5 Trends in Brand Management

When it comes to trends in brand management, there are always emerging activities that reflect changes in social, cultural, economic and technological environments. While they may create risks for some, they also provide companies with opportunities to break bad habits, implement new business models and introduce innovative technologies.

Consumer Interaction

One of the most notable paradigm shifts is the important role that consumers play in the branding process. Companies cannot continue to assume that consumers will passively play along with marketing activities. In most cases now, consumers want to play an active role with brands by directly impacting their message, position and method of marketing. While a designated amount of consumers will always want to play a passive role, they are becoming more open to providing feedback through online platforms and social media sites. There are still a number of challenges in consumer engagement and brand management.

New Brand Strategies

Companies are now striving to simplify and consolidate their brand infrastructure by using fewer brands in order to make the existing ones as strong as possible. In order to accomplish this, companies are finding fresh ways to create more emotionally compelling brand positions. Companies are also developing and executing different types of marketing activities and programs to build and maintain their brand equity. The most important part of the brand building process is at the beginning when a firm foundation of brand awareness is established with consumers. Consumers must know who the brand is, such as its name and image, what need it satisfies, such as functionality or pleasure, and why it’s and uniquely worth buying.

The Impact of Technology

Technology and the Internet continue to revolutionize brand management. Consumers now have access to more information on brands through online blogs, reviews, websites and social media platforms. Regardless of whether companies are prepared for it or like it, technology has dramatically increased the level of information transparency and availability. Today, brand success is dictated by companies who can leverage technology in the smartest ways possible to understand what is happening with consumers, the competition and industry as a whole. The good news is that online marketing activities allow companies to fundamentally change how they build and manage their brands in response to consumer feedback.

Unchanging Elements

There are certain vital elements of brand management that aren’t changing, just transforming into unique trends. Brand management is successful when everyone in the company has a clear understanding of what the brand represents and how their actions either help or hurt the brand. This means that companies must monitor what their employees post on social media platforms regarding the brand, product, service and company. All employees should be encouraged to report their observations regarding the brand and the company to managers or marketing peers. Finally, companies must synchronize bottom-up and top-down brand management activities.

The Growth of Small Businesses

Over 28 million small businesses account for over half of all sales in the U.S. The number of small businesses is growing and so is their branding approach in comparison to big companies. They will still employ traditional marketing strategies, such as segmentation and positioning, and historical marketing tactics, such as growth and integration. However, the Internet and technology levels the marketing playing field and increases the competitiveness of small businesses. In order to be successful, smaller businesses must focus on one or two strong brands and their one or two key associations. They must employ an integrated set of brand logos, symbols, signage, slogans and packaging.

Other notable trends in brand management include mobile technology, which is revolutionizing consumer behaviors, and the growing significance of corporate sustainability and social responsibility.

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