Brand management in 2022 – A guide to the basic principles (2022)

12 min. readBrand management in 2022 – A guide to the basic principles (1)

In 2010, Old Spice rebranded, giving their 75-year-old brand a light, quirky and funny new personality.

This helped Old Spice become more than just a deodorant company, all without changing their product.

They had an ‘aha’ moment, evolving by adapting to the changing market and audience. They did all this despite already having a successful brand.

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When it comes to our own brand, seeing the light isn’t always so obvious. As a result, we sometimes stick (no pun intended) to what works until it doesn’t.

If you’ve built a successful brand, that’s great! But now comes another important part of the process – brand management.

Are you prepared to make necessary brand adjustments when the time comes?

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In this article, I’ll go over the essential brand management components everyone needs to know in 2022.

Don’t be left with a formerly successful brand, while other revamped brands are connecting to your target audience.

What is brand management?

Brand management is a branding component that involves maintaining and bettering products, services and brand perception. Brand management, when practiced correctly, gives cost leverage, increases customer loyalty and establishes meaningful brand awareness. It also embodies the customer purchasing process relationship.

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Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual reinvention” – Richard Branson

It goes without saying that creating a brand is just the beginning of a longer process. Brand management is this longer process.

In order to have continued success, there needs to be a concerted effort to deliver dynamic branding.

Think of your business like a tree seed you’ve planted in the ground. Your brand is the leaves and branches that bloom as the business grows.

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As the tree (business) grows (scales), the leaves/branches (brand) need to be trimmed and cut to adapt to this growth. This is why it’s so important to understand the basic principles of brand management.

Let’s begin with an overview of the basic benefits that come along with effective brand management.

Main brand management benefits

  • Grows sales through increased customer advocacy
  • Powers overall brand awareness
  • Enhances pricing leverages
  • Produces lifelong customer loyalty
  • Helps brands scale

When looking at these benefits, remember that they’re only a reality for businesses that practice effective brand management. There are right and wrong ways to handle and maintain a brand.

In order to make sure you handle yours correctly, I’ll break down a few important principles.

Basic brand management principles you absolutely need to know

The necessary elements that make up these principles are straightforward. You need to involve these different elements to evaluate your branding endeavors and ultimately succeed.

When it comes to specific strategies, it’s possible to break free from the norm and manage your brand in a unique way. I’ll go over some of these unique strategies in the next section.

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The following elements require constant assessment – the key to overall successful brand management. Here are the most relevant principles, as well as a breakdown of why each is important.

Brand equity

Brand equity creates value through reputation, impression and perception. It’s important because it changes the dynamic of a product or service that companies offer, since customers trust the brand over their perception of the product or service.

This in turn gives businesses the opportunity to increase their prices.

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Here’s an example to help you remember brand equity. Imagine you’re going for a jog in the park and you come across two concession stands.

One is nameless, the other is “Gatorade.” The nameless stand is selling sports drinks for half the price of the Gatorade stand. It stands to reason that most people will still select the Gatorade stand based on the brand equity it holds.

Brand recognition

Recognition is not a scarce resource. You can’t use it up or run out of it.” – Susan M. Heathfield

Brand recognition indicates how easy it is for audiences to identify your brand without hearing or seeing the brand name.

This is typically a visual element, as usually things like a slogan, color scheme, logo or packaging lead customers to recognize the brand. However, it does extend to things like audio, with brand advertisement jingles.

Brand recognition is crucial because it signals to customers whenever they see one of your products. This results in a higher chance for them to make a purchase.

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If you’ve ever seen the start of an advertisement and knew exactly which brand was behind it without seeing their name, that was brand recognition in action.

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We don’t often think about it, but it’s a powerful thing for a brand to be able to create that connection with customers.

Brand loyalty

Brand loyalty is when a customer is devoted to a particular brand over their competitors. Note that brand loyalty isn’t customer loyalty, which involves customer’s buying a product or service because of its specific quality.

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Brand loyalty involves a customer buying a product or service based solely on their loyalty to the brand.

It is important because it leads to other benefits, such as word-of-mouth advertising.

Here’s an example demonstrating brand loyalty in action. Someone needs to buy four new tires for their car and chooses Goodyear because of their dedication to customers over the years.

Note that their decision to purchase had nothing to do with the product quality. This is how powerful brand loyalty can be, and why it must be evaluated constantly.

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Knowing which principles to consider is only half the battle. Now it’s time to implement some unique brand management strategies that will help you succeed in 2022.

Brand management strategies you can’t ignore in 2022

It’s not enough to implement a basic brand management strategy. You need groundbreaking ideas that constantly challenge and revamp your ideas.

