Brand Management | A Step-By-Step Guide For Novice Managers

Realistically, Brand Management is a critical function of marketing that you can’t ignore. It impacts customers’ perceived value of a product, brand reputation, and pricing models. We live in a world where products are rapidly commoditized, and services are cheaply outsourced. Moreover, anyone can publish negative articles, reviews, or social media content about your company.

These practices threaten to dilute brand value, shift your preferred narrative, and siphon revenue. And the most effective way to combat those attacks is to take control of your story. First, differentiate your company by managing your brand’s image and reputation. When you communicate the value of your product or service to potential buyers, you create brand advocates.

In addition, an effective brand management strategy helps build new partnerships and foster long-lasting relationships. It’s worth noting that modern brand management was first developed at Procter & Gamble in the post-World War II years. Many of the same techniques used by P&G are still in place today. The idea is that a dedicated team of marketers focuses on a particular brand.

The central idea of brand management, as it was first conceived, is that one brand manager drives all the key activities that support that brand. If an organization has a good reputation in the marketplace, consumers may have a preference for that company. Even if there are similar businesses offering the same products or services at different prices, loyal customers will follow you.

Understanding What A Brand Management Process Entails

Brand Management is the influence of brand perception within the target market of any given company business. An effective brand management strategy aims to measure and control its credibility, perceived customer value, satisfaction, loyalty, and brand awareness. In other words, brand management is an umbrella term that describes various business productivity tools.

The vital brand management facets include design, placement, marketing, advertising, and distribution while fostering ways of identifying and developing a brand personality. It’s a marketing function that uses strategies and techniques to analyze and plan how the brand is perceived in the market. More often, its main aim is to increase the overall perceived value of the brand in the long run.

While building a loyal customer base through positive brand associations. A usual day in the office life of a brand manager would be to plan and execute strategies to resonate with the brand with the needs. As well as the wants and desires of his target customers. His usual job is to make them think of the brand as something to look up to when they go shopping next. But it doesn’t end here!

Why is Brand Management important?

Simply, because the main aim of brand management is to build, measure, and control brand equity. Making a brand to have its own value which, when associated with the product, increases its overall value both monetarily and non-monetarily.

In this era of extensive competition where different companies sell almost similar products, a brand is what makes a difference. It helps in positioning the offering in a unique way that provides the company with marketplace advantage and boosts the value of a product.

Therefore, creating a brand out of the product not only personifies it, but it also creates an experience which stays in the mind of the customers. They recall the experience whenever provided with certain triggers related to the product niche or product usage.

And creating such an experience around the product not only helps in increasing its sales but also helps in extending the product line in the future.

What are the Intangibles of Brand Management?

Basically, the tangible elements of brand management include the product and its price, packaging, shape, color, etc. While the intangible elements that play a major part in selling it. To build a long term experience you should consider your brand:–

  • Equity: It’s the value of the brand as a separate asset.
  • Image: It is an aggregate of beliefs, ideas, and impressions that a customer holds on the brand.
  • Positioning: Positioning is the unique space a brand occupies in the brains of the customers.
  • Association: The images and symbols associated with a brand or a brand benefit.
  • Seller Elements: Like your brand personality, communication elements, etc.

So to speak, any brand management begins with a thorough knowledge and understanding of the term “brand.” Including, developing a promise, making that promise, and keeping or maintaining it. It means defining the brand, positioning the brand, and delivering the brand.

Brand management is nothing but an act of creating and sustaining the brand. Branding makes customers committed to your business.

Which are the Types of Brands?

It’s important to realize, Branding is a complex topic. Everybody uses the term “brand” but few will be able to clearly define it. For example, I’ve had clients, who confuse branding with a Website URL. While websites and digital presence is a significant aspect, it is a part of your overall brand.

However, it’s necessary to have a clear understanding of these terms in order to have a clear expectation of branding for your businesses. By defining the steps to reach an aspirational state. This is why I’m listing out the most widely used branding elements and explaining them with simple examples below:

a. Tangible Products

A tangible product is the most common thing associated with a brand. If more than one product is included in a brand, then a unifying attribute should be present. For example, Classic Coke is a brand, but the various Coca-Cola beverages also constitute a brand.

b. Service Solutions and Support

Some service solutions and support, rather than products, can be a brand in which activities are conducted. Such as the delivery of solutions to meet consumer needs for the labor of some type.

For example, a local IT consultancy that makes house calls and promises to get your desktop up and running in two hours is a brand. A service brand can be impacted negatively or positively by;

  • who provides the service,
  • how the service is conducted,
  • where the service is provided,
  • and how individualized customers perceive the services provided to them.

