Learn About Brand Management

Girl with Lemonade Stand
••• What Works: Passionate, Invested Brand Management. Getty Images | Mike Kemp | Blend Images

Brand management is the term for all the facets of design, placement, marketing, advertising, and distribution that foster an identifying and developing brand personality.

Modern brand management was developed at Procter & Gamble in the post-war years.  Many of the same techniques used by Procter & Gamble are still in place today.  The ideas that a dedicated team of marketers focus on a particular brand, and that one brand manager drives all the key activities that support that brand, are the central idea of brand management as it was first conceived.


Brand Management is a Complete Management Approach

Brands have a powerful influence, not only on customer engagement but also on the management of an enterprise. The pivot point of brand management is​ trust. Without trust, the brand promise is broken. Consumers generally believe that they can trust a brand to meet most of the elements of the brand promise. Once a brand is established, and consumers generally express brand affinity, the brand manufacturer can often accelerate the trust stage with new-to-the-brand consumers. Certainly, social media networking functions in this way.

Brands — logo design, colors, and shapes, and lettering — are all intended to get the consumers' attention and to convey the brand's personality. Naturally, associating a brand with celebrities, with certain melodies or music, and with catch phrases that function like slug lines in a movie can all influence customer affinity for a brand.

The Types of Brands

  • Product: A tangible product is the most common thing associated with a brand. For more than one product is included in a brand, a unifying attribute will be present. For example, classic Coke is a brand, but the various Coca-Cola beverages also constitute a brand. A product range can be one brand. An example of this would be the various models of a particular make of car, such as Ford.
    • Service: Services, rather than products, can be a brand in which intangible activities are conducted, such as the delivery of solutions to meet consumer needs for a labor of some type. Where products are not variable, unless it is a marketing feature, service is highly variable. A service brand can be impacted negatively or positively by who provides the service, how the service is conducted, where the service is provided, and how individualized customers perceive the service provided to them. Each of these variables can add to service differentiation in the mind of consumers.
    • Individual Person: People can have their own brand based on personality, charisma, position, fame, and influence. A person's brand can be an expression of their natural personality or it can be an image that has been deliberately constructed. As media has burgeoned, the idea that people can be a brand has emerged. In the common vernacular, the ​brand is substituted for the image. But they are not synonymous. A person's image is not necessarily marketable, in the true sense of the word. However, a person's brand is marketable if the image that someone conveys has value to the brand of a service or product. Particularly in a business that provides services rather than products, the people who deliver the service are an important aspect of the brand. A politician is a good example of an individual person brand in which the brand must project attractively to the politician's constituents and negative spin must be curtailed.
      • Organization: Enterprises that deliver services or provide products are brands. The qualities that people associate with a company constitute the building blocks of a brand. Brand perceptions are dependent upon consumer experience. Consumer experience is vulnerable to the intentions that are revealed, whether purposefully or not, by the employees at all levels of the organization. A contemporary example is the Goldman Sachs brand. There are many instances where an individual person brand is closely associated with an organization brand. For instance, Richard Branson represents the Virgin Airlines brand and Gary Kelly represents the Southwest Airlines brand. Both CEOs are sufficiently well-known that they are recognized as having their own distinctive individual person brands.
      • Event: Event brands are associated with a customer experience that is derived largely from attending the event, or from a strong connection to the purpose an event is held. Whether large or small, event brands are inevitably tied to the fun, amazement, professional affiliation, or social cause that is the basis for the event. The Olympic Games is one of the most prominent event brands.

        Also Known As: brand account management