What Is Brand Management?
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 and builds loyal customers through positive brand associations and images or a strong awareness of the brand.
Developing a strategic plan to maintain brand equity or gain brand value requires a comprehensive understanding of the brand, its target market, and the company’s overall vision.
- 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 helps a company build a loyal customer base and helps fuel a company’s profits.
- A brand manager ensures the innovation of a product or brand, creating brand awareness via the use of price, packaging, logo, associated colors, and lettering format.
- Brand equity refers to the value a company gains from its name recognition, enabling it to be the popular choice among consumers even when compared to a generic brand with a lower price point.
How Brand Management Works
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 manages brand equity, drives initiatives that support a consistent brand message, identifies and accommodates new brand products, and effectively positions the brand in the market.
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.
Examples of Brand Management
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,” which first aired in 1971 as a TV commercial that featured people of different races and cultures, is still popular and familiar to generations of Coca-Cola consumers.
A brand does not have 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 name, such as Ariel laundry detergent, Charmin tissue, Bounty paper towels, Dawn dishwashing liquid, and Crest toothpaste.
Requirements of a Brand Manager
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. Brand equity is an internally generated intangible asset in which its value is ultimately decided by consumers’ perception of the brand. 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.
A cult brand is an example of a “benign cult” where the customer base for a product or service is extremely loyal, leading to the brand’s success as a growing legion of customers feel a unique emotional connection with 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.
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 and gain more brand affinity, compared to one that is content with the current good name of the company’s brand.
What is brand management?
Brand management is a broad term used to describe marketing strategies to maintain, improve and bring awareness to the wider value and reputation of a brand and its products over time.
A strong brand management strategy helps to build and nurture closer relationships with its audience. By building a loyal customer base, a brand’s reputation and associated products will be perceived more positively, subsequently driving higher revenue and better brand equity.
Inevitably, today’s most iconic and recognizable brands are experts in brand management strategy, recognizing what marketing tactics need to be employed in order to increase the value of the brand and maintain a good relationship with its customers.
What are some effective brand management techniques?
Before the always-on, hyper-connected world of digital, branding was a little easier to control and measure. Yet, with a growing number of digital channels and technologies to stamp your brand presence on and reach today’s content-hungry consumers, it’s critical that your brand identity is unique, relevant to the times, and brand-consistent across all the various customer touchpoints—both online and offline.
Here are some key points to consider when thinking about an effective brand management strategy at your own organization:
Understand the branding basics: There are several strategic brand elements that must be documented, centralized, and communicated to all stakeholders involved in brand management. This typically includes:
- Mission statement
- Visual elements (“look & feel”, logo)
- Tone of voice and “personality”
- Target audience
Digital brand guidelines are also an effective way to ensure everyone knows how to use brand assets, and communicate your brand consistently.
Create a compelling brand story: Humans are hard-wired to respond to stories. Everyone understands a true narrative with a beginning, middle, and end, so creating an authentic brand story will help foster an emotional connection with your audience and ensure your brand is relatable, driving more positive associations with your brand.
Recognize the personal connection: Branding relies on all sorts of intangible elements—some you can control, some you can’t. When a typical customer determines what a brand means to them, it’s made up of memories, interactions, and a whole lot more that’s happening at a subconscious level.
You may control how the product looks, but they decide what that actually means. Understanding and tapping into the importance of a personal connection can make all the difference in beating off the competition and driving customer loyalty.
Take advantage of brand management software: Technology has transformed how marketers and brand managers develop, manage, and promote a brand. Brand management software is a tech solution for organizations to centralize their brand management activities, content, and messaging.
By consolidating these activities in one central location, brands are better able to create, store, organize, and collaborate on branded assets with both internal and external parties. This ensures a better overview of their brand presence across various digital touchpoints, while also delivering an up-to-date, consistent brand identity to all consumers.
Brand Management Meaning, Importance, Types, Process & Example
What is Brand Management?
Brand management is a concept which deals with strategizing and evaluating brands in terms of brand positioning, target customers, brand perception and brand image. For brand management, the company should maintain a good image among the customers. The main objective of brand management is to ensure that the product and service highlight the quality of the brand.
Importance of Brand Management
Brand management is a concept adopted by companies & marketers to create an emotional connect between customers and their product. Through brand management, an image of the product or brand is created in the mind of the consumer. This becomes the foundation of not only acquiring new customers but also increasing brand loyalty amongst existing users. Also, brand management is important for any business as it helps companies evaluate the performance of the brand and helps them improve and adapt with changing times.
Inability to change with customer preferences and needs can lead to the demise of the brand. A good overall brand management can help increase business and have strong advocates for the brand. Brand management is an important marketing strategy which helps companies establish their brand & products.
Types of Brand Management
Brand management as a concept deals with 2 types – Direct (or Tangible) and Indirect (Intangible). The brand image component of brand management can be maintained by tangible as well as intangible aspects of the product.
Direct brand management includes the brand aspects of core product, pricing, packaging, SKU, product offering and other tangible aspects of the overall product. The indirect brand management includes more intangible aspects like USP, Positioning, benefits, value, perception etc. Brand manager is responsible for all these.
Brand Management Process
Brand management process includes the following steps:
1.Identify Brand Positioning and Value
The first step in the brand management process is to understand the product and service offering in terms of positioning and brand value it offers to the customers. This is the foundation for companies as how they want the customers to perceive their product or service is a part of brand development.
2. Brand Marketing Planning
Brand building is the next step in brand management for a product/service. This process includes creation of the brand by creating components like pricing, packaging, customer service etc.
Also, brand awareness techniques like marketing, branding & advertising also come under this step. Companies use integrated marketing communications (IMC) to promote its products & services.
3. Measuring Brand Performance
It is not simply important to create brand but to also measure its performance vis-à-vis competitors & other market dynamics. This step in brand management identifies parameters like brand recall, brand preference, brand recognition etc.
4. Growth & Sustainability
The final step in the brand management process post evaluation is to improve the brand performance to ensure growth and sustainability. Brand equity is the measure of the quality offered by a product and service.
Advantages of Brand Management
There are several benefits of brand management, some of which are highlighted below:
1. Brand management helps create an emotional connect between customers and products.
2. Effective brand management helps the business grow as consumers become loyal and advocate for the products & services. Customer loyalty further helps boost business.
3. Taking critical and important feedback helps companies improve based on consumer insights.
4. Brand managements helps companies adapt their strategies with changing times based on the needs and requirements of the customers.
5. Tools like brand development index (BDI), help a brand grow and fight competition.
Brand Management Examples
Some of the leading companies in the world have successfully used brand management to make their brand top in the mind of the consumer. Consider the leading global brands like Nike, Mercedes, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Microsoft etc. All these companies are the best examples of how companies do business using brand management as an integral part of their processes. All these companies produce high quality products & services, and have a strong brand image (core product, brand image).
Once the products are ready, these companies use various media channels like TV commercials, social media, online advertising, print ads etc. to create brand awareness among customers. The big companies ensure high quality post-purchase customer service and are receptive to critical feedback which helps in improving their brand. Thus, all companies using end-to end brand management processes for effective business are the best examples.