You did everything right. You wrote developed your vision, got a great looking logo, have your brand “story” to tell……and still nobody knows who you are, or what you do.
Whether you are just starting out or your business has been open for years, one thing that I’ve learned is the missing piece in most start-ups, dying, or stagnant businesses is lack of ongoing brand management. In other words, you’ve built the brand….but it has no push.
What is Brand Management and Graphic Design?
Brand Management is a new term for marketing. Where traditional marketing focuses on the benefit of the product/service to the consumer…Brand Management focuses on how that brand is perceived in the market.
The difference is that brand management focuses on the marketing of who you are, not just the benefit to the customer. It works on forming a relationship with your target demographic instead of just pushing your product. This includes the target demographic “experience” with the company and how they perceive this in the marketplace.
Who Needs Brand Management?
In 2001 Hislop defined branding as “the process of creating a relationship or a connection between a company’s product and emotional perception of the customer for the purpose of generating segregation among competition and building loyalty among customers.” (site)
So who needs brand management? Well, anyone owning a business that cares about establishing relationships with their customer base. Considering it takes less money to retain a loyal customer (as well as the possibility for referral business) than it takes to gain a new one, brand management is a lucrative and worthwhile financial direction for any business.
How do I Implement Brand Management?
To achieve the best results on moving towards a brand management plans it’s best to work directly with a brand professional. Marketing professionals understand marketing, but working with someone that understands company branding on a larger scale is vitally important.
Developing a unique vision and brand profile for your business is the bottom line, beginning step of how to implement a brand strategy. Following, a three stage process of analysis, conception and implementation are the ideal ways to implement this process.
Step 1: Brand Analysis
Through research of your existing brand and analysis of your competitors you will be able to identify key elements in the market, and your business itself. This allows all involved to identify weaknesses and strengths in the business and ways to implement a solidified branded direction for your business.
Step 2: Brand Conception
Conceptualizing and brainstorming allow full exploration for your brand profile. In this stage we are looking to develop a simplified and translated brand identity message that will resonate through the entire marketing campaign.
We identify the tone, message, and visuals during the conceptualizing stage. If you are an established business, this will be the part of the process that allows for re-branding evaluation. We will determine what needs to stay and what can go.
Step 3: Brand Implementation
Implementing your branded message is the ongoing process of brand management. This is when new rebranded visuals, tones and messages will be expressed to the marketplace. Soon consumers will identify with your branded message and in turn your business will begin to develop the brand equity that you desire.
The consistency in your implementation is managed through tradeshow design, print advertisements, press releases, website design, social media design, and any other form of marketing your company chooses to explore.
The brand designer that you choose to work with will allow for a fluid exploration, building and implementation process. They will be able to keep the continuity of your brand cohesive and consistent. Because most small-medium sized businesses have owners/operators determining marketing directions, it’s even more important for those in this level of business to hire a professional brand designer/strategist to partner with.
There’s a lot of money and risk to brand if you implement the wrong message to your demographic. Make sure to invest in a dedicated professional that is as interested in growing your brand as you are.
Although there is a well thought out process to brand management, once implemented, it’s rather easy to stay on course. If you need help with your Anchorage Alaska Brand Management & Graphic Design make sure to contact us.