Each of these variables can add to service differentiation in the minds of consumers.

c. Individual Brands

People can have their own brands based on personality, charisma, position, fame, and influence. This is where the term brand ambassador comes from. For example, the Emily Post Institute has brand ambassadors that visit businesses to share their perspective on business etiquette.

As media has burgeoned, the idea that a person can be a brand has emerged. In the common vernacular, the brand is substituted for the image, but they are not synonymous. A person’s image is not necessarily marketable in the true sense of the word.

A politician is a good example of an individual brand in that the brand must project attractively to the politician’s constituents, and negative spin must be curtailed.

d. Institutions, Enterprises, SMEs, Corporates or Organizations

Enterprises or organizations that deliver services or provide products are brands. The qualities that people associate with a company constitute the building blocks of a brand.

Brand perceptions are dependent upon consumer experience, which is vulnerable to the intentions that are revealed, whether purposefully or not, by the employees at all levels of the organization. One example is Virgin Airlines and its CEO Richard Branson.

The airline positioned itself as being low-cost but offering stellar customer service, and it has delivered on both fronts. And, CEO Branson is so famous, he is recognized as having its own distinctive individual brand. Additionally, Jeff Bezos’s social influence has a bigger reputation awareness towards his Amazon Company.

e. Events or Cause Activities

Event brands are associated with a customer experience that is derived largely from attending an event or from a strong connection to the purpose of an event. Whether large or small, event brands are inevitably tied to the fun or social cause that is the basis for the event.

The Olympic Games is one of the most prominent event brands and is the epitome of brand loyalty with each nation cheering on its homeland athletes. In addition, there are other periodical events or seasons affiliated to a long time awareness. Including the Christmas Festive Season or even Halloween.

What is Branding?

Branding, by definition, is a form of marketing practice in which a company creates a name, symbol, or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company.

This helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services. In addition, Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company.

It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice. Your brand is built to be a true representation of who you are as a business, and how you wish to be perceived.

The aim of branding is to vividly convey a message, raise customer loyalty, and persuade an individual to buy the product, thereby establishing an emotional connection with customers.

Important concepts of brand management include:
  • The Name of the Brand and its Definition
  • Attributes of the Brand and its Positioning
  • The Identity of the Brand and its Sources
  • Brand Identity vs the Image of the Brand
  • The Personality of the Brand and its Awareness
  • Brand Loyalty and the Overall Brand Association
  • Building a Brand with its Visual Composition
  • Equity of the Brand & that of its Customers
  • Extension of the Brand and other Co-branding, etc.

Seeing a gecko reminds one of Geico Insurance which uses the reptile in most of its advertising campaigns. Similarly, the Coca-Cola jingle “It’s the Real Thing,” was first aired in 1971 as a TV commercial that featured people of different races and cultures. To date, it’s still branded on the vocal cords of Coca-Cola consumers.

A brand does not only need to be tied to one product. One brand could cover different products or services. Ford, for example, has multiple auto models under the Ford brand. Likewise, a brand name can take on multiple brands under its umbrella.

For example, Procter & Gamble has multiple brands under its brand names, such as Ariel laundry detergent, Charmin tissue, Bounty paper towels, Dawn dishwashing liquid, and Crest toothpaste.

How does Brand Management Work?

Brands have a powerful influence on customer engagement, competition in the markets, and the management of a company. A strong brand presence in the market differentiates a company’s products from its competitors and creates brand affinity for a company’s products or services.

A brand that has been established has to continually maintain its brand image through brand management. Effective brand management increases brand awareness, measures and manage brand equity, drives initiatives that support a consistent brand message, identifies and accommodates new brand products, effectively positions the brand in the market, etc.

It takes years to establish a brand, but when it finally occurs, it has to still be maintained through innovation and creativity. Notable brands that have established themselves as leaders in their respective industries over the years include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Microsoft, IBM, Procter & Gamble, CNN, Disney, Nike, Ford, Lego, and Starbucks.

What are the Benefits of Brand Management?

As can be seen, Brand Management is a function of marketing that uses techniques to increase the perceived value of a product line or brand over time. Effective brand management enables the price of products to go up.

While at the same time, building loyal customers. Through which positive brand associations, images, or a strong awareness of the brand are felt. But, developing a strategic plan to maintain brand equity or gain brand value requires a comprehensive understanding of the brand. As well as its target market, and the company’s overall vision.

There are many areas that are used to develop a brand. Including advertising, customer service, promotional merchandise, reputation, and logo. All of these elements work together to create one unique and (hopefully) attention-grabbing professional profile.

