Guide to Brand Management

Published: 13th August 2010
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Brand management is the art of creating a strong public awareness for a service, product or company whilst controlling and regulating cash flow. The aim of branding is to increase profitability through a number of avenues; increased sales, higher retail price, lower cost price and a tightly monitored advertising budget. The first aim of any brand should be association with a desirable quality level, this is key to future product launches. New products will enter the market with a good reputation merely because they are part of a 'good brand'. Overcoming a customer's risk factor when they are buying a product can make a significant impact on sales, because even if your product is more expensive it will have a higher perceived value. Increasing sales is an obvious way to increase profitability and creating a strong brand will create a desire in the market for your product which should have that effect.

If your sales go up you should be able to negotiate lower costs from your suppliers as you can buy in larger numbers. From this it is evident that your balance sheet should be looking healthy if you can crack the branding. A good way to get into branding is to speak with industry experts, many Brand Management Courses offer this opportunity alongside learning about theory.

Brand management needs to start with a clear objective of what you are trying to achieve. The key points to answer when constructing a campaign are, who your demographic are and how you can appeal to them and create a brand identity that will resonate with their values. A brand that has recently been launched onto the watch market that have achieved this is Ice Watch. Their target audience are young, trendy people and since their launch in 2007 they have risen to the top of the fashion watch industry. The first key to their success was finding a great name. It is easy to remember, pronounce and recognise, it is iconic and provides insight into the nature of the company. You need to do the same to create a strong brand.

There are a number of different types of brand names that you can utilise. A simple brand name, like Ice Watch, is the name of the company and defines the style but not the individual products. Corporate branding can also be very effective, a great example of this is Virgin. The iconic corporation have a large number of different companies but they all start with Virgin, eg. Virgin Media and Virgin Trains. This kind of branding works well for large companies that want customers to make an assumption about the quality of all of their services.

The next step is to get your product into the marketplace in a way that visually represents the brand. A distinctive logo and bright noticeable packaging will create an impact on customers and force them to make the association between your advertising campaigns and the product in front of them. The key to successful branding is consistency and recognisability.

Consistently monitor the success of different types of marketing and work out the best times and places to but your brand in front of the customers that you want. Advertising can be very expensive so choose carefully to maximise exposure, you need to get good value from your advertising in order to make the demands of branding affordable and profitable.

A good brand manager will be aware of all of these different elements and keep control of them all to create a strong brand, like Ice Watch, that will evolve and grow over time.

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