Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 22 seconds. Contains 1275 words
Brands need to distinguish themselves from their competitors in the market to make their products more viable.
Brands need to distinguish themselves from their competitors in the market to make their products more viable. Using strategic brand management, you don’t have to spend tons of money on branding. Strategic brand management is meant to help companies improve their brand recognition and boost revenue. The strategic part is helping manage your company’s brand long-term and achieving long-term business goals. How do you even begin to build on and improve your brand, though? Here are a few principles for effective brand management.
What is Brand Management
First let’s discuss the term brand. As defined by Rising Above the Noise’s founder David Brier, is “the art of differentiation. Branding is the way the consumers identify and experience a product, service, or person..” Brier goes beyond the color, type, and logo in a brand to what the entire experience is. A brand gives customers reasons to choose you over their many other options. This is where strategic brand management comes into play.
Branding is building your brand and the value behind it. Brand management is developing a better brand perception in the market. Vital to brand management is having a positive relationship with your target market. Brand management is an important part of marketing and it how you control your business’ story. But, brand management extends past just marketing. It should be laced in basically everything that your customers can come into contact with. When your brand management is successful, you can see a boost in your brand awareness. You will be able to charge more for your products and/or services, and increase sales. Successful brand management will create happier customers which will build their loyalty to your brand creating brand advocates. These brand advocates will influence others purchasing decisions and steer them towards your brand.
Principles of Brand Management
Brands are composed of tangible and intangible components. One of our previous blog posts, What’s in a Brand, has discussed the more tangible components of a brand. Now let’s talk about what else makes a brand. Intangible component. Intangible components include the principles that help measure your brand management’s success. These principles highly influence others, like how your brand awareness will affect your brand recognition.
Brand awareness is how familiar people are with your brand. Basically, people can’t interact with your brand if they aren’t aware of it. Brand awareness helps businesses stand out above any competition. When a brand is trying to make a name for themselves, brand awareness is crucial for businesses in their first few years. Higher brand awareness leads to more sales and can prevent competitors from gaining a higher market share. If you keep tabs on where your business stands with your buyers can help your brand become their brand of choice. So how can you create and build your brand’s awareness? Try creating a custom hashtag and posting to a social media account regularly. Sponsor local events or participate in them to help people see your brand and see you in a more positive light.
Unique Selling Proposition
Before you can begin to sell to your target audience, you have to sell your product or service to yourself first. If you think about it, there aren’t many businesses these days that are one-of-a-kind anymore. The key in this situation is what many marketing professionals call your Unique Selling Proposition, or USP. Your unique selling proposition is what sets you apart from your competitors in the market. For example, DeBeers has been using the same slogan since 1948. Their USP is “A diamond is forever” being that diamonds are virtually unbreakable making them a perfect symbol for eternal love. To figure out your USP and use it to generate higher sales, try putting yourself in your customer’s shoes. Don’t forget, it should be about the customers’ needs, not your own. Price is almost never to sole purpose of why people buy products. You should know what motivates your customers’ buying habits. Use this information to uncover the real reasons customers are buying your products over the competitors.
Brand recognition is how well your customers can recognize your brand without actually seeing your brand name. This can be through your packaging, logo, tagline, etc. Provide value to your target market that exceeds their expectations to achieve better brand recognition. What are you offering to your market? Webinars, classes, or tutorials? If you aren’t staying in touch with your market, you will lose business. Out of sight, out of mind. Try writing a blog that informs and entertains your target audience to help them get to know you. Host a Facebook group that participants can share with others and ask questions. This can benefit you better in a real-time sense. Brand recognition is highly important to your brand because if your customers keep your brand at the top of their minds, they are more likely to choose your brand above the competition.
Brand loyalty is the tendency of customers buying of brand over others, over and over. Loyalty is extremely beneficial to your business. Companies with a strong brand loyalty will see their customers buying its products and services even when the prices have changed or when the convenience just isn’t as convenient. Loyal customers can become some of your best advocates and ambassadors for your brand. Rewards programs are a great way to incentivize your customers into returning to shop with you again and again. Ideally, you can also use your social media sites to help build brand awareness, loyalty, and an overall better customer experience. The goal should be to create customers that support your brand. They are more likely to recommend your brand to their friends or talk about your brand on their social media. If you can leave a lasting impression, you do less ‘selling’ in the long run and you create a great experience that keeps your customers coming back.
Your brand’s reputation is how others view your brand. This could mean your customers trust you and feel good about buying your products. Otherwise, people might not trust your brand and won’t feel comfortable buying your products anymore. Managing your brand’s reputation is essential to growing your business. Have a strong PR team. PR can improve people’s perception of your brand and will help manage any negative sentiments against your business. Social media is a great way to manage your brand’s reputation. This sets your brand up to feel more accessible and personable. The lack of effective brand reputation management can significantly impact a business’ overall success.
Importance of Brand Management
Brand management strengthens your brand and your customers’ view on your brand. It’s critical to a business for its overall impact on your brand. All of the principles work together to create a unique and attention-grabbing professional brand. Brand management needs to be maintained and is on-going, though. It takes self-reflection and focus to continue to maintain a brand that continues to have an advantage over their competitors. Your brand isn’t just a logo, it’s the culmination of every experience a person has had with your business.
People come and go, but your brand should be your rock. Steady brand evolution is great, but the core of your brand should never change. If you’re using a management system like Dropbox or Box, you’ve probably outgrown them. It’s time to transition over to an advanced brand management system that grows with your company. Brand management is important to company success, so you should be using a system that is the best in class, and the first of its kind.