identifies your company and its products and service and makes it distinct from others. With your brand you are developing a promise, conveying the message of this promise and then maintaining it.
Brand management is the science of crafting and sustaining a brand. This means defining the brand, positioning the brand, and delivering the brand value constantly. Branding creates customer commitment to your business. A robust brand differentiates its products from the competitors and gives your business a leg up on the others, allowing you to increase sales and grow your business.
Brand management includes handling both the noticeable and intangible characteristics of a brand. When it comes to product brands, this includes the product itself, packaging, pricing, availability, etc. With service brands, tangibles include customers’ experience. The intangibles include emotional connections and expectations with products and services. Branding also involves assembling a blend of the right marketing campaigns to create and reinforce your identity. If done right, you can even create a brand that is able to break through the noise and create brand loyalty.
Your brand should:
- Make your product or service distinctive from the competition
- Identify what customers can only get from your brand (Don’t camouflage your strengths!)
- Trigger instant recognition with customers and prospects
- Position yourself as an expert
- Be present when and where it matters (Queue your integrated marketing campaigns)
- Remind people of the reputation for which you are known. Show up locally to reinforce this
- Place your company top-of-mind with your audience
- See better return on investment, more brand awareness
- Capitalize on mind share to help drive sales
Why Brand Management Matters
Customers will recognize your company, your product, your service and your status through your brand. You can build an incredible brand through messages, images and ads but whether you realize it or not, your company is creating this reputation with everything that you and your local affiliates do. So you need to make sure you are consistently living up to your brand promise each and every day.
The most important part of brand management is ongoing maintenance and control. Proper brand management involves making sure that each promotional piece, touch point and every usage of your name, logo and message supports your organization and goals by reinforcing your brand in the way you intended. This allows you continue to strengthen the association your brand imprints on your customers. Even the best brands can fall apart if not managed properly.
Many large corporations hire a full-time brand manager to ensure the brand is held in high regard, and not diminished or misused. Even with a brand manager, developing high quality promotional pieces that consistently strengthen your brand and controlling its use can be a challenge for anyone.
Managing your Brand Throughout Your Channel
Brand management becomes even more challenging once you additional parties. If you’re a brand that sells your products or services through resellers, VARs, agents, distributors or other local affiliates, you know this better than anyone. Local affiliates are notorious for using out of date information, old logos and off-brand messaging if they aren’t provided the content they need. And brands generally don’t have the visibility or control at the local level to police their brand. So what is a brand to do?
Revenew helps brands manage the chaos of local marketing by enabling them to distribute the content, tools, data and funds needed to activate and empower channel partners to market effectively – all with complete control and visibility to activities and results.