What brand management strategies can businesses implement for successful brand management? While each company’s ultimate strategy will differ depending on its unique niche and target market, there a few universal components that any business can begin with:
Formulate your brand strategy.
It’s important to begin with a clear understanding of what you want your brand to be, and what it currently is (if applicable). What’s your USP? Who’s your target market? What channels are most suited for your brand’s niche? Step one is conducting the necessary research to create a brand identity, and then a brand strategy to support it.
> Pro tip: Looking for help creating a brand strategy? Build a blueprint with the GfK Brand Architect
. Conduct a brand audit.
If you’re optimizing an existing brand, as opposed to starting from scratch, you need a clear picture of your current strengths and limitations. That means conducting a comprehensive brand audit, a process that typically includes calculating current market share, competitive landscape and customer behavior
and perceptions, and then matching those findings against goals or expectations.
> Pro Tip: Market research is a complex task. If you don’t have proper expertise on staff, don’t hesitate to reach out to a third-party specialist
. Coordinate with marketing.
Depending on your organizational hierarchy, your brand strategy may defer to your marketing strategy
, or vice versa. Ideally, they’re carried out collaboratively
with one another. For instance, a marketing strategy must make proper use of brand assets like logo and design, while a brand strategy often relies on marketing tactics to enhance brand equity.
> Pro Tip: Make the most out of your investments in market research
and audience demographics
by developing marketing and brand strategy in coordination with one another. Upgrade the customer experience.
Offering premium customer service — or in today’s parlance, a superior customer experience
— has become a top priority for all types of businesses
looking to distinguish their brand in a hyper-competitive marketplace. As a result, expectations have risen for many other companies to focus on providing the best experience possible as a core part of managing their brand.
If this seems like an obvious solution, it’s also trickier than it may appear! Providing customers with high levels of access to truly professional quality representatives — who know the topic and the brand they’re discussing inside and out — comes at a premium price. And today’s customers are usually savvy enough to tell the difference between companies that make the investment, and those that don’t.
> Pro Tip: A few ways to measure your success in customer service is by actively gathering for customer feedback (e.g., surveys, focus groups or website forms) and by measuring website analytics. Leverage available software.
Brand management is a big job with operation-wide implications, and it may require specialized software solutions to make it cost effective and scalable across an organization. Luckily, we’re living in a golden age of technological solutions. Some particularly helpful tools include:
Hire a brand manager.
- Brand asset management software to ensure consistency and efficiency of use and access
- Customer relationship management (CRM) to organize and manage customer contacts and leads
- Marketing automation software to enable more targeted and effective messaging via social media, email, SMS and other channels
- Point of sales (POS) tracking to monitor sales, evaluate performance and maximize the impact of marketing campaigns
By investing in a dedicated employee to oversee and direct brand management efforts, businesses can better ensure adherence to best practices and an advanced, up-to-date understanding of market dynamics. An experienced brand manager can apply advanced techniques to best leverage available resources, while working with other company stakeholders to help ensure that all efforts are aligned with a company’s larger goals.
> Pro Tip: In many cases, a third-party consultant specializing in branding and marketing
can help companies improve their brand management capabilities, and even help create and implement an effective working strategy, without the need to hire a dedicated professional. Monitor, measure and improve.
Remember, brand management is an ongoing process, and it’s important to define and integrate the right metrics for success. These typically include key process indicators (KPIs) on brand equity, brand awareness
and customer interaction. Other useful metrics may include financial performance, online reviews (e.g., Yelp or Glassdoor), and Net Promoter Score (NPS).
> Pro Tip: From defining marketing performance metrics to quantifying brand value, here are five tips for measuring brand performance