What is a brand? Why branding is important for most businesses? It sets your business apart from the competition. To put it simply – loyal and happy customers make your brand shine in positive light. Brand management is based on consumer awareness, engagement, retention and loyalty. It becomes your leverage when developing your unique message between your company and consumer. In digital landscape, it is becoming more challenging to stand out from the competition so brand management strategy is highly needed to succeed and produce differentiation for your product or service. In fact, the company’s reputation influences a consumer’s buying decision and is a tiebreaker for equal products. Hence, brand management strategy will increase your bottom line and help you with choosing the right method to maximize your communications across online and offline marketing.
What is Brand Management and What is Expected?
There are four general steps involved in Brand Management:
The number one step in brand management is strategic planning. The company needs to achieve the right brand positioning. This involves researching the positioning of other brands in the industry and narrow down the differentiating factors. Then figure out what is perceived as unique in the mind or eyes of the customers. Once this brand positioning is achieved, it becomes easier to focus on the overall performance of the brand.
Once you have developed the brand positioning, the next step is to implement the marketing plan. This is known as brand marketing. This marketing plan involves either outbound or inbound (or both) marketing strategies to reach the end customer which would increase the value of the brand. There is a plenty room for creativity and research in order to implement the activities so this is a part of strategic planning.
The next step in Brand Management is brand performance is the key to see some results based on positioning and marketing activities. It’s important to monitor and analyze the performance to see if it had made the difference especially in the industry and for the company. Being on the top is the goal when it comes to positioning but to be close as possible to the top it is essential to do audits often so the steps can be ensured that it will be.
Igniting a brand may happen quickly for some companies but it also may take decades for its value to grow exponentially. Therefore, brand management is best designed for planning ahead for decades rather than mere months. This is why the work of a brand manager to continuously monitor and develop different activities to keep growing the brand’s value over time. It might mean developing new products and/or entering new markets locally or globally. As long as the brand positioning and marketing have been established in place, always keep refining the positioning further even after the brand reaches the top and its value would reap the benefits as demonstrated in its performance in long run. Even marketing activities also need to evolve with the brand positioning to continue its growth especially when the market demand changes or the type of customer changes too.
Brand Marketing Strategies
There are many marketing methods that can deliver your brand message effectively in a noisy digital landscape, including:
- Public relations and publicity
- Trade shows
- Online (your website, blog, social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more and advertising)
- Broadcast media (television, radio)
- Print media (newspapers, magazines, specialty publications)
- Print displays and direct mail (brochures, fliers, billboards, outdoor advertising)
- Professional assistance (consultants, designers, and agencies)
Because we are mostly dealing with the digital space, social media is one of the most popular marketing communications tool to deliver your brand, products or services, therefore, branding is invaluable by building effective relationships with customers so you can engage with them by developing a conversation with them. But just having a Facebook page or Twitter account isn’t enough. Participation is required from most members on the company team that include posting regular posts and replying to direct messages from customers.
In summary investing in your brand management will increase your overall value exponentially but not overnight. I’m prepared to strategize, develop, monitor and constantly push or pull your marketing message in digital space so people will think of you and improve the perception of your company or business as your value grows over time.