Article -> Integrating Brand Management
Date Added: January 2007
Marketing departments nationwide will tell you that brand management is a key to a successful marketing strategy. However, a closer look begins to paint a different picture with a larger scope. While branding is exceptionally important in creating and establishing product value, brand management can no longer be considered a function of marketing departments alone. Organizations need to take an integrated approach to branding to avoid investment decisions that will harm the brand in the long run.
Organizations should create a strong and binding partnership between brand management and the overall business strategy. In doing so, organizations will be prepared to combat the common traps that occur when fresh brand investments bring the organization into unfamiliar territory. Creating a tight link between brand and business strategy means every strategic move must be paralleled in its influence on the brand.1 Organizations should focus on the short term impact on the brand and look at the long-term effects. Organizations should focus on the short term impact on the brand and look at the long-term effects.
Establishing an integrated approach to brand management, namely, creating a partnership between brand and business strategy, helps organizations avoid investment traps, and helps increase brand value over time. Organizations do not function well when internal departments function independently of each another. The same concept can be adapted to branding. Aligning brand and business strategy involves more than marketing. The alignment must incorporate adjustments in all departments, and with any investment associated with the brand.
Organizations must approach integrating brand and business strategy while keeping customers’ needs and wants in the forefront. Customers drive revenue. Dissatisfied customers, no matter how loyal they are to a brand or organization, will venture out to seek other products or services if they feel alienated by the brand. The integration of brand and business strategy needs to be a seamless evolution – so seamless that it will not disrupt the brand or alienate customers. If all the moving parts of the business do not synchronize to deliver the right experience to customers, then the long-term value of your brand can erode.1 Keeping customers completely satisfied while developing brand and strategy integration should be an objective for any organization focused on customer loyalty. Keeping customers completely satisfied while developing brand and strategy integration should be an objective for any organization focused on customer loyalty.
Seamlessly transitioning brand management to incorporate brand and business strategy is not an easy task. Organizations may want to consider the use of a strategic business advisor to assist with the transition. An advisor can help your organization with strategic market positioning by conducting brand audits, measuring brand value and by building an effective brand strategy. Most importantly, a strategic advisor can align your market position with your customers’ needs.
By taking an integrated approach to brand management, your organization will be able to maintain your market positioning, completely satisfy customers, maintain brand loyalty, and be better equipped to make decisions positively affecting your brand in short term and well into the future.
1 Slywotzky, Adrian and Ken Roberts. “In Sync.” Marketing Management. July/August 2006. 18-24.