Brand concept is different from BRAND MANAGEMENT, brand concept is the foundation of brand management; this simply means that a brand is conceived and birthed/created before it is managed. In this article, I'm going to be discussing brand management while i discuss brand concept in the next article.
Brand management is the progressive act or art of managing,conducting,launching and supervising your business products/services with judicious use of means to accomplish uniqueness,general public acceptance and sustainability.
Brand managemment is dividedd into 2 major aspects which ared BRAND BUILDING and BRAND MAINTENANCE .
Before I delve into full discussion about the 2 aspects,I'll like to throw a little light on the misrepresentation, interwoveness and interdependency of both as brand building is not the same as brand maintenance;they are 2 different aspects which are interdependent in the launch of your products/services:
* When you talk about brand maintenance,you are talking about the advertising of your brand but when you talk about brand building,you are talking about PR& brand integrity. therefore,your brand is built or developed with PR&INTEGRITY while you maintain your brand with ADVERTISING.
* Brand building is a PROCESS while brand maintenance is a PROJECT: a process is simply a phenomenon marked by gradual changes that leads towards a particular result but a project is simply a specific plan or design used to communicate vividly to an audience.
* Brand building reveals what the general public(target audience) saying about your brand through PR,good customer relations,TQM,et al while brand maintenance reveals what you are saying about your brand to the general public through advertising.
* Brand building ensures brand confidence and trust but brand maintenance ensures brand capitulations.
* Brand building should be of topmost priority especially with PR&brand integrity taking the pace role/function while brand maintenance shhould be secondary with advertising blending with brand building in surbordination in launching your brand.
* Brand building help sustain your brand while brand maintenance help maintain your brand. This simply means that your brand makes some promises through advertising to your target audience in order to maintain the brand but the fulfillment of those promises is practically ensured through brand building in order to sustain the brand.
* Brand building speaks to your target audience at a very close range but brand maintenance speaks to your target audience from afar/distance.(in painting, objects that are near or close show more brilliance in colors than objects that are far; brand building is therefore the near/closer colorful object which shows more brilliance than brand maintenance,a colorful object but from afar).
* Brand building through the integrity of your brand shows the REAL VALUE of your brand but brand maintenance through advertising shows the PERCEIVED VALUE of your brand to your target audience.
Now, having established these few facts, let us go into the nitty gritty of brand building and brand maintenance where further explication on this subject are discussed.
The first thing that should come into the mind of any business owner who agitate being a brand custodian is "God first". This means that no matter the concept,strategies,skills,packaging and plan towards building a brand,without God, it could be a futile/vain exercise.
In brand management, you should recognize from the differences i gave between the 2 major aspects of brand management that brand building is much more important than brand maintenance.
Due to misrepresentation,most people,business owners engages in advertising,conventionally in building a brand,which is wrong!;advertising is mostly effective in brand maintenance and not in brand building.
Poor results is what you get when you use advertising in place of PR&brand integrity in brand building.
PR&brand integrity establishes a brand progressively and steadily,giving confidence and trust whhich serve as the "backbone" of brand building,assertively and consistently registering your brand in the frequencies of the consumers' thinking.
Also,PR role in brand building ensures a constant solid consumer brand awareness through publicity,making it an irresistible force in branding.
Brand building is the constant relationship and interactions between your brand and your target audience or the general public.In this approach,you try to discover what they like,dislike and their motivations;you demonstrate at all times using the "meet-the-customer" approach, "feed back" approach and more where you have opportunity to know and understand your target audience better.
This strategy actually help to sustain your brand into the future.
You can see the reason brand integrity&PR are exigent tools in brand building as they make you to know what the public is saying,how they feel,what their opinions are about your brand,which make you know the level of credibility or confidence they have in your brand.
The QUALITY ASSURANCE of your brand packages and services you are offering and always ready to offer especially in what i call the 3Ps dimension - Packaging, Presentation &Plan. This strategy will perpetually conciliate the PERCEPTION of your brand to your customers and general public.
Take for instance, a magazine called OVATION,owned by a Nigerian international publisher,Dele Momodu, is a strong brand because the PRODUCTION QUALITY ASSURANCE of the magazine,ranging from picture quality,paper texture,color separation and sharpness of the magazine which gives it stability,credibility and reckoness among competitors.
PACKAGING :- This is briefly the act or process of arranging and augmenting of your business products and services in a uniform/organized pattern and style with the aim of creating an impression and class to your target audience.
This dimension in brand building is not limited to products and services alone but also reflected in other aspects like your business philosophy,welfares,dress code,conducts,promptness,tech. compliance et al. In essence, you try to see how you can make yourself better and organized in every sense in order to make your target audience feel better,especially about your brand.
PRESENTATION:- This is simply how you want to be seen,viewed,understood and accepted by your target audience. This is very crucial in brand building because your brand is been set forth for the attention of your audience' minds.
The presentation of your brand,how it is read by the entire public matters.if you present your brand as a practically reliable,dependable and credible brand before your target audience,then that is what they see,feel and believe.
PLAN:- You cant even build any brand without a plan before and during the course of brand management.Plan is always a giver of direction.
You must develop a plan,strategy or method of achieving the aim of launching your brand,particularly to become a cynosure among existing brands.
You must have a detailed formulation on how you want your brand to capture the market at the immediate and progressive.
In the process of building your brand,through planing, you put into consideration success indicators,monitoring and evaluation,using it to know how efficient and realistic your plan is in achieving an end, which is launching your brand and registering it in your audience' minds.
....culled from my book on 23laws of branding