Brands must distinguish themselves in the market to make their products viable. The top brands don’t spend tons of money on branding. Instead, they use strategic brand management to enhance their brand. And brand value dictates purchasing decisions in the current digital market. A wide range of products and services are accessible to everyone, and that’s why brand management is a top growth field.
What Is Brand Management?
Brand management is the development of brand perception in the market. Constructing a positive relationship with the target market is vital for brand management. But it also encompasses all aspects of the customer’s brand association and relationship with the purchasing process. This includes tangible elements of a brand.
Brand management is an important aspect of marketing and boosts the value of a product. It builds devoted customers by utilizing brand affirmations with images or key messaging.
So how do you get started on building and improving your brand? Here are five simple and effective brand management principles.
Leverage Your Unique Selling Proposition
Your unique selling proposition (USP) sets you apart from competitors. A timeless example is M&M’s “melts in your mouth, not in your hand”. This USP turned slogan distinguishes M&M’s from other candies. This brand differentiation has been key to the success of M&M’s.
To create your unique selling proposition, you must understand where your product and company fit into the market. What makes the product different from its competition? Is it more durable or cost-effective? And how is your company different? Is it more innovative or stable? Whatever it is, define it. And write it down. For example: “Our company is the most creative and the product is the most stylish”.
Once you’ve defined your USP, leverage it by turning it into a sexy key message. Use this as the backbone of your marketing activities, you’ll be surprised at how often it pops up.
Use Marcom to Push Brand Awareness
Take your USP-powered key messaging and use it to promote your brand. Every marketing activity should promote brand awareness. This is true across every channel and essential for brand management. Market brand by measuring performance of these marketing activities.
Market your brand by choosing the appropriate medium and means. If your brand is innovative and fresh, promote your brand through content marketing. Become a technological innovation thought-leader and use your brand as the ‘calling card’ in your key messaging. And be subtle. For example, a short message in your byline with the brand position is a great strategy.
Develop Your Brand Internally
It’s critical to collaboratively ideate and evolve your brand from the inside. Get buy-in from other departments and external stakeholders. This helps you incorporate other views into the brand, which you may have overlooked. For example, the Product team knows how customers use your product. Incorporate this information to simplify the buying process.
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All employees are brand ambassadors. Get buy-in from the entire organization to communicate your brand. This internal adoption is essential for maintaining brand consistency. Be sure every department represents the brand in all communication with customers, partners and suppliers.
Getting brand adoption from the company is bolstered by solid brand asset management. Provide internal brand partners with a central location to download and share brand assets. This makes it easy for them to distribute and maintain brand assets within their own teams.
Entice Influencers to Circulate Your Brand
A great way to market your brand is have someone else do it. And who better to do it than an influencer the target market already trusts. This is called the third-person effect. The theory is simple, someone who doesn’t have a vested interest is more trustworthy and believable.
Establishing and maintaining a relationship with an influencer is challenging. However, with the right touch you can sustain a beneficial partnership. Engagement is key here. Like any other relationship, you need to communicate. This is done over social media and other important venues like live events or webinars. Remember that engaging with influencers requires you to respect their impartiality.
Utilize Brand Management Software
People come and go, processes and products change, but your brand is the rock. Steady brand evolution is important, but the core brand never changes. Facilitate brand progress by managing the visual elements that represent the brand. Color schemes and logos should be stored in your branding software to transform organization’s brand.
The most comprehensive brand management system on the market is digital asset management (DAM). A DAM allows you to easily store digital assets like images, videos, presentations, logos, design files, documents and other brand elements with rich metadata for better search and share capabilities. If you’re using Dropbox, Box, Google Drive or another cloud file storage system then you’ve probably already outgrown them and need to move to an advanced brand management solution.