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Introducing brand management

Introducing brand management
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This presentation introduces you to the world of brand management.
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Why do we need something called brand management? Well, for most organisations, the majority of their time isn’t spent creating their brand, but managing it. And this usually operates at two levels– brand managers who manage a particular product, for instance, Dove, and brand directors who look after the whole organisation’s brand, for instance, Unilever, the owner of Dove. But they have the same goal, which is to optimise the meaning of their brand in the minds of people and, therefore, maximise the value of their brand to their organisation. They aim to increase what’s called their brand equity.
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And the job has four dimensions to it. Starting at the top right, setting long-term strategy for the brand, then second, defining and keeping up to date what the brand wants to stand for, third, managing product innovation and brand communication, and that’s probably the biggest part of the job, and then fourth, measuring the performance of the brand and changing strategy if necessary to improve that performance.
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And brand managers use particular tools, there at the top right. They often have a brand governance system that makes sure that there is a strong link between the business strategy and the brand strategy. Brand governance meaning that senior people in the organisation are involved in big decisions about the brand. In order to define the meaning of the brand, bottom right, they have brand books and brand-building plans that’s shared around the organisation. Brand books tend to explain what it is that the brand wants to stand for. And then to manage innovation and communication, they have brand manuals, guidelines, toolkits, which people around the organisation can refer to.
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And they have brand education courses to educate people and their agencies in what the brand is trying to do. And then, finally, to measure the performance of the brand, top left, they have brand metric systems of various kinds.
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And organisations have choices in how they manage their brands. They can do it explicitly with really detailed brand manuals, or implicitly through a sort of widely understood spirit. They can do it in a very tight way, highly controlled from the top down, or a very loose way with a lot of freedom at local level. And they can do it in a relatively static way, with a lot of emphasis on consistency from one year to the next, or they can do it in a dynamic way, with an appetite for constant change. So if you pick a brand that you know, how would you say it’s managed on each of these three dimensions?
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An important phenomenon is the idea of licenced brands, because a lot of organisations choose not to control their brands directly, but to licence them to semi-independent operating companies. So the Virgin brand is licenced to around 400 different Virgin companies. PWC, the accounting and consulting firm, is licenced. The brand is licenced to 159 different national firms, one in each country around the world. The famous IKEA brand is licenced by a company called Inter IKEA to businesses that operate IKEA stores in different countries around the world. And McDonald’s as a brand is operated 85% by franchisees working under licence. They buy a licence to use the brand.
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The job of brand manager is changing from management– keeping things the same, maintaining consistency, being “logo cop,” working within the marketing department, very much, in fact, enforcing rules– to something bigger and more creative– brand leadership, creating new things, encouraging not consistency but cohesion, becoming “brand coach” to colleagues across the organisation, working right across the company, and sharing tools. Wonder why this is happening?
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But if you want to find out more about brand leadership, this book by David Aaker is a very comprehensive guide.

This short slideshow introduces the idea of brand management – who does it, what they do, and some of the different approaches companies use. At all the brands we know and love, this is what’s happening behind the scenes.

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