Brand management, Brand strategy

How to manage a brand? You need brand management.

In marketing, brand management is an extensive field of expertise and a full-time job. Nonetheless, it’s not uncommon that marketers have to combine lead generation, communication, content creation, website administration and social media with building a strong, long-lasting brand. If you’re one of those who manages to do this with success, then hats off to you.

Luckily, many of the abovementioned tasks are digitalized and thus easier to carry out and manage. Let’s look at how you can also digitize and automate how you manage your brand through proper digital marketing tools

1. Centralize your brand

Your brand consists of multiple elements and rules. Your brand’s personality, it’s voice and appearance along with a ton of brand assets outline your brand.

For most companies, this is all collected and defined in a PDF, also known as brand identity guidelines. And one could argue that this is one way to centralize your brand, but is it though? How do your co-workers make use of your brand after reading the brand guidelines? Where do they find the actual brand assets? Can they modify assets? And how do you know if they’re reading the last updated version of your brand book?

So many unanswered questions come to mind, and this is only scratching the surface.

What you need is a digital space that your brand can call home. One central location where everything is neatly collected and connected for a seamless brand management experience.

Also read: This is how Brand HUB streamlines your day.

2. Define your external brand strategy and connect with your brand

With a home for your brand in place, what’s next? Beautiful brand guidelines and how to use your brand isn’t enough, you need a plan on how your brand is supposed to conquer the world. And you need to differentiate between your external and internal strategy. Let’s start with your external brand strategy.

Whether you need to increase brand awareness, establish a brand presence, promote a new brand or product, or in any way position your brand – you need a long-term plan and goal establishment.

Once your brand strategy is in place you need to connect it with your brand, and you don’t want to do this through a PowerPoint presentation. You want to digitalize it. By using a digital brand management platform, you can link everything nicely together: Brand guidelines, brand assets, campaigns, and information all in one place.

Also read: How to structure your brand with Papirfly

3. Establish internal branding processes

It’s easy to forget how important employees are when it comes to branding. But they are. Think about the range the employees have when it comes to external stakeholders; customer service, sales, technical support, store personnel, recruiters… The touch points are limitless and if your employees do not know how to communicate your brand, brand inconsistency is bound to happen.

Again, it’s all about connecting everything in on central location. Establish internal brand processes alongside your brand guidelines and brand strategy. That way you’ll only have one place to manage everything about your brand and you ensure a truly unified and seamless communication flow between your brand, your strategy and your execution.

Also read: This is internal branding and how you get started

4. Make your brand practical

It’s no secret that marketers have busy workdays. As we mentioned initially, brand management is extensive and without proper digital brand management, it’s difficult to keep your head above water and your eyes on the bigger picture. With everything set up, centralized, and connected you’ll have a reliable source of truth that is of real value to your brand management. It’s time to make your brand practical.

A rich and functional brand management platform will provide you with the tools you need to create seamless workflows and a self-serviced brand.

  • Connect your brand rules to the actual brand asset: Whether it is your logo, an image, illustration or perhaps an ad that needs adjustments before downloading, it is possible. This way the users don’t have to look in different locations or folders to locate what they need, and they don’t have to search through a heavy PDF to understand your brand guidelines.
  • Make your brand assets usable: Even though you have created an extensive brand asset library, alterations are often necessary. Instead of having your mailbox fill up with change requests, make sure your users can make the changes themselves with digital brand templates. You can even connect your assets to print vendors or media houses, or you can simply create an online shop for seamless distribution of assets.

Also read: What is brand asset management?

5. Keep your brand up to date

You’re only as strong as the weakest link. It does not help to have the most beautiful online brand guidelines, structured, and connected for seamless workflows if you’re not able to keep your brand up to date.

The market and your customers change, and so does your brand. Make sure you treat your brand as a living object that grows and changes simultaneously. By digitalizing everything surrounding your brand, keeping it up to date is easy. You have one central place to perform maintenance and brand administration, managing your brand has never been simpler.

Firstly, brand reliability is established. When your co-workers know that your branding platform always contains the latest information and asset versions, they’ll trust the information available and use it. If you can’t manage to keep it updated, they’ll stop using your platform “because it’s never updated anyway”. Instead, you risk them using something old and outdated from other sources and you’ll lose either way.

Secondly, achieving brand consistency is easy. Not only will you have a reliable source of information, but you’ll also make sure that your brand looks the same everywhere. The latest assets are available and ready to be used, and the risk of old and outdated assets are minimized.

6. Analyse and measure your brand management performance

Brand management can’t be made unchangeable. During your brand journey, you need to analyse and measure your performance to check if your branding processes work and function as intended.

Is your brand management platform being used? And by whom? This is an essential part in succeeding. It doesn’t help much to administrate a brand platform and follow the above steps if the users are missing. Don’t assume and take for granted that everyone is using your fabulous system. Remember that for most co-workers, branding is not their key responsibility, and it’s your job to make sure they use the system.

Perhaps they find it difficult to remember the URL? Or maybe they are new to the company and were never told that a brand platform exists? Or perhaps they rarely need branding stuff, so they keep forgetting about it. There are a ton of factors that can lead to failure, but if you keep your eye on it and create a brand management platform that meets the user expectations instead of basing it on your assumptions alone, you’ll be okay.

Also read: The ultimate guide to digital brand management tools

7. Keep an eye on marketing tools and develop your branding platform continuously

You are never done managing your brand. The Martech space changes, new platforms and channels occur, and you need to keep an eye on the market advancements.

Make sure that your brand management is up to speed and capable of delivering the latest in branding. Whether it’s an integration or a software upgrade, keep your eye on the ball. If your platform falls behind on technology, your brand will fall behind as well.