Funny, isn’t it, that we often think of ‘branding’ as something that started in the 1980s, along with BIG hair and HUGE shoulder pads! But when you actually think about it, branding – and brand management – has been around a long time.
There was a time, of course, when you could simply get by on the quality of your product or service. Because there really wasn’t much competition. That people would choose your product was practically a given.
Branding and brand management came about in the 1950s, as the number of businesses grew and competition became a real issue. It was a move instigated by some of the biggest names in company history, including Procter and Gamble, Unilever, General Foods, Kraft and Pan Am.
We’ve talked before about creating the perfect logo, and that’s just one element of your branding. Draw them altogether and that’s where brand management comes in.
Your ‘brand’ comprises your product or service, your logo, your packaging, your advertising, your pricing, customer satisfaction and so much more. The beauty of managing these items together is consistency.
Most businesses have a policy, a mission statement if you like. And brand management will ensure that all aspects of the business reflect that. By delivering a consistent message to the market, your customers and potential customers will see you as honest and reliable, and that’s the best reputation you can have.
Brand management will help you remain positive and proactive, rather than being forced to react to your competitor’s marketing. By staying true to your message, and keeping your branding in sight of your customers, you will not only retain, but also grow your market share.
It’s about having faith in your product, your employees and your customers.
Developing a good relationship with your target market is essential for brand management. This is done through creating not only the product, but also the look of your business, the price of the product, the packaging, customer service and more.
And of course, the only way to achieve that consistency is by appointing one agency to look after it all for you. But here’s where the confusion can arise.
A brand management agency is not the same as an advertising agency. The latter plans, creates and places advertising.
A brand management agency is generally a creative team that creates, plans and manages branding and marketing strategies, incorporating design.
We do this every day, working with our clients to make their product or service the number one choice. Because, at the end of the day, when you take away the bells and whistles, it’s the product that counts.
As keynote speaker and author Stephen Denny famously said in his book, Killing Giants, ‘If dogs don’t like your dog food, the packaging doesn’t matter’.