The following strategies were crafted with the concept in mind that a brand cannot possibly succeed without dynamic, unique ideas.

1. Do more than simply create a unique selling proposition – use it to your advantage

Your unique selling proposition (USP) sets you apart from competitors. A timeless example is M&M’s “melts in your mouth, not in your hand”. This USP-turned slogan distinguishes M&M’s from other candies. Furthermore, this brand contrast has been key to the success of M&M’s.

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To create a unique selling proposition, understand where your product fits into the market. What makes it different from its competition? Is it more durable or cost-effective? How is your company different? Is it more innovative or stable?

Whatever it is, define it and write it down. For example: “Our company is the most creative and the product is the most stylish”.

Once you’ve defined your USP, use it to your advantage by turning it into a sexy key message. Use this as the backbone of your marketing activities – you’ll be surprised at how often it pops up.

2. Evaluation is an incomplete, inadequate piece of the puzzle. Follow this comprehensive model instead.

As I’ve pointed out in the principles section, evaluation of certain brand elements is essential. However, the mistake a lot of brands make is believing brand management is a process that begins and ends with evaluation. This just isn’t the case.

A better strategy to follow would entail a basic plan for evaluation, followed by a sustained plan for future re-evaluation. All of this would then be laid out in a detailed schedule, to ensure none of these measurements stagnate.

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It’s best to follow a three-pronged process:

  1. Organize and list brand elements and assets: There are many different elements and assets you need to manage. Build a list to keep them organized. Also, keep in mind this will continually grow.
  2. Come up with a plan for all teams: Whatever type of plan you create, make sure it’s accessible to the necessary team members. This will help keep everything evaluated on time, which ensures goals are met.
  3. Re-evaluate the overall process: The key word here is re-evaluate. Make sure your processes get some extra attention, even after they’re created. Also, ensure this includes reviewing the manner in which it’s currently set up.

3. Brand assets require attention (and plenty of it!)

There are a lot of different assets that are a part of your specific brand. In order to truly create a successful brand management strategy, brand assets need some special attention.

In case you’re unsure what types of elements qualify as brand assets, I’ve created a list of a few of them.

Keep in mind that there are more brand assets, but these are the most important and/or the most overlooked.

Visual elements

Good design…is intelligence made visible” – Zena O’Connor

Visual elements are the brand asset most people know best. There are quite a few things to consider when it comes to managing different visual elements.

First, it’s important to take note of the different visual elements you have control over. These are usually things such as logos, layouts and color schemes.

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Sometimes a rebranding takes place and the visual elements get adjusted or changed, but this entails subtle changes that nudge visuals in a new direction. It’s important that whatever changes you make adhere to brand consistency.

Similarly, don’t think of your visual elements as tasks that require constant updates or changes. Instead, think of them as assets that need to be used correctly. This involves creating guidelines and rules that ensure they stay relevant across different mediums throughout new challenges.

Brand messaging

Brand messaging is a combination of your content language and the description of innovative features and services provided. It’s how a brand influences and inspires customers, giving them good reason to purchase a product or service.

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Your brand messaging should be specific, expressing the brand’s ideals and values. There are a lot of different things that make brand messaging valuable.

It may tell a story of sorts, charging customer excitement and getting them on your side, as it were. Part of this task involves learning to understand your audience.

Once your messaging is established, continually evaluate new projects and campaigns to ensure the messaging is on-point. Check the overall tone and make sure it’s in-line with your brand.

Social media accounts

Some of your most important (and sometimes underestimated) brand assets are social media accounts. A common mistake companies make is creating an account that doesn’t fit with their brand. This happens more and more as brands expand their outreach to new platforms.

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If, for example, they have a Twitter account where most of their tweets are friendly, funny and laidback, they cannot make a YouTube account and post serious, dramatic videos. Stay true to your brand throughout each social media account you make.

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Keep in mind that each social media profile needs to have the same personality of your brand. They should behave in a manner that reflects brand ideals and values.

Website

A website is a window through which your business says hello to the world.” – Amit Kalantri

Companies often ignore the potential power of their website or app. What they sometimes don’t realize is that it has the power to both entice a customer or turn them away.

Part of brand management includes caring for the well-being of a company website. This should consist of detailed analysis and continual evaluations, which will give further insight into how well the website adheres to the brand.

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An easy example to get this point across is a website design agency’s homepage. No matter how good they might be in designing websites for their clients, if their own website fails to appear professional and modern tech-wise, no one will buy their services.

Some further options to give you the extra boost needed

With these strategies and principles in hand, you’ll be able to better navigate your brand. It’s important now to decide the direction you’d like to take your involvement in the brand management process.

