How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Brand management is
Brand management starts with understanding what 'brand' really means. This begins with the leaders of the company who define the brand and control its management. It also reaches all the way down the company and especially to the people who interface with customers or who create the products which customers use.
Brand management performed to its full extent means starting and ending the management of the whole company through the brand. It is simply far too important to leave to the marketing department. The CEO should be (and, in fact, always is) the brand leader of the company.
Creating the promise means defining the brand. A good brand promise is memorable and desirable. It cannot be effective if nobody remembers it, and is no good either if nobody wants it!
A good brand promise evokes feelings, because feelings drive actions. Volvo offers feelings of safety. Mustang offers feelings of excitement.
The promise must be unique and identified with you alone. Within an industry, promises can be very close, but if you want any hope of success, you must stake out the very specific territory of your promise and know clearly how it is different from the promises of other firms.
The right promise is not just something you make up on a Friday afternoon. It comes through a deep understanding of your marketplace and your customers. It also comes from a deep understanding of the capabilities and motivations of the people in your company. Creating a promise you cannot consistently keep, year after year, is plain suicide.
Once you have created the promise, the next (and not so trivial) step is to somehow inject it into the minds of your customers, your staff and everyone who receives anything from you or has any impact on what you deliver.
This is where marketing people come into their own. Although it is still not their sole preserve, a large part of marketing, which includes advertising and PR, is about positioning the company and its products in the minds of customers and against your competitors.
Creating and making the right promise is one thing, but then you have to keep it. If you do not, you brand will still exist, but now the promise will be of slipshod products and inconsistent delivery.
Keeping promises means managing capability. It means consistent processes that are capable of delivering what is required. It means technology and systems which are reliable and usable. It means motivated people who are willing and able to deliver the goods.