Brand management is crucial for companies across all industries. In the age of e-commerce and oversaturated markets, standing out from the competition has never been more important. Connecting with your target audience and establishing a consistent public perception aid companies by building a reliable foundation for success.
If you’re wondering if brand management is the next step in your career, this guide is for you! We’ll discuss the fundamentals of brand management, look into the industry’s origins, detail relevant terminology, and share some tips and resources to support your career as a brand manager.
Brand Management 101
Brand management is a sect of marketing dedicated to developing public perception and curating the brand’s overall experience. All elements of a company’s outward representation are intentional. Everything from a company’s website and packaging down to its customer service procedures are calculated decisions, working to create a cohesive brand experience.
This field merges creativity and strategy. A good brand manager is able think strategically and recognize trends in consumer behavior, as well as adapt to changing markets and pivot using creative solutions. Being comfortable applying these contrasting perspectives will help you find your footing and excel in world of brand management.
Brief history of brand management
The history of brand management can be traced back to the late 1800’s, when companies began to realize the importance of creating a distinct image for their products. In these early days, companies focused primarily on creating a recognizable logo and slogan. This was simple and straightforward, as most products were sold directly to consumers through small brick and mortar stores. However, as the economy grew and technology advanced, companies had to adapt their branding strategies to keep up.
To keep up with mass production and marketing opportunities, companies sought out new ways to differentiate their products from their competitors. This led to the development of more sophisticated branding strategies, such as the use of storytelling and loyalty programs. Brand management, as we know it, was born.
Brand Assets: The visual elements of your brand. This includes logos, color palettes, typography, illustrations, packaging, and images.
Brand Awareness: The degree to which your target audience is familiar with your company’s products or services.
Brand Equity: The perceived value of a brand, determined by consumer perception and overall experience relating to the brand.
Brand Recognition: Consumers’ ability to recognize and identify a brand from visual or auditory signals, without being prompted by the company’s name. Similarly, brand recall is the likelihood of consumers remembering your brand.
Customer Journey: The series of interactions an individual has with your company leading up to and after they are converted into customers.
Digital Asset Management (DAM): A repository of digital assets, including documents, videos, and images. This library is typically accessible to all relevant parties to use as needed.
Rebranding: Changing the company’s outward representation via elements like visual identity, positioning, and voice.
Touchpoints: Any and all interactions an individual has with a brand. This includes digital interactions, such as visiting a company’s website, and physical interactions like taking a sales call.
Tips for success
- Develop a strong understanding of the industry and target audience. As a brand manager, it’s important that you’re acutely familiar with the industry your company is operating in and the target audience you’re trying to reach. Considering the volatile nature of today’s ecosystem, this information is likely to shift. Staying up-to-date on industry trends and consumer behavior is critical to your role as a brand manager.
- Hone your data and analytics skills. In today’s data-driven world, it’s essential for a brand manager to have a strong understanding of data and analytics. Leveraging data to inform marketing decisions and helps to legitimize these adjustments and can improve the success of your campaigns.
- Improve your communication skills. Communicating with internal teams and external partners is a significant responsibility of a brand manager. Having the appropriate knowledge is not enough in this role. Being able to clearly present your expertise, propose ideas, and collaborate is just as important.
- Be proactive and take initiative. Identifying problems early on and offering solutions are valuable skills in any industry. However, they are particularly valuable in the brand management field. Because you’ll likely be involved with multiple cross-functional teams, you’ll have a unique, comprehensive perspective that others may be lacking. This insight can reveal potential problems and areas of opportunity that may save your company money, time, and effort.
- Be flexible and adaptable. The world of branding is constantly changing and an effective brand manager should be ready to adapt. Whether you’re challenged with small obstacles or large roadblocks, being receptive to new ideas and creative solutions will help you pivot when necessary.
Tools and resources
The sheer volume of resources available to marketers can be overwhelming. Here are some of the most popular tools among brand management teams and professionals:
- Brand Management Software like Brandfolder and Frontify are hubs for all things brand-related. These platforms are an all-in-one tool and offer features dedicated to Digital Asset Management (DAM), collaboration, messaging, and content automation.
- Brand monitoring platforms like Brand24 and Hootsuite Insights allow you to track how your brand is perceived and talked about online. These platforms compile mentions of your brand (and your competitors) across social media, news websites, and other online platforms.
- Analytics and reporting tools help you understand how your brand is performing and allow you to make key data-driven decisions. Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics are popular tools for tracking website traffic, while tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs offer additional features that allow users to track search engine performance and monitor competitors.
- Feedback and market research are invaluable for brand management. Gathering customer feedback and monitoring industry trends will help you better understand your audience and their needs. SurveyMonkey and UserTesting are among the most popular survey and consumer feedback platforms with brand managers.
There are a variety of options available to help you stay ahead of the curve. By utilizing the tools and resources at your disposal, you can effectively promote your brand, ultimately driving business growth and achieving success as a brand manager.
For more information about the brand management industry, take a look at our Comprehensive Guide to Careers in Brand Management. If you’re ready to dive in, find a brand manager job on the job board!