You’ve worked hard to develop a cutting-edge brand that resonates with its target audience.
Everything from the design of your logo to the copy on your website was carefully chosen to reflect your company’s mission, personality, and products.
But what do you do after you establish your brand? Answer: brand management.
In this article, I’ll define what brand management is and why it’s important. Then I’ll outline five brand management strategies you can use to maintain your brand.
What is Brand Management?
According to HubSpot, brand management is:
“The process of managing your brand reputation and improving your audience’s perception of your brand in a way that builds brand awareness, equity, and loyalty.”
Brand management allows companies to reach more prospects, build stronger relationships with target audiences, and increase sales. It can also help boost customer loyalty and allow brands to charge a premium for their products and services.
Successful brand management requires the following five principles:
- Awareness: The level of familiarity your target audience has with your brand.
- Equity: The value your customers place on your brand after engaging with it.
- Loyalty: How often your target audience engages and buys from your brand.
- Recognition: How recognizable your brand is to its ideal target audience.
- Reputation: How consumers view your brand and the quality of its products.
To effectively manage your brand, you need to be aware of, regularly monitor, and continually work to improve each of these five principles.
5 Brand Management Strategies
Every brand needs to be managed. The question is, how do you do it effectively? The following five brand management strategies will help you achieve success in this area.
1. Establish Brand Guidelines
The first step is to establish brand guidelines.
Make sure your guidelines should include how to represent your brand to the general public and information regarding the use of logos, colors, and typographies in relation to your brand.
Once these important details are determined and written down in a formal document, share it with your employees. It’s important that you team understands the guidelines and is committed to maintaining them.
Finally, make your guidelines available to third-parties as well. Anyone who will represent your brand in some way, from suppliers, consultants, and other partners to members of the media, should have easy access to your guidelines.
2. Invest in Proper Branding Tools
Brand management is tricky. Fortunately, there are tools that make it easier and more cost effective for people like you and me. Here are a few options worth considering:
CleanPix is a popular digital asset management (DAM) solution that allows users to quickly store, organize, and distribute brand assets from one central location.
Most companies use a combination of employee computers, external hard drives, and digital file lockers (think Dropbox) to store company logos, images, and video footage. This makes it extremely difficult to find the right file at the right time. As a result, employees waste hours looking for assets. Or worse, settle for outdated assets that no longer fit their brand’s identity.
CleanPix is your brand’s one source of truth. All files are stored in a central location so that they’re easily found by team members. They can also be distributed to third-parties with the click of a button, which makes brand management much simpler.
Give CleanPix a try for free for 14 days and experience it’s brand-boosting power for yourself!
To properly manage your brand, you have to know what people are saying about it.
That’s where Mention comes in. This handy app crawls the internet, looking through web pages, forums, social media profiles, etc., for user-specified keywords (like your brand name). It then aggregates the information in an easily understood way and reports on key metrics.
But it gets better. You can also track keywords related to your competitors with Mention so that you know exactly what is being said about them—both good and bad.
To build a successful brand, you have to know how it’s perceived by your target audience. That way you can adjust your approach when necessary. Mention gives you this ability for just $25+ a month. Request a free demo of the app to see if it’s right for your brand.
If your brand isn’t active on social media, do you really have a brand?
I get it, social media is a lot of work. And it’s really hard to maintain brand guidelines when multiple team members are asked to post on multiple platforms on a daily basis. Because of this, Buffer, a social media management app, is an essential brand management tool.
Use Buffer to run your entire social media strategy from one location:
- Schedule posts to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and others.
- Respond to comments and otherwise engage your followers in real-time.
- Evaluate the results of your efforts with an in-depth analytics dashboard.
Because Buffer allows you to see everything regarding your social media strategy, it’s easy to ensure your brand’s imagery and messaging is consistent across platforms. Get started today.
3. Regularly Evaluate Brand Assets
A brand asset is any component of your company’s branding strategy that can be seen, felt, and/or experienced by your target audience. Here are the most important ones:
- Logo: Your logo is probably the most viewed aspect of your brand. Is it recognizable? Does it represent your company effectively? If the answer is “no” it might be time for a rebrand. Make sure your logo reflects the values of your organization.
- Fonts: You might not think about typography when you think about branding, but you should. The fonts you use help tell your company’s story. Make sure they’re consistent across all of your brand’s assets, from its website to sales reps’ business cards.
- Graphics: Many different assets fall into the graphics category. For example, website images, memes for social media, marketing videos, and external slide decks all count. Many different people, both within your organization and without, will use your brand’s graphics. So make sure they’re well organized and you clarify rules around their use.
- Online: Your company’s website and social media profiles are important brand assets as well. In fact, they might be the most important because they’re highly visible and have direct contact with customers on a daily basis. Because of this, make sure they accurately reflect your branding and you maintain consistency across channels.
To win at brand management, you need to regularly evaluate and maintain your assets. Once again, a tool like CleanPix makes this process a whole lot easier.
4. Track Key Branding Metrics
You can’t tell if your branding efforts are effective or not until you look at the numbers. For this reason, no post on brand management is complete without a section on brand metrics.
The most important ones to track are:
- Brand Awareness: Does your target market know about your brand? If not, you won’t sell many products or services. To track brand awareness, survey your audience.
- Brand Consideration: People might know about your brand, but are they willing to purchase from you? To track brand consideration, analyze website visitors’ behavior.
- Perceived Quality: How is the quality of your products and/or services perceived? To track perceived quality, read reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, Capterra, etc.
- Product Purchases: Stellar branding doesn’t matter if it doesn’t result in sales. To track product purchases, view metrics like total sales and conversion rate.
- Net Promoter Score: Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures brand loyalty, which is a strong indication of success. To track NPS, send a survey to your customers.
For more information on branding metrics, check out our in-depth post on this topic.
5. Compare Your Brand to the Competition
The final piece of the brand management puzzle is competitor analysis.
How are other companies in your industry marketing themselves? Have they encountered any issues that you need to stay clear of? Maybe they’ve come up with an amazing way to engage customers. Whatever the case may be, you need to know about this stuff.
Fortunately, competitor analysis isn’t that difficult. You can use a tool like Mention to research the competition. Or you can visit competitor sites and manually evaluate them.
Once you have information regarding your competition’s marketing strategies and branding tactics, compare them to your own. Look for ways that you can improve brand management for your company using the insights you learn from others.
Manage Your Brand the Right Way
You’ve worked hard to build a quality brand that your customers love. Now you need to maintain it. That’s where brand management comes in. By using the five brand management strategies outlined in this article, you’ll be able to propel your company forward.
And don’t forget about CleanPix. Our highly-rated DAM platform makes brand management much easier. Sign up for your free 14-day trial now to see for yourself.– Jacob Thomas