A company’s brand is much more than their logo and slogan. (However, if you speak to a trademark lawyer, they’ll say that this is EXACTLY what a brand is.) Indeed, a brand does encompass these two physical elements however it is about so much more that people can’t put their fingers on.
A brand rests in the minds of your customers
So, besides the logo, colours, look and feel of a brand, the power of a brand rests in the minds of the consumers. Ultimately, the people who you want to be buying from you need to trust that you will deliver the goods and/or services that you promise.
However, if this trust is broken and your brand is damaged in the minds of your consumers, you run the very significant risk of turning your customers against you. Even worse, those customers – whose trust your brand has broken – may very well turn other people who they know against them. This is very important when your brand is marketing on digital marketing platforms.
Think about this in a practical sense:
• Say, for instance, that you have a particular brand of car. It starts to overheat, and you take it to the dealer to get it fixed. However, instead of fixing it in a couple of days – or even a week – they struggle to find the problem and keep it for two months.
• Finally, once you get the car back, the problem happens again. And, when you take it back, they say that another part needs to be fixed. When you get the car back after the second round of fixes, the problem hasn’t gone away.
• When you take it back the third time, the dealers throw up their hands in despair and say that they don’t know what the problem is. Are you ever going to trust the brand again or the after-sales service. Probably not. And, what’s worse, you’re going to tell your friends and colleagues about the shocking service that your received which may well dissuade them from buying that brand of car.
So even though the problem may have rested only with your particular car – and the other cars under that brand name are 100% fine – when the people who you’ve told about your particular experience decide to buy another car, they will steer clear of the brand that you’ve cautioned them against.
The value of a specialist brand manager
As you can see from the above, your brand is as valuable to you as money in the bank. This means that to safeguard the image that your brand has in the minds of your customers and potential customers, you need to have a specialist brand manager who is highly qualified in the specialist field of brand management and understands digital marketing and social media and has many years of experience in a similar field.
A brand manager will make sure that the integrity of your brand is protected. He or she will make sure that, from the word go, the brand appears as a cohesive whole to the customers. For example, the brand manager will make sure that the colours, font sizes and images that represent the brand all conform to a set standard.
Although this action may sound trivial to the layman, this action is – in fact – essential because it helps people to recognise any communication as being related to a particular brand. This has the result of making people’s recognition of the company that much faster. Why this quick recall is so valuable is that when people have a need that your company can fulfil you want them to quickly associate your company with this. In this way, you build a loyal customer base.
Sometimes, life happens, and something occurs which brings the brand into disrepute. It is the job of the brand manager to make sure that the image of the brand does not suffer too much so that it cannot be repaired. For example, he or she will – in conjunction with the PR team – control communication that is relayed to the public surrounding the incident and what the company is doing to rectify it.
Brand management is not an ‘airy-fairy’ job. It’s a big deal as it can make or break the success of a brand and/or company. This means that it’s vital that it is performed by a well-qualified professional.