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29 Apr 2024

Why Brand Management is Everyone’s Responsibility

Why Brand Management is Everyone’s Responsibility


Something I’m sure that has every marketing leader or brand leader tearing their hair out besides seeing their brand scores tank is when they get all the blame for it. If only brand preference building and management is as easy as putting out your brand ad on a big bus, taxi or whichever platform that gets as many eyeballs as possible. If so, why not just put it on a huge sky scrapper (hey that’s done before actually!).

Such tactics (I call them tactics and not strategies) work better for “will you marry me” types of wedding proposals but to build brand preference, it takes way more than that. Similar to good customer experience management, brand management takes the whole organization, including your client facing employees and your client facing touchpoints to help uplift your brand.

Firstly, your brand needs to serve a purpose and address a need or multiple needs for your defined target customers. Secondly, you need to know what differentiates you from your competitors even if you are selling the same things. Just like Pepsi and Coca Cola, both are cola drinks but both have their differentiating factors and ultimately, appeal. Thirdly, is your brand voice, message and identity that you are bringing to life through your marketing campaigns, news about your organization, things that your client facing teams are telling your clients or prospects, right down to the things you do in the broader public facing community. Finally, you need to clearly define as well as upkeep the key channels you are positioning your brand on that serve as a communication touchpoint with your target audience.

Many business leaders think the buck stops with the marketing campaigns but the trickiest part about brand management is how to make your target audience see you the way you want to be perceived. This approach leads to a dystopia state of brand reputation and perception as you will see almost conflicting activities and messages being shared from your organization by various business functions working in silos but not realizing they are all trying to steer the same ship to avoid hitting an iceberg. This is because everyone ends up trying to chart their own course to reach the same destination instead of playing to their strengths and working as a team.

Many companies, including global corporations seem to have forgotten their roots and fundamental principles of why, what and how. The key purpose of why they exist and what are they trying to solve for in terms of problems for their target customers and how do they go about doing this differently from their competitors.

What happens instead is they try to come up with nice sounding taglines and visuals with their creative agencies and focus too much on the creative concept and execution of the concept in an equally nice way, which might be good for winning marketing awards but not so much for customer attraction and retention. They forgot the most important aspect of brand strategy, which is the customer value proposition.

This is because a good brand strategy is not the sole job of the marketing function. It requires deeper thinking and involvement of the business and product teams, including relooking and redesigning their value proposition for their services, offerings and touchpoints if needed.

There is nothing more dysfunctional than multiple teams trying to launch different variations of what they think your brand stands for in order to meet their own KPIs (key performance indicators). A tactical offer, is not a brand management strategy, a segment representation is not a brand management strategy and a campaign telling people how good you are is certainly not a brand management strategy but all this will affect the perception of your brand. Companies need to take a giant step back to reflect on what you are trying to position out there in terms of your brand identity and whether that still stays true to the fundamental reason you deserve to exist as a brand that customers care about.

The third and last part of the brand management aspect is actually also the hardest to maintain. You have to make sure your client facing touchpoints are keeping up with the demand from a tech, process and user design perspective so nothing falls through the cracks for your customers trying to engage with you. Concurrently, you need to have a joint-up approach in what you do and say to your target audience, including the timeliness and/or appropriateness of certain actions or messages. It goes beyond having a good crisis communications protocol.

The decision drivers that affect brand have evolved and increased with the emphasis on customer experience and alternative channels including social influencers and virtual/augmented reality experiences underpinned by the need for a solid digital channel/platform strategy.

For example, if your digital platform or servicing touchpoint is having a breakdown, you definitely do not want your key spokesperson to go out with a media commentary boasting about how great your digital or client servicing capabilities are or run an ad showcasing “seamless digital or client servicing capabilities”.

It’s more important to ensure business functions are working collaboratively as part of business-as-usual in keeping each other abreast, including your brand, marketing and communications team when something breaks or if they are preparing for a major enhancement so they can pre-empt the customer impact for the better or for the worse. Your management meetings should have a cadence to exchange such information so it can be cascaded to working group level to formulate a pre-emptive and proactive communications and customer management approach.

Simply said, the brand is the soul of the company and everyone is responsible for brand and reputation management but in the right way and not just checking off a list.

Mad About Marketing Consulting


Ally for CMOs, Heads of Marketing and C-Suites to work with you and your marketing teams to maximize your marketing potential with strategic transformation for better business and marketing outcomes.


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