What is brand management?
Brand management refers to the techniques used to increase the perceived value of a product line or brand over time. Developing a good relationship with your target market is crucial as it ensures your business stays relevant in the minds of consumers. Strategic brand management can help give you an advantage over the competition. It also helps you create a positive brand image and build lasting relationships with consumers.
Brand management includes both tangible elements (i.e., how the product looks, packaging, price) and intangible elements (i.e., experiences consumers have with the brand, the relationships they build, and emotional connections associated with the brand). Improving tangible and intangible elements boosts customer experience, making consumers more likely to continue purchasing from your company.
Principles of brand management
Brand management is an important process for developing a sustainable brand identity and reputation in an ever-changing market. Effective brand management can help you increase revenue and stay relevant in the market. Here are the core principles of effective brand management.
Brand awareness is the knowledge the general public and your target audience have about your business, products, and services. The use of brand awareness is an essential for helping consumers develop an instinctive preference toward your brand. Making your company memorable and recognizable is at the core of most marketing strategies; it’s the key to brand trust, customer loyalty, and increased revenue.
Brand experience can be defined as the tangible and emotional experiences customers have while interacting with your brand. Today’s consumers make purchasing decisions based on both the quality of your products and the quality of your brand experience. How does your product fit in with their lifestyle? What will purchasing your product say about them?
Since the introduction of the internet, consumers now have an abundance of brands to choose from, right at their fingertips. They’re getting input from friends, family, and online reviews to determine where to shop. With so many options available, consumers are looking beyond the product and into the company. This is why it’s so important to leave a positive, lasting impression on your target audience.
Brand equity, or brand association, describes how consumers perceive, value, and associate your brand. You can establish brand equity by creating positive experiences that encourage consumers to keep making purchases with you instead of turning to competitors. Brand equity grows through campaigns that generate brand awareness, speak to the values of your target market, deliver on promises, and incentivize customer loyalty and retention.
Developing positive brand equity has significant benefits on ROI. By leveraging the power of branding, businesses can earn more money while spending less — whether on production or marketing. For example, brands with strong brand equity can charge higher prices. Customers who believe in a company’s values and the quality of its products are more likely to pay more for its products.
Brand loyalty refers to how regularly your customers or followers interact with your brand and how many purchases they make. Customer service departments play a big role in brand loyalty as their main focus is increasing customer satisfaction and building relationships with customers. A good customer relationship ensures they keep coming back. Customer loyalty creates brand ambassadors who amplify the reach and impact of your marketing efforts by sharing positive brand experiences and recommending you to others.
Loyalty incentives can be implemented to encourage customers to continue to purchase from your company. Examples of these incentives include sending customers discounts for their birthdays or creating a point system that allows them to exchange points for discounts or free products.
Anytime a consumer chooses a purchase, a mix of emotional and rational factors are involved in their decisions. Brand affinity refers to the emotional dimension; it’s the feelings your customers have when their personal values are aligned with your business values. These shared values help build relationships with customers and often lead to higher retention.
Brand recognition refers to how well consumers can identify your company without seeing your brand name. This can be through your logo, packaging, tagline, or any number of other indicators. This is important because if consumers can easily recognize your brand, you have a better chance of capturing and holding their attention. This makes customers more likely to pick you over competitors.
Brand reputation is how people view the quality, values, and status of your brand. Internal factors such as customer service and product quality can affect your reputation, along with external factors such as mentions in the media or customer reviews. Brand reputation is often consumers’ first impression of your business, so building a strong brand reputation is a big factor in bringing in potential customers.
A reputational crisis can happen when your company experiences severe damage to its reputation. Continuing to monitor your brand can help you stay on top of your reputation and manage customer issues before they get out of hand. Listening to customer feedback and having processes for responding to and managing issues can increase consumer trust by showing that you care about their concerns.
Effective brand management techniques
Brand management is essential for building and maintaining a good brand reputation and creating relationships with consumers. Here are effective brand management techniques to implement in your marketing strategy.
Understanding branding basics
In brand management, there are several essential strategic elements that must be documented and communicated to all involved stakeholders. These typically include:
Create a brand story
Humans are drawn to stories because they often make us feel connected to one another. You can create an emotional connection with your audience with a good brand story. Consumers want to relate to your brand, which is why authentic stories are so appealing to them. The right story can make consumers trust your brand more than others and ensure they keep coming back.
Learn more: The 3 habits of highly authentic brands
Create a personal connection
How customers feel about a brand is determined by a combination of memories, interactions, and other intangible associations that occur on a subconscious level. Strong, affirming messages tap into these individual associations to create a sense of personal meaning between customers and your brand. You have control over how your products look, and you can also help your customers decide what your products mean to them.
Create a unique selling proposition
Unique selling propositions are statements that differentiate your products and brand from those of competitors. Customers are overwhelmed with options and want to know what makes your business different from the rest. Your unique selling point should quickly answer the question, “How am I different from the competition?” This should play to your strengths and should tell consumers how your brand is uniquely valuable to them.
Effective brand management should include a set of criteria for measuring success. This evaluation can be used as a benchmark for the future. This might include how many new purchases were made after a certain marketing campaign, or how many social media followers you gained after implementing specific marketing strategies.
Using these measurements, you can gauge whether consumers are responding positively to your brand message and initial offerings. If you notice an increase in customer loyalty and retention, it’s evident that your brand equity was strengthened during those campaigns. However, if consumer affinity is declining, it is imperative that immediate adjustments be made to ensure long-term success.
Brand monitoring entails tracking different channels in order to identify where your brand is mentioned. You can better understand how consumers are perceiving your company by knowing where they’re talking about your brand and what they’re saying. There are more ways than ever for your audience to talk about you, but thanks to online media monitoring, it's easy to track mentions and customer sentiment toward your brand. This valuable feedback lets you know what consumers really think so you can make any necessary changes to improve their sentiment.
