While generally brand is defined in a very limited terms such as company name, brand name and brand image, the overall perception of a brand is created as a result of the total experience for the customer which includes many elements such as product and service quality, value for the money, after sale support, customer service, needs satisfaction, the company’s core competence, the company as a member of the community, etc.
Brand management starts by defining the overall goal – which is the desired brand perception and performance in the marketplace. From there, marketers develop strategies and tactics to achieve the desired state by performing brand gap analysis. This approach helps marketing professionals focus on what really matters for their brand management.
By developing and implementing effective brand strategies companies can improve its brand perceived value by the customers on an ongoing basis by continuous engagement through variety of media and developing long-term relationships. Successful brand management creates sustainable connection between the brand and the customers.
The benefits of brand management includes increased customer loyalty, lower price sensitivity and higher profitability for the company. People who appreciate certain brands are willing to pay extra money for the products, services and the overall experience they get from the company.
Business organizations who understand the importance of branding and brand management pay attention to these activities and invest money and resources to manage them successfully. Many organizations have appointed chief brand officers whose job is to manage the brand and continuously monitor the brand performance such as brand reputation, positioning and perception.
With the rapid development and growth of social media most organizations today recognize the importance of social media marketing and the need to engage and listen to their target market. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent platforms for engagement and brand building. Marketers today need to listen to their brand mentions and become more responsive. At the same time social media allows marketers to add value to their target audience through effective direct communication on a daily basis. Consistency and ongoing activities are critical for building and sustaining powerful brands.
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Building and maintaining successful brand is not an easy process and there is no shortcut to brand management. Quite contrary, it is a long-term process built on trust and includes many people, events, experiences and strong connection with the marketplace. However when branding is done the right way the benefits and outcomes far exceed the investments in building the brand. Successful brands are one of the most valuable assets for their organizations.
At a general level the process of brand management includes the following 3 major activities:
1. Defining and introducing the brand in the market by clearly defining and communicating the core brand values and position. This approach answers the question: What do we stand for?
2. Developing and implementing marketing tactics and strategies to continuously improve the brand positioning by using the most effective ways to communicate and engage the target market.
3. Monitoring the brand performance on a continuous basis by listening to the customers and other stakeholders and continuously reinventing ways to improve the brand equity.
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