Brand management in simple terms refers to the sum total of all the activities that go on to make a brand (and the business behind it) interesting, desirable, differentiated, successful and ultimately profitable. When we consider a brand as a whole, be it as a product or as a service, what matters is the focus on quality and delivery, continual improvement plans to sustain the same, marketing and messaging for communication of the brand value and innovation to stay relevant with changing times.
It requires a synchronized working of a lot of factors and brands that have successfully scaled the pinnacle have pertinent lessons to offer. We have distilled these lessons to deliver 6 effective principles that we consider relevant to effective brand management
1. Strong Definition and Laser Focus
The first step in brand management is in having a strong definition of what the brand is about, its relevance in the current scenario and the intended target audience. When these ideas are clearly and succulently defined and communicated, there is a strong urge being created in the minds of the targeted audiences. In the age of social media where there is an explosion of information and viral spread of ideas and thoughts, clarity in ideas and expression is absolutely vital. Needless to say, understanding of the cultural tomes, use of proper etiquette and language in all correspondence and touchpoints has far-reaching consequences otherwise.
Brands to learn from: Apple, Costco.
2. Simplicity and Appeal
Having clear ideas helps in defining what you want. But it is equally important to understand how to put it through. The essential message and promise that a brand carries need to be communicated well, within the limits of the space and the time that users get to interact with the brand. Who has the time (or the patience!) to read essays you may write?
Brand to learn from: Dollar Shave club.
With definition comes the need to keep amplifying and reinforcing the brand message and values again and again. This needs to be done in a consistent tone to ensure that trust is built and retained. Expectations defined are reinforced and retained in customer minds only with consistency in every touchpoint, be it production or marketing.
Brand to learn from: Starbucks.
4. Staying nimble
By being nimble and having the ears close to the ground, brands can get an immediate pulse of how strategies made in the drawing board are working out on the ground. It also empowers brands to stay close to customers and ensure that their needs are being met and aspirations captured for further development and analysis. Staying nimble also means being responsive to customer needs and once an ‘emotional connect’ with the customer is established and trust gained, there is no looking back.
Brand to learn from: Zara.
5. Power to innovate
Disruption is the new norm and the only way to stay relevant and in business is to innovate continuously. Customer expectations rapidly change and technology is evolving every day. No brand is infallible and it is only with a mind open to new ideas and ways of doing things.
Brands to learn from: Amazon, Tesla.
6. Feedback and measurement
Having feedback and measurement tools at every step of the process ensures that bottlenecks are identified as they emerge. When such a vibrant mechanism is in place, the deductions can be fed back to improve the system. This will also add continuous value and ensure that all of the above are achieved and adhered to.
Brand to learn from: Intuit.
A strong brand strategy adds tangible value and creates memorable experiences for customers. Once a positive reputation is established, only the sky is the limit for growth possibilities.