Brand Management in Retail

Why are people brand loyal? Why branding is so important in business? What makes the brand successful? Finding answers to these questions leads to successful business which depends on repeat purchasing. It goes well beyond a logo or “look and feel” and encompasses the whole product concept – the promise of delivery, quality, and predictability. It goes beyond just letters, words, symbols, or a combination of these.

Brand increases consumer satisfaction, loyalty and product attachments. Branding seeks to distinguish your company, product or service from the competition and create a lasting impression in your prospect’s mind.

Brand Management is one of the applications of marketing techniques used for marketing a product or product line. It increases the product perceived value to the customer and thereby increase brand franchise and brand equity. Marketers see a brand as an implied promise that the level of quality people have come to expect from a brand will continue with future purchases of the same product.
Strategic brand management involves the design and implementation of marketing programs and activities to build, measure, and manage brand equity. Brand Management often viewed in organizations as a border and more strategic role than marketing.

Today branding is more important due to increasing advertisement culture, media fragmentation, product differentiation etc. Branding creates emotional attachment to product and companies. Branding efforts create a feeling of involvement, tangible and intangible qualities and symbol.

Branding efforts creates strategic awareness, where people easily recognise brand and their distinct qualities. A strong brand influences on buying decision and shapes ownership experience. Branding helps customer while making purchasing decisions. Brand attracts firm’s identity upon potential customers.

Correct Sequencing Can Lead to a Strong, Integrated Brand

Entrepreneurs possess two characteristics that run counter to successful branding of their creations, whether business, product, service or event.

Those characteristics are possessiveness and impatience. Together they may be valuable in creating energy to get a new business rolling, but they can also sabotage a fledgling brand before it takes wing.

Their thinking goes, “I know more about this new offering than anyone, so who better to brand it?” Besides, they don’t want to take the time to explain all the nuances of their baby – probably because they won’t admit they don’t know the nuances yet. They’ll get to them in time. Ready, fire, aim is their modus operandi.

Early in development, many will want to name their product or company. Using their own perspective only, they will think up and fall in love with a name. If it’s available, they quickly trademark or incorporate it and then move on to getting financing.

Same thing happens when one proudly presents a logo their 14-year-old daughter designed, and won’t give it up even if it won’t work in half the needed applications. NIH and ego combine to hinder good brand building. But these are just the first and most obvious problems.

Correct sequencing saves time and money The order in which many entrepreneurs tackle the elements of branding can cause major brand weakness, not to mention cause them to waste time and money getting to market, and to profitability.

They are out of sequence. Many have picked a name and registered it even before they’ve written a mission statement. They’ve written a tagline before they’ve identified target markets. They’ve developed a brand story after all the obvious elements are created and in use. And they’ll not have provided writers and designers with a brand platform on which the creative structure is to be solidly and consistently built.

First thing first should be the rule There is a sequence to developing a brand, just as there is to developing the business itself. When you get things out of sequence you find you need to start over which is expensive and time-consuming, or even worse, you live with a brand with weak elements that become more burdensome as time goes by.

I suggest anyone starting a business or introducing a new product follow the simple process outlined below. It looks long, involved and too detailed for your typical entrepreneur, but it’s just putting the right foot forward, then the left foot and so on until an integrated and unique brand emerges. Here gores:

Write your vision statement
Write your mission statement
Describe the business model you are planning to implement
Write down the goals of the business or product
Identify the market segments you will serve
Identify the product category in which you will compete
Identify and assess your major competitors
Crystallize your brand promise
Identify and develop your differentiator (Unique Value Proposition)
If a new product for an existing company, identify how the new product fits
Write your brand platform (Essentially info presented above) Append your brand platform to your strategic plan
At this point, you may want to consider bringing in a branding consultant to help you fashion the branding platform. He or she should be able to translate and integrate the vision, mission, goals, business model, and the information concerning markets, product categories and competition into a brand platform.

The Top Ten Secrets to Mastering Your Personal Brand

What do Sir Richard Branson, Barack Obama, and Suze Orman all have in common? They have each built powerful personal brands that have propelled them to the top of their businesses, their careers, and their lives. How did they do it?

Like other successful personal branders, they took the time to define, communicate, and protect their brands. You can be sure they followed all of the top ten secrets below to reach their great success. There’s no magic to it: You can apply the same personal branding principles to your work and life not only to achieve your goals, but to surpass them.

Secret #1
You already have a personal brand whether you want one or not – simply by virtue of being you in the workplace. It’s up to you to determine where your personal brand is strong and where it could use improvement. Then, it’s up to you to make changes as necessary to make it as strong as possible.

Secret #2
Your personal brand exists in the minds of others in the way they perceive, think, and feel about you. Think about your favorite corporate brand for a moment. It can be the best “functioning” product of its kind in the world, but if the public fails to perceive it as the best, it won’t be successful. So, it’s critical to keep in mind that your personal brand is now what you think it is but it’s what others perceive it to be.

Secret #3
A common misconception about personal branding is that it’s self-centered and all about you. But the truth is: personal branding is all about your Audience – the person or people you most want to impact with your brand at work and in your career. Just as corporate branders must offer a benefit to consumers in order for a product to be a success, you must fill a need your Audience has in order for your personal brand to be a success on the job.

Secret #4
Since your personal brand exists in the minds of your Audience, the only way to determine if your brand is successful is to find out how your Audience perceives you. If there is a gap between what your Audience thinks and feels about you and what you want them to think and feel about you, your personal brand should be adjusted and strengthened.

Five Components Required to Create a Personal Brand

In a previous article we discussed why every adult, regardless of age, should develop a personal brand. To recap, the three primary reasons are:

1. It separates you from others, and distinguishes you from the crowd.

2. It makes a promise to others that you have a strong foundation, that know who you are, and that you will be the same in the future. It exudes confidence.

3. It keeps you focused on who you are and helps you to maintain the highest standard for yourself day after day.

Since we have established why a personal brand is important, we will now begin the process of creating a personal brand, brand YOU. Remember, no two people are exactly the same. You are uniquely different from every other person in the world. Your DNA proves this, as do your fingerprints. Your personal brand should similarly distinguish you from every one else.

There are five distinct areas YOU should focus on when building your personal brand:

1. What YOU value. Your personal brand identifies who you are, as opposed to what you do. Values ultimately reflect what is most important to you. Integrity, for example, indicates that you place a very high value on being thorough and not cutting corners. You also project an aura of honesty and sincerity.

This first step is critical in the building process of a personal brand as it lays the foundation for everything else. It is very important to take the time to consider and write down those values that guide you each and every day. Do not assume that others hold the same values. You might ask yourself something along the lines of what do I stand for? Then list at least ten core values that you will not compromise.

If you have children or grandchildren, it might be of value to ask yourself, what do I want my (grand)children to know me for? As you think about this, you might consider the importance of keeping your word, or the value you place on education and knowledge.