Managing a brand is a full time role and can be a challenging one. One that will vary depending on the organisation size and whether you are an owner of the business or an employee.
If you are running a company as a CEO or MD and manage the brand, then in someways this can easier because you have the vision and ambition for where you want to take the company and can control all aspects of it. However, this is normally applicable to the younger start-up businesses or SME’s. A national or global brand will likely have brand managers in-house and they will be fully trusted to ensure the brand is managed effectively. Brand managers will be responsible for overseeing all communications such as advertising, design and any events the company will be visible at, making sure that brand is consistent across all touch-points. This position will often sit above or alongside the Marketing Managers or Directors at a global level, or this will form part of the marketing director/managers role for smaller brands. Sometimes when internal resources are limited or stretched, businesses will engage brand agencies like us to be their brand managers and act as the overall guardians ensuring consistency is maintained.
What’s important regardless of the organisations size is that the brand is managed properly and the business has someone internally or externally keeping it focussed, ensuring everyone involved in the marketing of the brand both internally and externally is not diluting, confusing or devaluing the brand in any way.
Below are a few pointers to help you manage your brand more effectively:
- It is important to focus the meaning of your brand to concentrate its power, to be more engaging and to leverage your market position
- Ensure consistency of the visual and verbal identity across every touchpoint, this includes visible and non visible touchpoints
- If you broaden the meaning of your brand this will only dilute its impact and make it harder to market and for people to fully understand or support, so keep everything succinct
- A brand is like raspberry jam, the wider you spread it, the thinner it gets
- When a brand loses its way it is often due to bad brand extensions or poor management internally
- Bad brand extensions are those that chase short-term profits at the expense of long-term brand value
- When a brand extension has been strategically thought through and is right for the business this will grow the brand value because the extension reinforces what the brand stands for
- Poor marketing decisions such as inconsistent messaging, badly targeted marketing campaigns, poorly executed comms or attending the wrong events can confuse and de-value the brand in the long term, so plan carefully
- Ensure your brand is a topic of conversation at board level
- Marketing and Branding is NOT the same thing
- A Marketing campaign of any kind cannot be 100% effective without a brand strategy in place
- Hire a brand expert internally or engage a brand consultancy to help you manage your brand effectively.
Porsche recently launched an SUV to its product line that has damaged its sports-car position in the market, a strange move from a brand that for its entire existence was known for producing one of the most iconic sports cars on the planet. Imagine Ferrari adding a 4×4 to its range! It just doesn’t work. Porsche has massively devalued the brand by trying to win profits following the trend of other car brands producing SUV’s.
Before deciding on launching a new product or service offering make sure it fits with your overall brand position, otherwise you will cause longer term damage. Engaging a brand consultancy to help you make informed strategic decisions would help ensure that whatever direction you take will benefit the brand in longer term.