Brand management starts with management

Dan Ratner

Dan Ratner is managing director of branding and communications agency, uberbrand. He has more than 15 years’ experience in marketing, communications and branding and is passionate about branding as an enabler to fulfil organisational objectives. Working closely with uberbrand’s clients Dan works to understanding the current customer perception in the context of business goals and aspirations. Dan works with well-known Australian brands across a variety of sectors including financial services, travel and education.

As the world continues to grow and evolve, it’s more important than ever to build a strong brand that articulates your message clearly and consistently, stands out against the noise, and develops relevance with the people that matter. This makes managing your brand a key component to gaining cut-through and ultimately business success.

Great brands are built from the inside out. As a leader of your organisation, are you espousing the values and essence of your brand? What are you doing today to turn your vision into a reality?

Being an advocate for your business means inspiring your workforce as well as your target audience. Great business leadership starts with aligning all members of your team under the same goal and then leading by example. If we have an expectation for others to play their part, we must play ours. In other words, if you want people to live and breathe your brand, you must do the same.

Here are a few key points to help inspire management that facilitates brand greatness:

1. Define your brand strategy

If you don’t have a clear vision of where your business is today and where you want to go tomorrow, how can employees be expected to deliver on your brand aspirations? A strong brand strategy is crucial in helping staff understand how they can be the best ambassadors of your business.

A brand is simply a perception held in the mind of the beholder. Your brand strategy is the roadmap to ensuring what people think of you today aligns with what you want them to think of you in the future.

2. Lead from the front

Your leadership team should be the cheerleaders of your brand, demonstrating how to live it so others can do the same. As part of effective brand management, managers should reflect the brand values in everything they say and do.

To further drive employee engagement, make sure you take the time to explain how brand positioning affects each area of your business. This helps all members align under the brand vision –creating a strong company culture and inspiring an even stronger brand connection, not just within your organisation but also externally.

3. Everyone is an advocate

An on-brand company culture is a positive reflection on your business. Staff and stakeholders who feel they are valued members of a team can be the best advocates for your business. From the corner office to the frontline and beyond, great brands are built by people.

Have you ever worked under someone who didn’t make you feel good about yourself? At the end of the day we’re all just people who want to do our job and feel a sense of worth – create a great company culture and you’ll find yourself at the helm of a great brand that is respected by colleagues and customers alike.

4. Stay on top of it

Strong brands leave lasting impressions. Integrating your brand internally and externally can take time, but it’s only through the consistent communication of your message that a strong identity can be created. Reinforcing your brand values and purpose with clarity at every level from management through all operations will help bring your brand to life and create a sense of value around your business.

The starting point for developing any great brand is having a clear vision of what you want people to think about you and then aligning all your communications under this singular idea. Company directors, managers and heads of departments need to be persistent brand champions, because behavior at the top trickles down through the ranks and out into the world - creating a perception about your business as a whole.

By managing your brand from the inside out, you can make meaningful connections that lead to loyal customers, increased brand equity and ultimately business success.

Tags: marketing strategy, brand strategy

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