Branding is the encapsulation of a company’s mission statement, objectives, and corporate soul as expressed through the corporate voice and aesthetic. Margie Clayman
In essence, a brand represents who your business is and what it stands for. This includes your name, logo, messaging, merchandise, design, and any other feature that identifies your company and makes it distinct from others. With your brand, you are developing a promise, conveying the message of this promise and then maintaining it.
Brand management is the science of crafting, nurturing and sustaining a brand. This means defining the brand, positioning the brand, and delivering the brand value constantly and consistently. Quality branding encourages customer loyalty to your business and induces a positive sentiment across your audience. A robust brand differentiates its products from its competitors, resulting in increased sales, business growth and greater recognition across the target market.
Branding also involves assembling a blend of the right marketing campaigns to create and reinforce the brand identity. This includes exciting social media campaigns, interesting PR and advertising. If the campaigns connect with the customer, brands are able to break through the noise and create brand loyalty for years to come.
Handling both the noticeable and intangible characteristics of a brand is a key skill for the brand manager. When it comes to product brands, this includes the product itself, packaging, pricing, availability, etc. With service brands, tangibles include customers’ experience. The intangibles include emotional connections and expectations with products and services, which can be out of the brand manager’s control.
Customers will recognise your company, your product, your service and your status through your brand. You can build an incredible brand through messages, images and ads but whether you realise it or not, your company is creating this reputation with everything that you and your local affiliates do. So you need to make sure you are consistently living up to your brand promise each and every day.
Your brand should:
• Make your product or service distinctive from the competition
• Identify what customers can only get from your brand
• Trigger instant recognition with customers and prospects
• Position yourself as an expert
• Be present when and where it matters with integrated marketing campaigns
• Remind people of the reputation for which you are known.
• Place your company top-of-mind with your audience
• See better return on investment, more brand awareness
The most important part of brand management is ongoing maintenance and control. Proper brand management involves making sure that each promotional piece, touchpoint and every single usage of the name, logo and message supports your organisation and goals and reinforces your brand in the way your brand guidelines intended. This allows you to continue to strengthen the association your brand imprints on your customers. Even the best brands can fall apart if not managed properly.
Many large corporations hire a full-time brand manager to ensure the brand is held in high regard, and not diminished or misused. Even with a brand manager, developing high-quality promotional pieces that consistently strengthen your brand and controlling its use can be a challenge for anyone.
Brand management becomes even more challenging once you add additional parties. If you’re a brand that sells your products or services through resellers, VARs, agents, distributors or other local affiliates, you know this better than anyone. Local affiliates are notorious for using out of date information, old logos and off-brand messaging if they aren’t provided the content they need. And brands generally don’t have the visibility or control at the local level to police their brand. So what is a brand to do?
Brandit helps brands manage the chaos of local marketing by enabling them to distribute the content, tools, data and funds needed to activate and empower local affiliates to market effectively – all with complete control and visibility to activities and results.
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