It may sound harsh, but it’s true. In a world, saturated with so many industries, which are subsequently saturated with so many companies, a brand identity is what sets you apart and encourages loyalty.
Your brand image matters. It builds value and without nurturing it through ongoing surveillance of the industry and paying attention to feedback, you can run the risk of falling behind your competitors. This is where brand management comes in.
Brand management, what do you mean?
Brand management activities help your brand to distinguish itself within the market. It helps to make your launch and success viable and helps to reduce the need to spend more budget on rebranding over and over and instead enhances your brand to be the next version of itself.
Adaptability and evolution will allow your brand to continuously grow and sustain brand value, which will also dictate the pricing, positioning and your customer’s purchase decisions.
Brand affirmations, imagery and key messaging are key aspects when planning your brand management strategy. These help to build a community of customers who are devoted to the brand and boost the value of the product.
Why do strong brands succeed?
Your unique selling proposition (or USP) is the key factor(s) which helps to differentiate from your competitors. This is the key identifier which could also convince customers to switch to your brand. Ensuring that this is profiled and celebrated in your marketing is crucial.
Brands should take risks when it comes to developing content, but what customers don’t want is for your brand to take risks with their product. They want to rely on you, trust you and know that there won’t be any nasty surprises such as quietly changing a recipe without notifying customers.
Emotional connections work best in inspiring nostalgia or reminiscing. If your brand can play off an emotional connection, such as the memory of a childhood birthday or a favourite holiday
Communications for brand awareness
The inability to stay up to date with trends, social change and the evolution of your industry, will see your brand either fall into the shadows or wreck your it entirely.
Being out of touch is inexcusable, so make sure that your brand management strategy includes regular reviews of the lay of the land and updating the brand positioning, tone of voice and visuals accordingly.
To be able to adapt quickly, your brand needs to be flexible. When considering how to position your brand you need to also think ahead to your customers of the future.
Looking at historical data and industry predictions and taking these learnings to anticipate how your brand will grow and react can prevent it from becoming obsolete.
Start inside out:
The people who work for your company are essentially the lifeblood of your brand. They know it inside out, they built it and they have some ownership over the direction it takes.
You will need to conduct internal reviews and build the brand from the inside out to ensure you are cultivating a healthy workforce who will bring innovation and passion.
Cultivate the community
Influencers and brand advocates:
Putting a face to your brand can help you move into different demographics and further strengthen relationships between brand and customer.
A brand advocate, who could be anyone from a public figure, a social media influencer or a celebrity, can boost the credibility of your brand and position the brand image in a positive light, by embodying the values and ethics of the company.
Your brand can also empower your customers by using user-generated content within promotions and awareness campaigns. This route has proved to be highly effective for a range of household names, putting the customer centre stage and giving an authentic feel to the brand.
Evolution over ego
So, maybe you think your brand is amazing and it’s the customer who is wrong?
It’s time to stamp out that type of attitude and realise that what your customers say and think actually matters. Don’t snap at your team for saying “we need to reposition, we need to better manage our brand to meet our customer’s needs”.
The more precious you are about your brand, the harder it can be to manage and therefore adapt. Just look at some of the biggest name brands in the world, you can see how they have adapted to the changing of the times and changed how they listen to their customers and society to evolve to meet new needs and expectations.
Also published on Medium.