This leaves us with a couple different choices: outsourcing some of our duties, or managing our brand internally with software systems.

Remember that there’s no right or wrong selection here. Some will prefer using a third-party, while others will like the features a software system gives them. Here’s a rundown of each option to help guide you to one or the other.

Outsourcing brand tasks to a brand management agency

Brand management can be overwhelming, especially as a company expands. Luckily, with these growing demands came a multitude of different options to help your situation. One such option is outsourcing your tasks to an agency that specializes in such procedures.

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There are plenty of different agencies around the world willing to meet your needs and give you more time to handle other issues. Consider hiring a third party if branding has been a struggle for your teams.

Enhancing brand management internally with a software system

If outsourcing your tasks to a third party doesn’t fit your needs, consider a brand management software system. These powerful tools give extra help organizing and maintaining different brand assets.

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Some of these software tools, such as digital asset management (DAM), help teams better manage their brand assets, such as logos, by providing a central repository.

One of the more powerful features of DAM is the accessible style guide, which gives an overview of brand assets to use. This includes the ability to see which font, logo and pictures to use.

DAM is also great at handling different copyright and security tasks, a must for companies in need of brand management. If you want to supplement your current process, a tool such as DAM is a perfect fit.

Implement these ideas to see how far a better brand can take you

The better you manage your brand, the better it will become. The more you review and analyze it, the higher its future efficacy will be.

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Use the above principles, strategies and guidelines to ensure your brand stays strong in 2022 and beyond.

Check out our complete branding guide to learn more.

FAQs

What are the basics of brand management? ›

Brand management is a function of marketing that uses techniques to increase the perceived value of a product line or brand over time. Effective brand management enables the price of products to go up and builds loyal customers through positive brand associations and images or a strong awareness of the brand.

What are the 5 elements that make a strong brand? ›

Five Key Brand Elements:
  • Brand Position. ...
  • Brand Promise. ...
  • Brand Personality. ...
  • Brand Story. ...
  • Brand Associations.

What makes a strong brand? ›

Having a strong brand is all about consistent and recognizable company expressions; to offer not only products and services but also meaning. In many ways, a strong brand is the nucleus of a company's success and is the result of an effective brand strategy.

What is the principle purpose of branding? ›

Branding is the process of establishing your business or product as different from the competition in an advantageous manner. It creates an impression in the customer's mind that your product, service, or organization is unique and that there is no other like yours.

What is brand management example? ›

Examples of brand management

A car insurance company develops a brand management strategy to promote brand awareness and recognition and foster familiarity within its target audience.

What is the importance of brand? ›

Branding Creates Loyal Customers

You don't just want customers who recognize your brand and use your business once — you want to create customers who continue to come back. With good branding, you can give your brand a more human side, which your customers can relate to more than a company that's strictly all business.

How do you maintain brand management? ›

7 Tips for Effective Brand Management
  1. Submit rules to your team. ...
  2. Create a unique brand strategy. ...
  3. Pay attention to customer experience. ...
  4. Make customers your top priority. ...
  5. Keep brand assets together. ...
  6. Use one brand style for your content. ...
  7. Encourage collaboration of departments. ...
  8. Keep up with trends to stay relevant.
23 Aug 2022

How do you strengthen your brand? ›

Here are steps to build your brand:
  1. Know Your Audience. ...
  2. Craft A Persuasive Company Message. ...
  3. Know Your Marketplace. ...
  4. Highlight The Best You Have. ...
  5. Create A Catchy Tagline And Logo. ...
  6. Choose How You Will Interact With Your Audience. ...
  7. Make Your Brand Omnipresent And Shiny. ...
  8. Be Your Own Brand Ambassador.
15 Dec 2017

How do I professionally brand myself? ›

Five Tips to Branding Yourself
  1. #1: Define your brand and become an expert. ...
  2. #2: Establish a presence. ...
  3. #3: Generate brand awareness through networking. ...
  4. #4: Remember the 3 Cs of branding. ...
  5. #5: Get feedback from those who know you best—at work, at home, anywhere.

What are brand values? ›

Brand values can be defined as the foundational beliefs that a company stands for. They refer to the “ideals” guiding the brand's actions, such as environmental protection, diversity, solidarity, or transparency.

What makes a brand unique? ›

The more prevalent and unique a brand is, the more recognition and loyalty it earns. And recognition + loyalty = profit. Part of maintaining and protecting a brand's distinctiveness is the consistent use of its core elements, which include logos, colors, typography, mascots, taglines and advertising style.