Share of voice is a brand monitoring metric that helps you understand what your competitors are doing and what consumers are saying about them. You can run a competitor analysis to see how your social media activity compares to your competitors. Tracking your metrics over time alongside competitor information will help you better understand how your content marketing strategy is influencing consumers in comparison to the competition.
Social monitoring and social listening are also important tools for brand monitoring. You can minimize your response time by up to 70% by utilizing social listening. This is especially critical when you are trying to avoid a crisis because mitigation is the most effective way to prevent brand damage.
Technology continues to evolve, which has helped transform how brand managers create effective campaigns. Brand management software tools provide a central, unified database that makes it easy for managers to create, store, and share files to ensure brand consistency across every channel.
Outsourcing to an agency may also be useful for some companies since they can acquire all the tools, skills, and tactics of a comprehensive brand management department from third-party businesses. The need for hiring brand managers may be eliminated, which could save companies money long term.
Benefits of effective brand management
Some of the biggest benefits of effective brand management include:
Standing out among competitors
After you establish a strong brand image, consumers may feel more drawn to your products or services over your competition. You may have values that resonate more with consumers than those of your competition. How much effort you put into customer relationships may also make you stand out as more and more consumers are looking to shop for company experience and authenticity, not just products.
Improving customer loyalty
The more your customers can trust your company’s values, the more loyal they will be. This means they are likely to make future purchases with you and even spread the word about your brand. Having a loyal customer base also helps you identify your most valuable customers and discover how to specifically target them in future ad campaigns. ROI is better when you retain current customers in addition to acquiring new ones.
Growing employee engagement
Employees often feel more engaged at work when they work for companies with a strong brand image. This encourages them to become great ambassadors for the brand, spreading awareness and positive associations.
Examples of brand management
Think of one of your favorite companies and ask yourself why you like them so much. Do they have brand values that align with yours? Do you like their tagline or logo? Have they done something to prove they are a brand you can trust?
Some of today’s leading companies have effectively used brand management to make their brand stand out among consumers in these ways. These companies have a strong brand image while providing high-quality products and services. They all use various digital and traditional channels to create brand awareness among consumers.
Requirements of a brand manager
Brand managers are responsible for managing all aspects of a brand. Their job is to analyze how their brand is perceived by consumers. This includes the experiences customers have with the brand and their emotional connection.
Brand managers are tasked with developing a brand strategy for their company. They create guidelines for marketing officials with ideas for branding, product development, promotions, and experiential elements that would most benefit consumers and build a loyal customer base.
What is brand asset management?
Brand assets are the tangible elements of brand management. They are the parts of your branding that consumers see and experience. These assets are unique to your company and are associated with your brand. Brand assets include:
Graphics and artwork
Taglines and slogans
Digital marketing channels
Brand asset management involves creating and maintaining these tangible elements and keeping them consistent throughout your entire brand. Digital asset management involves a holistic approach, taking into consideration how the intangible elements of brand management affect the tangible ones. This involves considering how your brand assets can encourage an emotional connection with consumers, and what graphics, logos, and taglines will pique their interest.
Difference between brand management and marketing
Brand management and marketing are essential parts of developing a company. But while they are similar and related, there is a distinct difference between them. While brand management focuses on creating brands, marketing focuses on promoting brands and engaging consumers. Marketing is used to get consumer attention and drive sales, while brand management is focused on driving recognition and loyalty.
Brand management is the guideline for maintaining your brand, while marketing is how that plan is put into action. Good brand management clearly defines your brand’s positioning, which helps product developers create new products without going off-brand. It also helps marketing departments create campaigns that represent the brand by providing them with a set of strategic guidelines. These branding guidelines can include:
A style guide that outlines fonts, graphics, and color schemes that can be used in marketing campaigns.
A brand voice guide that details the brand tone, words, and rules for creating content.
A messaging guide that describes your vision and mission.
With brand management as a guideline, marketing is how you put your plan into action. The guidelines provided are used to create ads, social media posts, and write blog posts. They are also able to appeal to the right audience based on the brand’s voice and messaging guides provided by brand managers.
Helping brand managers grow, manage, and protect their brand in a digital-first world
The challenges of managing brands across 30+ digital and social channels can be overwhelming. Brand managers use several different solutions, which leads to disjointed messaging and disconnected customer experiences. Sprinklr’s Brand Management solution can help take control of this chaos.
With Sprinklr, brands have access to a unified customer experience management (Unified-CXM) platform that streamlines brand management responsibilities, including:
Increasing brand awareness:
Leverage Sprinklr’s omnichannel capabilities to understand what customers are saying across 30+ digital channels — and transform that data into actionable insights that expand the reach and impact of campaigns.
Maximize the reach and visibility of paid media spend at scale using social advertising.
Amplify the impact of social content by turning employees into brand ambassadors and tapping into their personal social networks with advocacy.
Maintaining an authentic voice:
Take a unified approach to brand management with advanced AI capabilities that let customers know their voices matter and ensure that the brand resonates as true and authentic across all of the digital channels customers love.
Transform real-time, voice-of-the-customer data into actionable insights using Sprinklr social listening.
Analyze billions of digital signals from consumers in real time with audience insights to better understand customers and what they care about.
Managing brand reputation:
Maintain brand safety at scale with Sprinklr’s smart solutions that ensure your teams can work fast while staying on brand and compliant at all times.
Mitigate risks with AI-powered Smart Alerts to identify when and how to act in the face of a crisis — giving your care, marketing, social engagement, and sales teams a single source of truth that empowers them to respond quickly and collaboratively.
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