Managing Your Brand, Worth the Effort
Brand Then and Now
Remember the cattle man back in the olden days when they used a brand on their livestock to identify their cattle from others. Brand has come a long way from then, it has turned into a way of differentiating companies and products from one another in today’s over saturated media bombarded society. Brand in a nutshell is the total impression and experience a person has about your company. It is the feeling a person comes away with when they look at your marketing materials and advertising but also what they get from your customer service, billing department and even your offices. Even if you are a small company you have some sought of brand. No matter what size you are, your organization makes some sought of impression to your customers and the outside world.
Very few organizations have a neutral brand and more and more companies have negative ones. These companies make excuses or justify their negative brand as the sign of the times. However you don’t have to be a large company like Google to have a well established positive brand, in fact I believe that it is easier for a smaller company to control and create a positive brand because their is far less moving parts. Speaking of Google, as a side note, have you ever seen their offices? Their offices represent their brand to a tee as a creative, hyper innovative, people conscious, fun organization.
But how do you build your brand? The answer is simple; by managing it like you manage any other aspect of your organization.
What is Brand Management?
The business dictionary defines brand management as the process of maintaining, improving, and upholding a brand so that the name is associated with positive results. Brand management is built on a marketing foundation, but focuses directly on the brand and how that brand can remain favorable to customers. Proper brand management can result in higher sales of not only one product, but on other products associated with that brand.
With that defined, brand management can have a positive effect on your bottom line!
Five Things You Can Do Now to Manage Your Brand
Decide Who You Want to Be.
Take the bull be the horn and define your brand before the outside world does it for you. What’s your company mission, what is the benefits and features of your products or services, how do you want your customers to think of you when they think of you if they do? Once you define what you want to be don’t leave it on your note pad or on your computer screen but let everyone within your business know what you have decided is your branding goals and start building or rebuilding it from the ground up, stone by stone.
This is the most difficult part of branding because it takes time, commitment and some money. It means you may have to make some tough decisions from whether or not to chuck your old logo or even your company name or let some people in your employ go because they won’t live up to your new brand. Think it would be difficult for you, just think how difficult it must have been for Goldstar to transform into LG or Kentucky Fried Chicken to become KFC. Hard but not impossible and so worth the results.
This is sometimes easier said then done. Once you have established your brand don’t go off script or change pace just because someone came up with some cool campaign idea that is cutting edge with the possibility to go viral. Find something within your wheel house and make that go viral because it does your company no good for something go viral if it is so far out from your brand that no one realized that it was you. Think about how many Burger King campaigns drove people to McDonalds.
Along the lines of consistency…
Know What You Are and What You Are Not
Don’t try to market like Neiman Marcus if your price point is the Dollar Store. Your company is unique because it is your company, create a brand with enough depth that there isn’t a need to branch out and be something your aren’t just to try and improve your brand. In the long run your customers will see the real you and if the real you isn’t the brand you want to be go back to start and decide who you would like to be.
Work to Have a Single Voice For Your Organization
What is your company voice? Your company voice isn’t what you say but how you say it. What words you use, how you use them, the tones, rhythm and pace in which you say it. From your ads to your brochures and tweets, your company voice should be consistent. Consistency again go figure. Don’t use humor and casual banter one day and be businesslike and formal the next.
Monitor Online Sources
Know what people are saying about you and nip those negative reviews in the bud by addresses issues the customers may have before they resort to writing a negative review online. And respond, respond, respond promptly and honestly. to each and every tweet, comment, and post that comes your way. It is the easiest way for your customers to know you care.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. If you want more information about brand please read What’s The Difference Between A Logo And Your Brand and What Makes Up Your Brand or give use a call to help you work on your brand management at 561-393-4722.