Your brand represents you and your business. It is what your customers think of your business. Your brand encompasses your business core values and the interactions you’ve made with all the different people through it. It is an overall impression that sticks with your customers. As a business owner, you’d want this to remain squeaky clean and to stay relevant to your target market. This article is meant to help you understand brand management, why brand management must be done right, and give you some brand management strategies to help you maintain and elevate your brand.
What is Brand Management?
Brand management refers to the work you have to do to maintain and build up your brand. It involves all your content, your products, and all elements (logo, colors, brand name, slogan, etc.) connected to your business and your brand and how you manage all of them. The brand management process is continuous. It has to be diligently done because your brand is the value that your customers perceive, and thus, maintaining them has to be one of your priorities.
There are some relevant principles that you must know if you want to monitor and evaluate whether your brand management process is successful or not. You have to keep in mind these principles whenever you set and implement any brand management strategies. There are three core principles:
• Brand Equity
Simply put, brand equity is the value of your brand in the eyes and minds of your customers. Brand equity is gauged by how aware your customers are of your business and your product. You have to understand that your brand management strategies should consider how the public receives your brand. You’d want to know whether the desired image of your brand is the same as that of your customers’ perception. If your brand equity increases, it means that more customers are recognizing your brand and are thus more inclined to buy your products. You’d know if your brand management efforts paid off when you listen and collect data from your customers. They can tell you if you are in a good position in the market and if they have developed a sense of trust in your brand.
• Brand Loyalty
Loyalty goes beyond what customers “think”. Brand loyalty involves how a customer “feels” about your brand. Your strategic brand management initiatives should lead to earning your customers’ loyalty. Once brand loyalty is earned and established, customer loyalty can increase sales because customers buy your products. After all, they have immense and irreplaceable trust in your brand. Achieving brand loyalty can also mean that your customers are promoting your brand for you. Because they trusted in your brand, they tell their other friends-slash-your potential customers, which can ultimately be good for your business. It has also been observed that the most successful brand management strategies worldwide have accomplished brand loyalty that has pushed people to buy their products, without consideration to their quality, solely because of their brand.
• Brand Recognition
Brand recognition refers to how easily your customers can identify with your brand - even without the name of your business is displayed. Successful brand management strategies have paved the way for more designs for advertisements because they just have to show particular visual elements (logos, typography, color scheme, etc.), and they are immediately identifiable. Do you know how you can quickly tell what the brand of the shoes is if it has a particular check? Or how do you know that a specific combination of white, red, black colors is a fizzy soda drink? Or how do you see a fruit that’s bitten on one side as a leading product in technology? The fact that you can identify these brands without even seeing them means that their companies did everything they can so their customers can easily recognize their brand.
Why Is Brand Management Vital?
As discussed above, your brand represents you. Brand equity, brand loyalty, and brand recognition are three principles that ultimately sum up factors that your customers consider necessary in their purchasing decisions. And if you want to be successful in each of these metrics and have your brand be known and loved, you have to have strategic brand management in place. Brand management, if done right, can increase brand awareness, produce lifelong customers, strengthen pricing privileges, and ultimately elevate sales of your products. It plays an essential role in your business because it essentially puts your brand and product on the map.
Strategic Brand Management Tips
• Set a Course for Success
All the most successful adventures start with a plan. You’d want to prepare yourself before taking that first step. Then comes the research about the place you want to go, canvass what it looks like, what to expect, and what it has to offer. Then you’d have to identify what you will need on your journey there and upon arrival. It is always best to prepare for anything and everything. Your preparation is elevated to the next level when you also want to reach your destination in record time. While brand management is not the same race to the top of the mountain, you must also be prepared. Don’t underestimate how important it is. Similar to any adventure, the first step to establishing strategic brand management efforts is to know your goal. It is always good to see where you’re headed. It is only then that you can easily identify what the steps you need to take are.
• Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
They say that the most important project you will work on is that you did with your friends. Having people to back you up is almost always a good thing. Brand management is done better if there is more than one mind that is coming up with ideas. When all the great minds work together, there is so much that can be achieved. Another person can fill in gaps in one person’s thoughts. Or something that can only be thought of in theory by another can be executed and implemented by the other one. Having a team that believes in your brand as much as you is extremely great for your brand and your business. If you have people working together with you, you increase your chances of influencing more people and having your brand known and recognized anywhere and everywhere.
• Consistency is Key
Like any relationship out there, the value of being consistent is high. In the same way that you’d want your loved ones to be constant and consistent in their ways of making you feel loved and appreciated, you want that your customers to feel, see, and hear about your brand constantly. Brand management efforts don’t stop. You have to continuously hatch ideas on how to improve your brand recognition, brand equity, and brand recognition. There is a premise that if you do not steadily make an effort, you decrease your brand’s standing in these metrics. But it is vital not just to work hard but also to work smart. Your brand management strategies don’t just need to keep on flowing; it needs to be flowing in the right direction. To successfully establish your brand image in the market, your efforts in promoting it has to be consistent with the actual core values of your business are. You have to send a solid message to the public about your brand to form a strong identification and connection with your brand and products.
• Think Outside the Box
Working smart is not just about consistency, it can also be about innovation. One of the best brand management strategies you can put some thought into is brand extension opportunities. This means that you use your brand (your name, slogan, popularity) to think of innovative ideas and make them a reality. Your brand grows with the more products you have in the market. New products launched always makes for good publicity. You can take your brand management efforts to the next level by coming up with ideas for new products, an entirely fresh collection design of your current products, or an original lineup of products in another market category. Regardless of what you think of, just make sure that you still stay true to your brand. Ensure that you don’t release something that can potentially change your brand and business narrative.
• Take Care of Your Assets
Your plants need water and sunlight to grow. You have to tend to them regularly because there might be something nasty gnawing away at them. You take care of them because you know that you can benefit from them when it grows to maturity. The same goes for your brand management assets. You have to make an effort not just to work out ideas and implement them, and you have to guide its flight once it jumps off from the branches of your minds. You have to maintain them because, like a flower that stopped getting attention, it might wilt away and ultimately hurt you in the long run. Your assets are your babies. They are your responsibility. The ultimate brand management strategies are rooted in the business’s capabilities to ensure that all their releases and resources are in good shape. And by assets, we mean your brand name, logos, brand colors, slogan, packaging, and other products you use for brand management. This also includes your social media accounts, your email responses, and your brand website.
Image taken from Strikingly Product
Strikingly is a website builder that allows you to incorporate different features that you can use for all your brand management strategies. It has over a hundred different templates that you can choose from to get started, and it is free! Some features that can prove beneficial to your strategic brand management endeavors are:
Brand management is not an easy task, but it is worthwhile. We hope that this article has helped you gain meaningful insights and knowledge about brand management, its importance and principles, and how you can do it well. You are capable of building up your brand and leveling up your business. With enough persistence, creativity, and the right tools, your brand can grow to be one of the biggest ones there is. Sign up with Strikingly now and make a brand website of your own!