So, branding is absolutely critical to a business because of the overall impact it makes on your company. In fact, branding can change how people percept your brand, it can drive new business and increase brand awareness. Branding key aspects and benefits that help lift your business or products include;

1. Good brand management helps you get recognition

The most important reason branding is important to a business is that it is how a company gets recognition. And becomes known to consumers. The logo is the most important element of branding. Especially where this factor is concerned, as it is essentially the face of the company.

This is why professional logo design should be powerful and easily memorable, making an impression on a person at first glance. Printed promotional products are a way of getting this across. In the brand management process, branding is important when trying to generate the future of the business.

For example, a strongly established brand can increase a business’s value by giving the company more leverage in the industry. This makes it a more appealing investment opportunity because of its firmly established place in the marketplace.

2. It creates a new lead generation from targeted customers

A good brand will have no trouble drumming up the referral business. Strong branding generally means there is a positive impression of the company amongst consumers. And they are likely to do business with you. Because of the familiarity and assumed dependability of using a name they can trust.

Once a brand has been well-established, word of mouth will be the company’s best and most effective advertising technique. A professional appearance and well-strategized branding will help the company build trust with consumers, potential clients, and customers.

People are more likely to do business with a company that has a polished and professional portrayal. Being properly branded gives the impression of being industry experts. And makes the public feel as though they can trust your company, the products, and services it offers. And the way it handles its business.

3. Brand awareness improves employees pride and satisfaction

Advertising is another component of branding, and advertising strategies will directly reflect the brand and its desired portrayal. To enumerate, advertising networks or ad networks is a company that connects advertisers to websites that want to host advertisements.

The key function of an ad network is an aggregation of ad supply from publishers and matching it with the advertiser’s demand. Advertising techniques such as the use of promotional products from trusted companies such as Outstanding Branding make it easy to create a cohesive and appealing advertising strategy that plays well into your branding goals.

When an employee works for a strongly branded company and truly stands behind the brand, they will be more satisfied with their job. And have a higher degree of pride in the work that they do. Working for a brand that is reputable and help in high regard amongst the public makes working for that company more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Having a branded office, which can often help employees feel more satisfied and have a sense of belonging to the company, can be achieved by using promotional merchandise for your desktop.

4. It offers both tangible and intangible characteristics

In the case of product brands, the tangibles include the product itself, price, packaging, etc. While in the case of service brands, the tangibles include the customers’ experience. The intangibles include emotional connections with the product/service.

Strong brands reduce customers’ perceived monetary, social, and safety risks in buying goods/services. The customers can better imagine the intangible goods with the help of a brand name.

Strong brand organizations have a high market share. The brand should be given good support so that it can sustain itself in the long run. It is essential to manage all brands and build brand equity over a period of time. Here come the importance and usefulness of brand management.

Brand management helps in building a corporate image. A brand manager has to oversee overall brand performance. A successful brand can only be created if the brand management system is competent.

5. It overall increases a business reputation presence awareness

The reputation of an organization can enable a company to differentiate its product in highly competitive markets. Particularly, allowing it to have premium pricing, and can become the ultimate factor. Whether a customer decides to patronize one business over another.

Research shows; for example, that due to an increased demand for healthier foods, organic products, and more environmentally friendly food, companies have begun to distinguish their products through food labeling.

Additionally, such companies are noticing that consumers are willing to pay premium prices. Especially, for labels that are considered to have more of a prestigious reputation than others. Maintaining the reputation of a company through social media takes time. In particular, requires educating stakeholders within the organization.

Which are Brand Management Best Practices?

In the past, businesses relied on a word of mouth. Especially by their stakeholders in order to establish, build, and maintain their reputations. But, in this modern age of social networking, websites, and other methods of instant communication, businesses must be conscientious of their reputations on a constant basis.

They must be responsive to any crisis that may have an impact on their reputation. While an intangible concept, having a good reputation can benefit a business in a multitude of ways. Including consumer preference, support for an organization in times of crisis or controversy, and the future value of an organization in the marketplace.

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The aim of branding is to convey brand messages vividly, create customer loyalty, persuade the buyer of the product, and establish an emotional connectivity with the customers. Branding forms customer perceptions about the product. It should raise customer expectations about the product.

The primary aim of branding is to create differentiation. In this extremely competitive digital age, brand management, and awareness creation are more important than ever. You must make your brand highly visible to increase credibility and, consequently, customer conversion rates.

But how do some brands become huge seemingly overnight? It’s easy to assume that wide exposure. As a brand always stems from having a lot of money but that’s not always the case. While funding can certainly be an asset to online marketing, the only things that you really need to build brand awareness are basic online marketing tactics and a little creativity.

