Apple. Nike. Verizon. Google. You recognize these brands immediately and know what to expect from them.
You might think that kind of brand recognition is out of reach because of those companies’ budgets. But what got them there wasn’t just great logos, millions in marketing spend, or the innovation that brought new categories to market (or, in some cases, the creation of new markets altogether). These brands exist today because of years of consistent investment in brand management.
We’re currently growing businesses in an era when you can color every facet of the customer journey with your values, purpose, and visual identity. That challenge may seem overwhelming based on how often and rapidly customer behavior changes, but it’s also an opportunity. You can use today’s marketing technology (martech) to build a brand that interacts with someone all day long – from their morning coffee to their commute and personal and family time when they get home. When these experiences are personalized in a way that shows you understand your audience, 80% of people are more likely to shop with your brand.
Of course, that’s all easier said than done. It can take a few years of teams working together with the right tools and organizational alignment to get to this level of sophistication. But it can happen quickly, too. When your organization prioritizes and invests in brand management, you can swiftly increase brand awareness while acquiring (and retaining) more customers. It just takes steady, long-term commitment to build a brand with widespread reach and trust in any industry.
Let’s take a look at the four main reasons why brand management is important and how you can get started or begin to improve your current efforts.
Understanding Brand Management
Brand management is a combination of brand strategy, digital assets, marketing technology, workflows, and processes that all work together to create a consistent, value-driven, and positive experience at every touchpoint. From your website pages and product campaigns to your customer service interactions, everything needs to communicate who you want your brand to be and how you want to be seen by your audience. That takes a clear understanding of your brand, a wide range of committed resources, and the technology to empower your whole company to contribute to building your brand.
Digital asset management (DAM) systems are a core technology that many organizations use to manage their brands. You can use a DAM platform to store, manage, and distribute all of your brand assets from a central hub. This gives you a single source of truth for brand visibility, monitoring, and consistency. It’s also a powerful engine for content delivery to empower your sales teams, resellers and partners, e-commerce experiences, and every channel that needs branded content.
Here’s how a DAM system can help your organization:
- Create a digital gateway for your brand by using a branded login page, dashboard messages, custom URLs, and more
- Share more memorable and meaningful stories with portals, shared collections, embed codes, and share links
- Segment marketing stories by business group, audience, content type, and more by using metadata, categories, and search filters
- Personalize brand experiences using landing pages in different languages, curating asset groups tailored to different audiences, and localizing the brand with custom sales collateral
- Save brand guidelines where people can easily find them, centralizing brand assets and standards in one location with on-demand access
- Track how brand assets are used online, by whom, where, and when with asset-level and site-level content analytics
While marketing is traditionally responsible for brand management, it’s a practice that needs to be embraced by everyone in your organization to be successful.
Who Is Responsible for Brand Management?
Ultimately, everyone at your company — not just the marketing department — is responsible for brand management. This practice is about more than the consistent use of your logo, brand colors, and messaging on campaigns. Of course, those are vital — it just takes much more than those fundamentals to build a positive and personalized customer experience.
Employees are absolutely essential to managing your brand. After all, they’re the ones who interact with customers, buyers, and partners every day. The more you communicate about what the brand means to them and how they can move it forward, the more they’ll evangelize your company’s brand and contribute to the success of your business.
When your brand is embraced across the organization, everyone wins:
- Marketing has an easier time communicating the value of your products and services.
- Sales receives a pipeline of leads who understand the value you provide, while prospective customers know what to expect from your business
- Current customers are loyal to your business.
- Prospective hires will be drawn to the company culture.
4 Reasons Why Brand Management Is Important
Successful brand management revolves around your company’s ability to focus on four important elements: brand awareness, customer acquisition (and retention), consistency, and brand maintenance. Unlike a brand’s logo or colors, customers can’t see these things. Rather, these are the results of a well-managed brand — and often drive the motivation behind why companies adopt brand management practices.
1. Brand Awareness
Your brand isn’t just a logo, campaign, or tagline. It’s the culmination of every experience a person has with your organization, each of which makes an impression. The multifaceted impression that people have of your company is called brand awareness.
Brand awareness is also a measure of how familiar consumers are with your brand. Brand awareness exists along a spectrum ranging from simple name recognition to an audience’s knowledge of a brand’s products, services, reputation, and values. It’s often considered an early step in a customer’s path to conversion. If a customer already knows that your brand sells the product they want, and they have a positive impression from a previous interaction, they’ll think of you first when they need to buy.
2. Customer Acquisition and Retention
Acquiring customers is difficult. You have to attract their attention through ads, physical campaigns, social media, search engines, TV commercials, product placements, and word of mouth. It takes a mix of channels to build a customer acquisition pipeline, and once you land a new customer, the hard part begins: retaining them.
A primary way to retain customers is to build brand loyalty. If a consumer values your brand, they’re more likely to purchase its products or services regardless of convenience, price, or options. Because they trust the brand, they trust what it sells. Active ways to create brand loyalty include membership programs, rewards, and a steady stream of useful content.
It’s worth building loyalty after customer acquisition. When your brand has a strong purpose that aligns with your audience (and clearly communicates it), people are four times more likely to buy from your brand. They’re also four and a half times more likely to recommend your brand to friends and family.
Now that the customer journey is more complex than ever, it’s vital for your brand to have a consistent tone and feel across every part of the digital experience. Recalling a brand is similar to recalling a person. After people first meet each other, they don't remember everything about the other person. They can likely recall faces or names. If not, they can probably remember a story or way they felt about that person. But, if at a subsequent meeting, the person uses a different name, disguises their voice, or adopts an entirely different style, it can be hard to recognize them.
Similarly, when your brand exposes people to inconsistent brand elements, they may have trouble recognizing your brand. In a person, the recognizable elements could be glasses, a hat, or hair color. For a brand, it could be the logo, the webpage copy, or the way its graphics are styled. Whatever the case, companies with inconsistent brand elements risk confusing people or even coming across as untrustworthy, low-quality, and unpolished. Ultimately, these mixed messages can get in the way of a brand’s ability to sell its products, grow its business, and build customer loyalty.
So, focus on building a consistent experience, and people will remember your brand each time they interact with it. It’ll build trust.
4. Brand Maintenance
Once you’ve created a branded customer experience, maintaining it will be ongoing. For example, you’ll need to update a logo after a rebrand, and images will need to be updated at regular intervals to keep your web presence interesting and up-to-date. Your brand’s personality and values need to evolve over time too.
Brand maintenance requires more than actively updating brand assets, though. It also demands that you listen to your audience. Read customer feedback in product reviews, comments on social media, and emails to your customer service department. Look for patterns and see where your brand is hitting or missing the mark and use that info to make changes along the way.
Your company is already conducting brand management whether you know it or not. Now it’s about refining your approach. Remember, it’s not just about using the right version of a logo. It’s an overarching business practice that distinguishes your company in the marketplace, ensures the strength and consistency of your brand, and helps your organization live up to its promises. When you commit to brand management. you’ll create stronger brand awareness, acquire and retain more customers, and build a long-term position in your market.
While you can master your brand strategy, brand guidelines, and communication across teams, you’ll still need the right technology to make brand management possible. With a DAM system, your whole organization can participate in brand management, which is crucial if you want to ensure your brand is the go-to choice in your customers’ mind.