April 16, 2014

Brand management tips from a rebranding company

Brand management can be deceptively hard to define because it covers so many elements within a large corporation. Brand management may include marketing communications, brand compliance, reputation management, digital asset management, physical asset management, internal communications, public relations, investor relations, vendor relations, franchisee relations, and so on. While I won’t go into detail about brand equity here, it is a way to measure brand management using factors such as brand awareness, brand loyalty, perceived quality and market share.

Based on my experience, brand management teams often don’t understand the totality of their branded assets, and have a hard time telling us all of the places their brand appears when we show up to work on rebranding projects. Typically, the focus has been on branded assets that fall under the marketing umbrella, from websites to marketing materials to trade show booths.

Since my rebranding company focuses on the brand implementation side of brand management, one phrase that always pops into my head is “out of sight, out of mind.” Employees may only see what is around their own locations, but customers notice when corporate vehicles and building signage are out-of-date in the marketplace. With that in mind, I ask new clients who have been through rebrandings if they look at the data compiled during prior brand implementations. The answer is usually, “Not really.” That’s a shame, because a comprehensive, up-to-date, brand touchpoint database is a critical brand management tool. There are many ways to use the data, and I’ll list just a couple here.

Targeted Marketing Campaigns: After we’ve created a database for our clients, I’ve helped brand managers leverage the data to develop local and regional marketing campaigns to reach target audiences. I specifically remember showing a brand manager at a Fortune 500 company a tool we use that maps all of the touchpoints we rebranded during a brand rollout. This brand manager quickly realized the importance of the data from a brand management perspective. From then on, we supported their brand management efforts by using the database to provide them with targeted information (demographics, subscriber data, and customer engagement data) for their marketing campaigns.

Brand Compliance: After the brand rollout is completed, it’s easy for departments to “go rogue” when ordering new materials if a quick and easy process hasn’t been put in place for ordering brand complaint materials. Or for the brand management team to lose track of branded assets as new buildings, vehicles, uniforms, or specific campaigns are added to the mix. Since brand implementation firms touch (literally) physical assets as they are being converted to the new brand, the brand implementation firm should be able to set up an online ordering system for physical assets, preferably one tied to the corporation’s digital asset management tool. We’ve been linking our online ordering system (ix Automation) with corporate digital asset management tools/brand centers for years, making ongoing ordering and tracking easy for our clients.

Strategic brand management involves looking at the entire brand picture holistically to position the brand in the best possible light with consumers, investors, employees, regulators and the general public. By keeping all branded touchpoints up-to-date and looking good, corporations are using their investment in brand management wisely.