Why is Branding & Brand Management Essential for Your Business
What comes to your mind when you think of reliable and big brands? The likes of Nike, Apple, and Amazon, right?
These brands have mastered the art of branding. They have built a connection so deep with customers that they come to mind without even thinking about them! That's how successful companies do branding. It takes years to build these valuable connections with customers.
So, why is branding so important?
The market is inundated with companies vying to take the first spot. While no particular brand will ever be able to acquire 100% market share unless it's a monopolistic market, every brand understands how valuable customer acquisition and retention is.
Branding impacts your business's overall performance and the ability to thrive in the market. You will be able to influence people's perceptions of your brand and drive new business.
Understanding this: you have a business because you are seeking to solve a problem. There is no way businesses can survive if it doesn't have something to offer. You are looking to fulfill a need - a demand. And with branding, you should be able to play a role in people's lives - good or bad, that's another topic for discussion. You will, at least, be able to build a reputation for yourself as you jump into the competition.
And remember: every brand is different. The magnitude of branding required for a multinational company targeting an entire nation will be much higher compared to that for a local retail store targeting a small city.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to branding.
Now that you have understood what branding is, let's dive deeper and understand Brand Management in detail.
Brand Management involves establishing a vision, product, packaging, design, placement, advertising, buying experience, customer service, and more. It's an end-to-end process that encompasses almost every element of the brand and the aspects associated with it.
For effective brand management, you should be able to develop multiple touchpoints and offer an experience that resonates with your brand at each of them. Each touchpoint must communicate your brand's vision so much so that your audience begins to think of you whenever a need arises.
Who is involved with brand management for a business?
Everyone. It's a no-brainer. Successful brands that perform brand management effectively include everyone that associate with their business as one single family.
Why? Because word-of-mouth goes a long way in building or spoiling a brand's reputation. What your employees speak of you reflects your organizational practice and workplace culture. If your existing customers do not rate your customer service high, you are most likely going to have a hard time acquiring new customers. If your channel partners aren't engaged, they won't suggest your products or services to customers. You see, it's a cycle!
Of course, the benefits of brand management do not end here. They are potentially limitless. Here are a few obvious but important benefits:
Provides a Boost in Business Value
A business that has earned a good reputation in the market is more likely to attract investments. A business that has invested in branding will have earned greater customer loyalty and trust. It's a huge business asset and one that translates into value. Businesses looking to invest seek to put money into assets that are more likely to get them higher returns.
Increases Customer Recognition
When you do branding, you put your brand in front of your potential customers. People begin to recognize your brand's creative assets, such as logo, theme, color, and more. At this point in time, your aim should be to establish as many touchpoints as possible so people begin to think of your brand as synonymous with the product or service you have to offer. For example, when it comes to premium phones, most customers, it rings iPhone in their mind. That's the level of brand awareness brands seek to develop. That's when you get new and repeat sales.
Develops Consistency in Voice
Branding demands consistency in voice across platforms. A well-managed brand comes out naturally as consistent in packaging, advertising, customer service, and emotional experiences emanating from it. The voice should be similar on the website, blog, social media accounts, and interactions. Well-thought-out brand management involves developing brand style guidelines, such as using specific words, taglines, jingles, fonts, colors, and more in marketing collateral. This helps customers build an emotional connection with the brand. This must be conveyed to channel partners and affiliates as well so any promotional efforts they make don't look out of context.
Boosts Customer Acquisition & Loyalty
Much customer loyalty is driven by emotional connections. Take Apple, Amazon, and Nike for example. They have a great brand management strategy. Over the years, they have built great products, taken care of customer relationships, and maintained a unique voice. As a result, you will find that their customers are hard to break. Besides, loyal customers spend more and contribute the most towards revenue generation.
Creates Greater Employee Satisfaction and Workplace Productivity
A business that has a good work ethic is loved not just by customers but by its employees as well. Employees take pride in working for a brand that has a positive work culture. Plus, it's always reassuring working with a brand that's well-recognized.
Develops Market Trust
If you are going for branding, it is really important you cover all the basics correctly. You must offer a good product, a pleasant buying experience, and great customer service. Convey good business values through deliverables at every touchpoint. Attentive brands have their focus on offering positive customer experiences. When your customers are happy, they act as brand advocates and are more vocal about their positive experiences.
Remember, a brand's stakeholders include both customers and staff. The foundation of commerce is human interaction, and employees are the initial spokespersons for any firm and its first brand advocates. Positive brand perception will be passed down the line to the clients and partners that employees engage with if they have a positive association with the brand. Better leadership, greater engagement, and better goods and services can all result from this.
Helps Brands Develop Deeper Market Understanding
Brand management helps brands identify their audiences' preferences and interests. This allows you to personalize your messages, offers, and social media content. When you communicate better, you are able to develop personal connections, resulting in deeper loyalty and repeat sales. Besides, when you interact frequently with your target audience through social media platforms, you understand what they like. There are several tools as well that offer detailed insights into how your audience interacts with you on social media platforms. You can pull detailed reports to make changes to your strategy.
Safeguards Your Brand's Creative and Digital Assets
There are several tactics employed in brand management that not only serve to market the brand and get it in front of the correct audience, but also protect its reputation. Digital asset management is among the various tactics used to protect a brand's reputation and is one of the most popular. Using a central hub, this tactic is used to disperse the brand's assets. It enhances the brand's visibility and assists in keeping track of the brand's consistency and quality. It is crucial to realize that anything associated with a product or service that is turned into a brand, including logos, images, videos, and sales materials, carries a value that, if exploited, can damage the brand.
This makes it extremely crucial to protect the brand from any abuse. Brand management can help audiences share their personal experiences. Using a centralized source of content dissemination, you can create targeted on-demand content and even track the assets utilized by customers, affiliates, and channel partners.
Brand management isn't just about creating a beautiful logo or an ad. It's a continuous, never-ending process that includes creating a brand identity that resonates with the business' values and building deep-rooted relationships with customers, employees, and partners. Digitalization has changed the way brands interact with customers. It has also changed customer expectations drastically. Now that you have a brand, it's imperative that you create guidelines and ensure that your brand management team complies with them every single time across all platforms.
Monitor performance. Change Strategies. Adapt. That's the only way to create a brand that can truly scale with time.