Brand Management - And why it matters

Brand Management - And why it matters

A brand is a company's most valuable asset. The right brand expression, whether spoken, written, visualised, online, at a point of purchase, or wherever, is essential for proving your brand promise. Do as you promise. A brand must be managed.

What is a brand?

Every icon, symbol, or any outward expression that makes a product or service stand out from competing products or services (source: Novograaf). Everything you see, hear, taste, smell, feel, and experience, defines a brand's perception.

A brand image takes shape in our brains, a brand's owner represents a brand's identity (source: Eurib).

People prefer to buy from brands they know, understand, trust, and with which they feel a connection. Therefore, it is essential to acquire a strategic position in people's brains (source: Ineke van der Ouderaa Positionering).

Positioning

Positioning is the process of making strategic choices for gaining a favourable brain position. Positioning has four important sides: relevance, distinguishing qualities, credibility/authenticity, and emotion.

  • Relevance - deals with the question what meaning I can fulfil for which target group. In other words, which conscious and less conscious wishes and needs does my proposition answer to?
  • Distinguishing qualities - what relevance that isn't there yet, do I have to offer my target audience?
  • Credibility and authenticity - this concerns both to really do as you promise, and the expectation the brains has of whether the promises can be kept. Rationale (weighing competences, for instance), but also feelings, play an important role here.
  • Emotion - This is all about brand experience. With an estimated value. Apart from what people consciously think, it's about what they - sometimes - subconsciously feel.

(Source: Ineke van der Ouderaa Positionering)

Brand Value

In accountancy, a brand is generally deemed an 'intangible asset'. Often, it is the most valued possession on companies' balance sheets. (Financial) brand evaluation is a means to decide a brand's monetary value, in order to manage and account for marketing investments, and to maximise share holders' value.

Brand evaluation comes in many different methods. The best known method is Interbrand. Brand Finance, among others, calculates an accountant-approved evaluation. 

A brand's Power and Magic

Brands influence our behaviour. The following example proves a brand's value in a practical and convincing manner. (Source: W. Shane Duquette).

Pepsi and Coca-Cola both claim that taste experiments have proven their product tastes better. Who speaks the truth? Pepsi always scores higher than Coke in tasting tests, but only in blind comparisons. When the famous Coca-Cola brand is visible, Pepsi gets beaten convincingly. What is going on here?

It appears branding makes Coca-Cola taste better. Remove the brand, and Pepsi wins. show the brand, and the reverse happens. Pepsi's superior taste is diminished by its inferior branding.

That may sound too good to be true, but a similar thing happens in the pharmaceutical and medical world: the placebo effect. A non-working medicine works, simply because patients believe it does.

Apparently, our brain is capable of influencing our perception of taste. In this case because Coca-Cola has a more favourable position in many people's brains.

The power of the subconscious, of emotion, is stronger than our rational thoughts, and our senses' signals.

Strong brand

For calculating a brand's value, Brand Finance uses the Brand Strength Index (BSI). It uses investment in the brand, the brand’s goodwill value, and the impact on a company’s performance. A high index means a strong brand.

Simon Sinek discovered that successful brands all share the same way of thinking, acting, and communicating. A way which is the complete opposite of that of the majority. In the Golden Circle model (What, How, Why), he emphasises the importance of the Why: what do you believe in, what drives you? Sinek mentions the beautiful example of Apple’s Why: ‘In everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo, we believe in thinking differently. The way we challenge the status quo is by making our products beautifully designed, simple to use, and user friendly. We just happen to make great computers. Want to buy one?’

(Source: Eurib)

A beautiful positioning: relevant (provided you appreciate design and user friendliness), distinctive, authentic, and chock-full of emotion.

Kapferer (1997) uses a brand identity prism. He points out brand managers’ most important goal: developing brand identities that continuously and consistently exist over a longer period of time. According to Kapferer, brands have, amongst others, physical characteristics, a personality and a culture. Consumers want to be seen with it.

Brand Identity

A brand’s identity is how a brand presents itself. This shows in behaviour, communication, and symbolism (Van Riel and Birkigt & Stadler). The brand identity model combines this with Aaker’s five Brand Personality Dimensions (1997).

  • Behaviour – the most important factor. We judge organisations (brands) on their actions and their behaviour
  • Communication – the (marketing) and communication expressions and activities
  • Design – Design strengthens companies’ visual identity (such as logos, corporate identity, online design, and interaction), and makes them more recognisable. It expresses the brands’ identity.

Unleashing the Magic

Marketing, communication, sales, products and services help bring a brand to life. Besides the intrinsic attractiveness and distinguishing characteristics, a continuous and consistent application of a brand’s identity is highly important for success and growth. The brand’s magic, its power, must be in the organisation’s blood and veins, and firmly be made known to the world. Whether it’s in the digital domain, or in the world of bricks and mortar.

Brand Management

Brands must be managed (and weaker brands must be developed first, or need revitalisation or rebranding). After all, it is a company’s most valuable asset, it offers a direct competitive advantage, and it is therefore essential to success and growth.

Brand Management is about developing a brand (strategy), but also about unrolling and securing it, in all relevant company functions (operational). It allows the organisation to enhance customers’ brand experience through marketing, communication, sales, products and services.

For digital presence, this means the digital brand identity (design, interaction, and content) must be used consistently. For products, this means the right application of the product brand identity on packaging, and POS material, both in on-trade and in off-trade situations. For print, it means the right design and content (source: LinkedIn Pulse).

People-Process-Technology

In order to secure (or facilitate) the right use, and to increase efficiency (minimal costs) and velocity (time-to-market), the triangle of people-process-technology must be in an optimal state. Capital ID’s consultancy focusses on the first two elements, while our ID manager platform offers a broad range of integrated technology, for company-wide application through Solutions.

Why ID manager?

A brand should be managed. A brand deserves it to be safeguarded. A brand is worth to be brought out in the right way. This is not only done by the creators and designers of the brand identity, but in the daily operation.You are what you communicate

Companies who are able to connect the power and magic of a brand with their organization have a significant competitive advantage. This however remains a challenge in terms of people, processes and tools.

Communicate who you are

We believe that tools that enable people to communicate in a simple, fast, safe and hassle free way, do make this challenge achievable. Where work is done with pleasure and passion, with intuitive and user-friendly tools. Where compliance and governance can be easily integrated. Where we break down silos through integrated technology. Where we join forces, share and collaborate with creative teams.

Strong brands deserve ID manager!

We serve this purpose to midsized and enterprise organizations across all industries. For employees and suppliers that communicate within marketing, sales, customer service and corporate communications.