1. Develop a good company, business or brand identity

What does your business stand for? Do you have a core mission statement? Without a clear focus, it’s all but impossible to establish consistency for your branding. A logo shouldn’t simply be graphic—it should also communicate something that people associate with your business.

It’s more important that you stay true to your mission statement. Of course, then it is to have exactly the same logos, fonts, and colors in all of your marketing strategies. A clear focus with a consistent persona will still help people to recognize your brand instantly even in variation.

2. Be active on all major social media platforms

Social media is one of the most effective and most affordable ways to promote your business and increase awareness of your brand. While you may pay for social media advertising at some point in the future, it costs nothing to create a social media account and start using it.

Figure out where your target audience is spending time online and concentrate on these channels. You’re better off just focusing on the channels that reach a majority of your audience at first than putting a lot of effort into trying a bunch of sites.

Including the ones that aren’t as relevant to your customer demographic. Create meaningful, engaging content that is appropriate for each channel. And also, develop an optimal posting schedule to reach as many followers each day as you can.

3. You can start a business, brand or products blog

Similar to social media, you don’t need a ton of money to get a blog up and running. Business Blogging is an invaluable way to improve your company’s search engine rank. Establishing validity for your brand, and increase your overall reach.

The high-quality blog content that you create today will continue to draw in new customers for years to come. Blogging is also a great way to cultivate relationships with both customers and key influencers. Use calls to action to encourage sharing or discussion in the comments.

4. Make sure you create a professional email newsletter

Although it may seem like a dated concept, there’s still nothing quite like delivering powerful brand content right to someone’s inbox. Equipped with a digital coupon, people are more likely to take advantage of that great sale today than they are to put off the purchase for a few more weeks—or even months.

A helpful related strategy to consider is offering an incentive for customers to sign up for your newsletters. Such as including a free e-book or a coupon for online purchases through your site landing page.

5. Utilize on the topmost best video marketing channels

In an increasingly visual society, the video has become one of the most powerful marketing tools for businesses of all sizes from all industries. It’s therefore, important to consider and employ some video marketing techniques in your workplan in order to see more results.

In January 2014, 61 percent of the United States population watched an average of 397 online videos. One of the key aspects of success with video marketing in 2015 is determining which types of content will resonate most strongly with mobile viewers, who comprise a growing percentage of people viewing online.

Lastly, the key to building brand awareness is being authentic. Many companies get in trouble by trying to be like other powerful brands. Be open and honest about the value of your brand and communicate it clearly to your target audience.

Why is a Brand Manager important?

Whenever it comes to brand management, a brand manager is tasked with managing the tangible and intangible properties of a brand. The tangible aspects of a company’s brand include the product(s), price, packaging, logo, associated colors, and lettering format.

A brand manager’s role is to analyze how a brand is perceived in the market. By taking the intangible elements of a brand into account. Intangible factors include the experience that the consumers have had with the brand. And their emotional connection with the product or service.

The intangible characteristics of a brand build brand equity. Brand equity is the price above the product’s value that consumers are willing to pay to acquire the brand.

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If consumers are willing to pay more for a brand than a generic brand that performs the same functions, the brand equity will increase in value. On the other hand, the value of brand equity falls when consumers would rather purchase a similar product that costs less than the brand.

Brand management involves not only creating a brand but also understanding what products could fit under the brand of a company. A brand manager always has to keep its target market in mind when conceiving new products to take on the company’s brand or working with analysts to decide what companies to merge with or acquire.

In other words, the difference between brand management success and failure comes down to ongoing innovation. A brand manager that continuously seeks innovative ways to maintain the quality of a brand will retain its loyal consumers.

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Brands can have a powerful influence on customer engagement and the management of an enterprise. The pivotal point of brand management is trust. Consumers generally believe they can trust a brand to meet most of the elements of the brand promise.

For instance, the jmexclusives team promises that you’re in good hands while undertaking all your online activities. Yet, if the team did not deliver at the agreed time, that brand promise would be broken. Once a brand is established and consumers generally express brand affinity.

The brand manufacturer often can accelerate the trust stage with new-to-the-brand consumers. If you’re looking to build up your brand, consult with the jmexclusives digital online and social media marketing support team.

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Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and have understood some of the main benefits of brand management. Also, please don’t forget to also have a look at the benefits of online digital marketing & even the marketing leads to use for campaigns.

But, if you’ll have additional contributions, suggestions, or even questions, please feel free to Contact Us. By the same token, you can share your thoughts and insights in the comments section below this blog. To support our research projects, you can donate your generous contributions here.

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