Establishing a brand alone is not enough to guarantee success. In order to gain awareness of your brand, let alone loyal customers, you have to work hard to get your name out there and keep it out there. Once you’ve established a brand, the real fun begins. Are you prepared to get your brand out there and keep it front and center to your audience? Brand management is how you continue to grow your company and is a key component to a successful business.
What is brand management?
Brand management is an ongoing marketing tactic that aims to increase the perceived value of a brand or product line over time. It involves maintaining and bettering your brand perception, services and products. When done well, brand management allows for cost leverage, increases your customer loyalty and establishes meaningful brand awareness. This can be done in a variety of ways, and what may work for one brand, wouldn’t necessarily work for all brands. As with any marketing strategy, it’s all about your target audience and how you can best communicate with them. Once you have figured that out, you’ll know where to focus your efforts for the best results.
Why is brand management important?
The ultimate goal is to get your target audience to choose your service or product over your competitors. Consumers make a decision about a brand within a split second, making brand management all the more important. It’s imperative to the success of a company to be able to influence the public’s view of them. Successfully marketing your brand can make or break your business these days. In order to build a brand that customers will choose over the hundreds of other options, you need to clearly define brand vision. It does not stop there though, brand management is constantly in motion.
Every touchpoint, from the moment your customer hears about your brand to the moment they receive the product and everything in between, should communicate what your company values. This will help ensure that your target audience thinks of you whenever they need to purchase something you offer. Brand management is critical for any business that wants to become and stay relevant in today’s ever changing digital world. Brand management will help you with the following:
Improve brand perception
Brand perception is what customers believe a product or service represents, which may or may not be what the company says it does. Brand perception comes from reputation, word of mouth recommendation, customer use, etc. Positive brand perception happens once your target audience has experienced your product or service first hand. Building positive brand perception with your target audience will not only encourage them to continue to buy from you, it will encourage others as well, helping your business grow.
Increase retention and customer loyalty
The better the reputation your brand has and the happier your customers are, the more likely they are to keep coming back for more. It’s great to continue to gain new customers, but your loyal customers are just as important, if not more. If they have already purchased from you once, and were satisfied with that experience, they are likely to come back and invest even more of their time and money in your business.
Differentiate your brand
It’s hard to compete with other businesses these days, as there always seems to be about a hundred businesses offering the same products and services. How can you possibly choose one? You usually go with what you know, or what someone you know recommends. Being able to create a unique brand unlike any other out there will set you apart and help you get your name out there. You may not see an influx of customers immediately, it takes time, but if you can get your name out there and set yourself apart from your competitors, you are already a step ahead. Find something that sets you apart and capitalize that. Give your target audience something they can easily identify you by. This will help bring you to mind anytime they are in the market for what you offer.
How to create a brand management strategy
Creating a brand management strategy may seem like a daunting task as it should be ever changing and evolving to keep up with your audience and the digital world. Don’t let this deter you though, it is really much simpler than it seems. If you’ve got a brand established, you’re already on your way to the world of brand management.
Establish brand values
One of the first things you want to do when creating a brand is to establish brand values and what the company wants to achieve. Take a look at what your competitors value and how they position themselves and figure out where you can fit your brand to set it apart. Make sure you align your brand values and positioning with that of your target audience.
Once you have defined these, make sure you integrate them into the core of your company. Your target audience will quickly see through empty promises, so make sure to back up your values and positioning in each customer touchpoint. If you promote going green helping the environment, make sure you reflect that in your product packaging, all the way to your shipping materials. If your customers choose to buy from you because of your commitment to the environment, they will not be pleased if they receive their product in non eco-friendly materials and a whole lot of waste.
Managing brand reputation
These days, a lot of word of mouth marketing happens online. Everyone has the opportunity to voice their opinion or experience online and be heard. It’s important as a business owner to pay attention to and listen to what is being said online. If you have some complaints, don’t just ignore them or comment back “sorry” and call it a day. Take actions to resolve the issue and make it right. Going above and beyond for your customers will help you in the long run, as they are likely to speak out about what you did to help online as well. Being able to stay on top of these online interactions will help you learn about your audience’s needs, wants, concerns and more, as well as show them you are listening and that you care. This will go a long way.
Get yourself out there and keep yourself out there
Getting yourself out there can be done in a variety of ways. These days you should strongly consider a social media presence, as that is how many brands connect with and communicate with their audience. As mentioned above, it’s a great way to learn about what your customers want and need, but it’s also a great way to show off your personality and connect with your audience on a more personal level. You can keep things classic with print marketing as well. Any business owner should have a stack of business cards on hand at the least. You never know when you’ll run into someone and have the opportunity to hand one out.
You can go a step further and plaster flyers all around your local town. The possibilities are endless, but depending on your industry, some options may make more sense than others. Is your target audience an older generation? It still wouldn’t hurt to establish a social media presence, but pushing print marketing may help you reach them even better. It’s important to learn about your target audience, their habits and preferences in order to establish the best way to communicate with them.
Your brand management strategy should be ever evolving. People change, technology changes, so the way you market your business should change to keep up with that. That being said, your marketing strategy should not change on a weekly basis. You just want to make sure you are always listening and aware of what your audience wants and needs to ensure you are connecting with them to the best of your ability. As your business grows, it is likely to change and evolve. You could even choose to go through a complete brand overhaul someday.
Get your brand out there with print marketing
Printivity is here for you through all of your brand’s changes. From providing resources and helpful insights, to supplying your print marketing needs. Whether you’re placing your hundredth or your first order of business cards, don’t be afraid to reach out to Printivity with any questions at 1-877-649-5463.