What makes a good brand identity? ›

A brand logo should be instantly recognizable: simple, unique, appropriate, and memorable. Most importantly, it should clearly convey the company's messaging. Companies should also consider the various sizes and shapes their logo will be expected to take, from website headers to products to stationary.

What defines a good brand? ›

The a-moral approach to economics and business says a good brand is simply a brand that is strong and popular. It doesn't matter very much what the content of the brand happens to be. Raw capitalism is impressed only by how many people recognise the brand and spend money accordingly.

What are the elements of a good brand position? ›

These five things – awareness, relevant differentiation, value, accessibility and emotional connection – drive customers from being aware of the brand to preferring the brand to being loyal to the brand to insisting on the brand — accepting no substitutes.

What is brand name in principles of marketing? ›

A brand is an identifier: a name, sign, symbol, design, term, or some combination of these things that identifies an offering and helps simplify choice for the consumer. A brand is a promise: the promise of what a company or offering will provide to the people who interact with it.

What is brand identity? ›

Brand identity is the visible elements of a brand, such as color, design, and logo that identify and distinguish the brand in consumers' minds. Consistent marketing and messaging lead to consistent brand identity and, therefore, consistent sales.

What are elements of a brand? ›

The Six Elements of a Brand
  • Brand voice.
  • Brand identity.
  • Brand promise.
  • Brand values.
  • Brand targeting.
  • Brand positioning.
7 Aug 2020

What is your brand strategy? ›

A brand strategy is the holistic approach behind how a brand shows up to its customers (and potential customers). A brand strategy encompasses several different brand elements like voice, storytelling, brand identity, brand values, and overall vibe.

What skills do you need to be a Brand Manager? ›

Here's a list of essential brand management skills:
  • Collaboration and relationship management.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Relentless customer focus.
  • Analytical thinking and creative storytelling.
  • Tech and social media savvy.
  • Data-driven approach.
16 Aug 2021

How brands are managed successfully over time? ›

One way of brand management over time is to strengthen brand equity by developing marketing programs, which express brand knowledge consistently as not to confuse the consumer.

Why is a strong brand important? ›

Beyond just a memorable logo, good branding increases the value of a company, provides employees with direction and motivation, and makes acquiring new customers easier.

How brand name affects business success? ›

One study found that “when customers see a brand-name change, they expect radically new features.” This is related to that Nielsen study from earlier, where they mention that brand names can “lend credibility to product efficacy and provide an assurance of quality, letting consumers know what they can expect.”

What are brand management activities? ›

Brand management includes both tangible elements (i.e., how the product looks, packaging, price) and intangible elements (i.e., experiences consumers have with the brand, the relationships they build, and emotional connections associated with the brand).

What are the duties of a brand manager? ›

Responsibilities
  • Analyze brand positioning and consumer insights.
  • Shape and communicate our vision and mission.
  • Translate brand elements into plans and go-to-market strategies.
  • Manage a team of marketing people working on brand initiatives.
  • Lead creative development to motivate the target audience to “take action”

What is the difference between marketing and brand management? ›

While brand management is responsible for creating the brand itself, marketing handles the individual campaigns that promote the brand and generate engagement. This delineation is crucial, because successful businesses depend on both unique functions.

How do you promote the brand in a big way? ›

12 tips to promote your business
  1. Take advantage of local listings. Register your business with Google — it's the new yellow pages. ...
  2. Use social media. ...
  3. Create engaging content. ...
  4. Optimize your website's SEO. ...
  5. Create press releases. ...
  6. Get involved in an online community. ...
  7. Use high-quality visuals. ...
  8. Pay for advertising.

How do you grow a brand image? ›

How to build a strong brand image for your business
  1. Identify who you are as a brand. ...
  2. Complete a SWOT analysis. ...
  3. Identify who you are targeting as a customer base. ...
  4. Develop your brand mission and values. ...
  5. Experiment with your tone of voice. ...
  6. Inject your brands personality. ...
  7. Create your brand guidelines.
24 Jul 2020

How can a company improve its brand value? ›

10 Tips That Can Help You Increase Your Brand Value
  1. Understand Your Target Customers. ...
  2. Invest In Video Marketing. ...
  3. Design A Smart Logo. ...
  4. Get A Great Website. ...
  5. Advertise Your Brand Extensively. ...
  6. Maintain Quality. ...
  7. Use The Power Of Social Media. ...
  8. Keep The Prices Reasonable.
5 Oct 2020

What are the 3 C's of branding? ›

Raise your voice and clearly articulate your brand message and values by following the 3 c's model to brand messaging: consistency, clarity and character.

