As soon as I tell somebody I am a brand management professional, next question I get is- “Oh so you are in marketing?” or in some cases, so you do “logo design and stuff?”
People, branding is not restricted to graphic design. It plays an important role, but it is definitely not restricted to how good your company logo looks! For instance, take Hadoop—the logo is a yellow elephant with blue typo. Honestly, it does not relate to what Hadoop is, at any level, but it has created its brand extremely well, and it’s known as one of the best analytics tools today!
I think it’s time for brands and brand designers to move beyond the visuals (obviously, it helps if the visuals are attractive, but the key is they should be easy to remember, like in case of Hadoop). Today, the customers are digital and bombarded with data of all types. In such a chaos, it becomes an even bigger challenge to differentiate your brand from others.
Branding is not about promoting your products or services (yes, it’s neither marketing nor sales) it’s about telling people what your brand is all about. It’s abstract.
So, how do you manage something that’s abstract?
Look around and understand what influences your audience? How do they perceive you? Do they know you at all? Sure, you can get the data, but a brand manager has to make sense out of it and plan the roadmap for the organization.
Brand management is a tight rope. You have to work in various directions to develop the brand image, while being careful not to cross the line and join the marketing team!
Ideally, branding should precede marketing. However, ideal is not always real. As with a lot of businesses, the organization structure is complex. This leads to everyone doing their own thing. This also results in discrepancy in brand communication. It reflects confusion and eventually filters down to the external customer as well.
Another aspect of brand management is to bring the various departments of an organization together. Thus, it also touches upon an important aspect of internal branding as well. This can be avoided if there is a branding strategy in place. The key thing is to share it.
Lastly, it is important to be patient and take one step at a time towards building your brand. Adapt to the changing the changing needs of your customers and improvise. Building a brand is same as building a reputation. If you can’t keep up with it, you may end up going the Uber way!
Author’s Note: This is one of my pulse articles. The opinions and points of view expressed in this article are exclusively the views of the author and/or subject(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of Allied Analytics or Allied market research, the management or associated bloggers.