Do you know why several businesses are not able to achieve success? Do you know why certain companies are not able to attain their full potential? Well you see, everyone pours hours upon hours thinking about the name of their company and logo. A part of these people will think in detail about what their brand is supposed to be. They will put in all their efforts to make their vision clear and talk about what their company stands for hours at end. Some will even be successful in developing a brand. But the reason why most companies fail after reaching this stage is that they don’t have a proper brand management plan.
They think that once they have made a brand they are done and all is set. But that is not the case. A company’s constant success depends on not just the brand but also its management. But what exactly is brand management?? Well let’s find out together, shall we!!
Whenever we hear the word management, we have either of the two reactions: 1. We are afraid of it because we don’t think we are qualified to do this or 2. We think it is very easy and we can manage absolutely anything.
Well, both these reactions are not helpful. The reason being, we are jumping to conclusions without actually understanding the term correctly.
Brand management is a term that depicts the process of using techniques to increase the perceived value of the product or service in the market over a period of time. This begins with a market analysis of the current image of the brand, proceeds with the planning of how the brand should be perceived to achieve its targets and ends with the execution of such planning until the goal is achieved. The plans may need revisions and tweaking along the way which is determined by phasic analysis.
In a simple sentence, “Managing your brand is not a singular event but is a continuous process”.
Before this always-on, always-present, hyper-connected world of social media, building and maintaining a brand was easier to control and maintain. However, the growth of online channels and media has also brought its own set of benefits with it, making marketing easier from the comfort of your laptops. But this also means that if you wish to be successful, your brand image not only needs to be professional and consistent, it also needs to be unique and relevant to the time. The attention span of an individual on social media is only a matter of seconds. So having impactful strategies that make the customers attracted immediately to your product or service are needed.
Developing a strategic plan to maintain or increase the brand value requires an in-depth understanding of the brand, its vision, target market, and the company’s overall mission.
Here are some of the key tips to develop your plan:
First and foremost, you need to understand your market, especially the market that your rivals are catering to. Finding out their marketing strategies, what makes their products unique, and what makes them sell, are important to know, before even starting on anything else. This will lead you to understand where you stand in the market and where you need to reach. And, it would also help you find out the gap that you need to fill and the steps you need to take to make it happen. Thus, you will be able to lay the foundation of all the things to come very precisely.
Brand assets are any digital file or document that are used for marketing purposes. So to build all your assets, you must select all the media that you are targeting and all the elements must be documented, centralized, and communicated to all personnel involved. This will typically involve:
No one in this world is perfect including our work. We need to keep assessing and improving ourselves to gain the best possible result. For this optimization methods are required. Initially, all the personnel should be given clear guidance about how to use the brand assets. Instead of doing all the work and launching your marketing campaign or website and then doing such assessments; it’s much better to do them at several levels.
Such evaluations should be given proper time and place not just in the production line but also in the management schedule. We need to keep assessing and revising our plan as the market shifts and as new things come into the world.
For example, no one knew that such a pandemic will hit our world like this, and hence, no one was prepared. But several companies like PulsAero were not only built in this time but are also thriving currently because they were able to adapt and evolve with the changing times.
Once you have decided what you want to achieve, all you have to do is decide how you can do so. And the best way to discuss ideas is to bounce them off each other. So having a team of creative people sit down together and discussing different aspects of your plan becomes imperative. Such sessions are very much needed and cannot be let go in the favor of any other work. So jotting them down in the plan will be useful. They should always be present after your assessments to help you come up with new ideas. Also, remember it should not be a one-time thing.
For example, if you want a flour mill to run, you keep adding new grain to the machine, right? Similarly, if you want your business to give you the output you need to keep adding innovative ideas to it at every step.
It doesn’t matter if you are selling goods or services, your customers are humans, right?? And we as humans are wired to respond to stories. The nature of gossiping arises from the innate sense of curiosity within us to know other people’s stories. With the same concept, if you can create a true narration of an authentic story about your brand, people are more to associate themselves with your company and give positive results in terms of sales.
David Campbell once rightfully said: “Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to breathe life into your brand and is also one of the main components of a solid content marketing approach.”
The classic example of this is Nike. Nike uses the simplest and the most effective art of storytelling by targeting, dreams. The well-renowned stars used as ambassadors are portrait to be seen as simple human beings which gives the watcher the hope that they can also achieve the same. This leads to them latching onto the brand or product subconsciously in an attempt to fulfil their dreams.
Emotions are said to be unpredictable. But with the right prompts you can set off the correct emotions. Using this concept in your marketing strategy can be extremely useful. We as humans are emotional beings. If something appeals to us on that level, we are more likely to go with it. But this has two aspects: one that you can control and one that you can’t. The aspect that you can control is how your product is displayed and how it is marketed. What you cannot control is what emotion each individual feels. You see, the emotions are generated from our subconscious based on our individual experiences. So you need to evaluate which nerve your brand is touching with the majority of the population and then tweak your plan accordingly. Also using this connection, you can think of an out-of-the-box idea to connect with more people.
Oreo is a great example of this. They have touched human emotions with their videos showing a daughter asking for a father’s time in a hand-made mail, while they have also implemented short videos across social media showing the usage of Oreo for snacks. This way they have covered a lot of ground and a variety of people as their target audience.
When you want to send out a message regarding your brand, it has to be on point. Yes, content is important, but stretching things out unnecessarily will only divert your customers from the real agenda. So always try to target your audience with short and precise messages, slogans, or taglines. In the case of slogan and tag lines as few as five words are enough to get your message through.
One of the greatest examples of this is L’Oreal. It is a luxury cosmetic brand that mainly caters to women. Here the tagline they use is “Because you’re worth it”. They are targeting the feeling of self-worth in women and saying that it’s okay to spend on our brand to pamper yourself as you are worth the money. These four words can easily depict the entire base of their campaign. Such unique words help make your brand memorable in comparison to others.
Life is a journey where there is an opportunity to learn something at every turn. So why do we stop learning after we finish our studies?? We must keep upgrading ourselves. And this is much needed in sales and customer support. It’s not just the techniques that need to be brushed up regularly, but how to deliver a message or make a sale especially about your brand must be taught to the staff. Every company has different preferred methods for their working. So the employees must be trained in them along with the company’s philosophy. This will help in bringing a united look in front of the customers.
You see what most brands do is that they prepare a start-up, put good enough content out there, and then just stop. But the most successful brands keep creating good content every single time consistently. Branding and brand management are long term process and requires lots of patience on your part.
Vari Longmuir once said, “Consistency in your branding is key to developing trust with your customers”. There is no greater truth than this. The reason being, if someone is consistent with their work and development, people are more inclined to associate with them. The same thing applies to your brand. If you are more consistent with your strategies, customers are bound to get attached to you and your company. Now, this can be in any form depending on your choice of media.
If done properly brand management can be beneficial in:
But all this cannot be achieved by a single person. Yes, the CMO will be the head of the plan and assign people their tasks. But it is the duty of each and every staff involved to give their 100% in developing and executing a good brand management plan.
Even if after this you feel that you are not satisfied and think that it is too much, maybe it would be better to contact us and get our expert opinions on it. We can take away most of this work off your shoulder and give you the push you need to jumpstart your business.