Why is it important to brand yourself? ›

To stand out from the crowd, it's essential to have a strong personal brand. A personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you who you are. It's what makes you unique and sets you apart from everyone else. By developing a personal brand, you're giving yourself a competitive advantage.

How would you communicate yourself as a brand? ›

The way you choose to communicate your personal brand will determine if others receive it.
  1. Keep it simple. Don't overcomplicate your personal brand. ...
  2. Invest in your development. What key aspects are included in your personal brand? ...
  3. Share expertise online. ...
  4. Mentor others. ...
  5. Connect others. ...
  6. Do speaking engagements. ...
  7. Final thoughts.
24 Jun 2021

What it means to brand yourself? ›

Branding yourself means to develop a unique professional identity and coherent message that sets you apart from others either in your company or in your industry. If you are a CEO or an entrepreneur, you may say, 'I have enough on my plate by building and managing my company's brand, much less my own.

What are the 5 A's of personal branding? ›

These are the 5 A's of personal branding:
  • Authenticity.
  • Authority.
  • Aspiration.
  • Affinity.
  • Artisanat.
24 Jul 2022

What are elements of a brand? ›

The Six Elements of a Brand
  • Brand voice.
  • Brand identity.
  • Brand promise.
  • Brand values.
  • Brand targeting.
  • Brand positioning.
7 Aug 2020

What are design principles for a brand? ›

10 Principles of Awesome Brand Design You Really Need to Know
  • Keep it classic. ...
  • Make sure your branding reflects your character. ...
  • Stand out. ...
  • Don't use more than three colors. ...
  • Minimalism always does the trick. ...
  • Don't write long slogans. ...
  • Choose a memorable name. ...
  • Choose colors wisely.
28 Mar 2016

What are brand values? ›

Brand values can be defined as the foundational beliefs that a company stands for. They refer to the “ideals” guiding the brand's actions, such as environmental protection, diversity, solidarity, or transparency.

What is a branding in marketing? ›

Brand marketing is the process of establishing and growing a relationship between a brand and consumers. Rather than highlighting an individual product or service, brand marketing promotes the entirety of the brand, using the products and services as proof points that support the brand's promise.

What is the brand strategy? ›

What is Brand Strategy? Brand strategy is part of a business plan that outlines how the company will build rapport and favorability within the market. The goal of a brand strategy is to become memorable in the eyes of the consumer so that they decide to patronize your business over the competition.

How do you build a strong brand? ›

How to Build a Strong Brand in 7 Steps
  1. Step 1: Discover/Develop Your Brand Purpose.
  2. Step 2: Know Your Competitors.
  3. Step 3: Determine Your Primary and Secondary Target Audiences.
  4. Step 4: Build Out Your Brand Strategy.
  5. Step 5: Develop A Compelling Brand Narrative/Story.
  6. Step 6: Create a Brand Identity.
  7. Step 7: Live The Brand.
28 May 2020

What makes a brand identity? ›

A brand identity is made up of what your brand says, what your values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when they interact with your company. Essentially, your brand identity is the personality of your business and a promise to your customers.

What is the most important principle of design? ›

Hierarchy. One of the most important principles in design, hierarchy is a way to visually rank your design elements. Hierarchy is not based on a design styles, but rather the order of importance. A good design leads the eye through each area in priority order.

What are the types of principle? ›

3 Examples Of Different Kinds Of Principles
  • Ethical Principle. One of the best examples of a moral or ethical principle is the famous golden rule. ...
  • Scientific Principle. ...
  • Logical Or Axiomatic Principle.
6 Apr 2019

What is the most important characteristic of a brand? ›

1) Loyalty

The unique and exclusive characteristics of the brand create an emotional connection with the target audience that makes them indulge in the repeat purchases resulting in the loyalty towards the brand and its offerings of products and services.

What makes a good brand promise? ›

An effective brand promise helps establish that connection by being inspiring. At the same time, don't promise what you can't deliver. A brand promise is meant to inspire, but you also want to be realistic. A great example of an inspirational brand promise is Apple's “Think Different.”

How do you live your brand? ›

5 Common Sense Ways to Live Your Brand
  1. Be One With Your Brand. The fact is, you and your brand are one in the same. ...
  2. Be Substantial. Your brand has to be about more than just words. ...
  3. Engage Your Foot Soldiers. Your employees are your single biggest assets in living out your brand. ...
  4. Be Sociable. ...
  5. Prune Your Branches.
9 Mar 2015

Why are brand names important? ›

Why are brand names important? They're important because you and/or your customers can use them to identify a business, as well as what it offers. Logo Design of the brand and its name can influence your customer's decision to buy something or an intern's decision to either continue working for your company or not.

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