Being a brand manager, in any capacity, can be a demanding job at the best of times. Whether the brand is emerging, established or fighting for its place on the world stage, there are many areas of brand management you must consider to ensure it’s effectively monitored, maintained and driven in the right direction.
What is brand management in marketing?
When you’re in charge of strategic brand management, there are a number of things you need to do to make a real impact on a local and global scale. Implementing brand management best practices can help you retain a unified image, maintain and build brand equity, and shape the way you want your audience to see your brand’s image, products, values and purpose.
Brand reputation management
Establishing how your brand is perceived in various markets is critical to knowing what you’re working towards. Is your brand perceived differently in particular territories? By different audiences? Is there a reason for this, or multiple? Perhaps there’s some evaluation and alignment work to be done to make sure the brand is more widely perceived in a positive way.
The information you collect could be pivotal in shaping your brand strategy moving forward, which is why – if you haven’t already – you must spend time researching and understanding how your customers feel. If there are negative opinions, this could directly impact sales. People may be more inclined to use a competitor if they’ve seen or heard bad things about your brand, or conversely the competitor has a more appealing USP.
There are a number of ways your brand management team can find out what customers are saying, including those listed below:
- Reviews – Verified reviews give you an opportunity to open dialogue with customers that are either happy or dissatisfied with your brand. See if you can spot any recurring themes and identify which trends need to be addressed immediately.
- Google Alerts – In the absence of a fancy listening tool, Google Alerts is a free service that notifies you when your brand is mentioned in an article or in prominent places online. This is particularly useful if you’ve recently launched a new PR campaign or an improved product/service.
- Social media comments – If you have a dedicated social media team, monitoring active social channels on a regular basis can give you an up-to-the-minute view on how a cross-section of people is relating to your content. Shares, comments and likes are all positive indicators of an engaged audience. But if you find that your comments are negative or you’re losing followers, it’s time to do some damage limitation.
- Surveys – Speaking directly to your customers and asking them outright what they think of your brand can be a great way to encourage feedback. Often these surveys will need to be incentivised in order to get enough response – particularly if they don’t feel strongly about your brand either way.
- Post-communication follow-up – Think about the touchpoints your customers have with your brand; on the phone, via email, customer support messenger platforms. All of these places have the power to positively and negatively impact your brand’s image. Sending automated follow-ups where possible allows you to gauge the quality of the staff representing your brand on a day-to-day basis.
Effective brand management builds awareness
A wider strand of your strategic brand management will no doubt include building brand awareness. This may be to help it stand out from competition, establish it in a new market, or to maintain its already strong position.
Here are three top-line ways brand management can help you build awareness:
- The more prevalent your brand is in the minds of consumers, the more familiar they will be with your product or service. A great example of the power of brand awareness is the classic Heinz ‘Invisible Bottle’ TV advert which doesn’t feature the brand or even the product until the very last couple of seconds, when it confidently proclaims ‘It has to be Heinz’.
- A brand awareness campaign seeks to put out a message to improve the perception of a brand, whether that’s an enriched offering or product, or a new-found way to separate themselves from their competitors.
- Thought-provoking campaigns are more widely spoken about on social media. People tend to share their views on a brand on their channels, and customers are more willing to share a brand’s content if it shares some cultural, topical or humorous value. Social media has become an essential influence in building brand awareness.
What are the principles of brand management?
Effective brand management can look very different for each company and brand depending on their individual goals. That said, an easy way to categorise the basic principles is as follows:
Awareness – having a strategy in place to make sure your potential customers know about you
Reputation – building a positive perception to make sure you are liked and well-respected
Equity – the reason and the value people see in buying from you above your competitors
Loyalty – becoming a staple part of their lives and a household name that is evangelised about
How does Brand Asset Management fit into brand management?
While Brand Asset Management is an incredibly important part of brand management, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. It’s essentially a way of organising, managing and sharing all the assets related to your brand, be it logos, campaign assets, colour palettes or imagery. Managing brand assets can become messy and complicated if there’s not a central place to store and share them.
Ensuring your teams have access to the most up-to-date and approved assets correct for their sub-brand or location, and monitoring that they aren’t misused in any way is a monumental task. Without a birds-eye view, it can be a nightmare to govern. There are solutions out there that offer a central brand portal to do this, but there are many other moving parts to consider before rushing into a purchase.
Is brand management software essential for brand management?
While nothing is essential, investing in a piece of software that will make brand management more effective and save you time and money could turn out to be priceless. Digital Asset Management can be achieved using a comprehensive DAM, and there are plenty on the market to choose from. While they solve the problem of storing and sharing, they don’t provide complete consistency or control of how those assets are being used in different markets.
Papirfly utilises BAM by Papirfly™, Brand Activation Management to bring all the best bits of traditional brand management software to a more sophisticated platform. Not only is it brand management, it’s brand activation.
Users can access smart templates where they can use predefined content, imagery, colours and layouts which are bespoke to your brand. These templates can be turned into a range of digital and print marketing materials at any time, in any language. Brands work with the onboarding teams to establish parameters so that nobody can deviate from the guidelines.
An all-encompassing piece of software that allows brand managers and their teams to create, educate, manage, store & share all aspects of a brand can play a hugely beneficial role in international brand management.
With the danger of teams working in silos, a solution such as BAM acts as a single source of truth for teams across the world. No need for agency involvement or expertise, significantly reduced turnaround times and guaranteed brand consistency – every time.