The brand manager job description goes beyond ensuring that a company’s messages remain consistent and cohesive.
It’s also their responsibility to ensure that a brand remains innovative, creative, and always striving to offer something more to customers than the competition. It’s not a catching-up game. This is a job where being ahead is the goal.
So what happens when there’s a lull in creative output? Or you’re not seeing the results you expected?
Rather than going back to the drawing boards, you might have to reevaluate how it is you create content and brand messaging in the first place. Below, you’ll find a few hints and tips to reinvigorate your campaign and inspire team members.
Encourage the team to write. A lot
It doesn’t matter if your job title stipulates ‘copywriter’ or not. Everyone in marketing is in the job of communication - so why should writing be limited to only a handful of team members?
It doesn’t have to go straight on your company’s blog. Instead, writing can be a great way to encourage businesses to think in new ways. It’s also great for challenging old preconceptions and forcing team members to utilise their creative juices, rather than just waiting for inspiration to strike.
Set you and your colleagues a writing challenge. Pick your favourite company and blog about them for a month. Write about what they could do better, what you like and dislike, and what you’d change if you had a magic wand.
It won’t just flex your analytical skills. But the task could also prompt out-of-the-box ways of thinking about your own brand, and how you can improve your service.
Have an office space outside of your building
Most of us - at one point or another - have worked in an office, within a pod, locked to our desk. There is a reason most businesses use this tried and tested method. But it’s not always the best environment for conjuring up innovation business ideas.
Marketing proficienado Seth Godin, for instance, recommends that delivery teams set themselves up away from the main office - away from distractions and habits of thinking that hinder new and exciting solutions.
Of course, he doesn’t suggest that you abandon your team in a warehouse in the Northern Quarter to see what happens. Set specific targets - ones that matter to your customers - and visit them again after 3 or 4 weeks. Then you’ll have a better chance of creating wonderful ideas that bring delight to your audience.
Ultimately it’s a matter of trust. Steve Jobs once said he never hired people to tell them what to do. Rather, he chose his employees based on what they could teach him.
So get your creative team out of the office. Encourage them to hotspot. Or set up a working space somewhere where they feel comfortable. Regardless, give them the opportunity to do exactly what you’ve paid them for: to make your brand better.
Brainstorm new ideas
Okay, it’s well documented your content should perform a business function. Or that your social media account needs to promote blogs and increase audience engagement month on month.
But how else can you build upon your customer relationships? And how else can you deliver a service that instills value at every level of communication?
On a regular basis, consider getting your delivery team together and asking them to brainstorm some new and exciting ways to push your brand forward. I say ‘regular’ because if this becomes a regimented event, it’s likely to become stagnant and lose its novelty pretty quickly. Instead, organise brainstorming sessions when your team has something important to say - when amazing ideas strike.
The great thing about these types of meetings is that it encourages team members to value their role beyond completing everyday tasks. They have a stake in the brand - so it only makes sense that they should help cultivate its future.
More than anything else, however, these types of sessions will put innovation at the forefront of your business’ agenda - with a commitment to push and be a better at every opportunity. Unfortunately, businesses that don’t communicate, or dedicate time to innovation, are likely to fail because their marketing campaigns are reactionary. Not exemplary.
A great idea really can make all the difference.
In order to ensure these meetings are productive, it’s a good idea to designate a weekly scribe and agree a timetable for completion before the meeting ends. Then no good ideas will go unwasted. And you won’t waste time brainstorming ideas that have no future.
Ask them what they’ve failed at recently
It’s easy for failure to be perceived as a negative. It can mean poor results. Poor investment.
Of course, no-one wants to see their business fail. But to reject failure altogether would be equally as unfortunate.
Because when people are afraid of failing, they are often afraid of trying new things too. And in the context of business - and pushing to innovate - this spells disaster.
To turn this around, you have to do more than see the bright side of things. What you really have to do is assume that failure is a normal part of innovation.
Ask your team members about their failures - what they did and why it happened. But be honest about yours too. Then you can help create a working environment where people aren’t afraid to fail, but instead push to be better and see through their amazing ideas to the very end.
Why creativity matters to brand managers
The life of a brand manager is essentially a juggling act - whether you work in-house, or for a variety of clients at an agency.
But one thing is universal: to stay ahead of the competition, you need an amazing team behind you. The type of people that will live, breath, and innovate your brand at every single opportunity. It’s not always easy to find - so when you do, show how much you value them.
Put innovation at the very forefront of your agenda.
If you want to learn more about brand management, then contact the the Brandit team today on 0161 228 6489. Alternatively you can say hello and send us a tweet @BranditGlobal.