What Is Brand Management And How Can It Help Your Sports Brand?
In today’s brand heavy world it’s getting harder and harder to stand out from the crowd, get your message across and reach the right audience. On average a recent study showed that we come in to contact with 100’s if not 1000’s (according to some research) brands per day! All of them demanding our time and attention.
So why is it that some stick in our minds whilst the majority don’t? Higher advertising budgets can explain some of it but there have been many companies that have poured money into marketing to no avail often to the detriment of the company.
If it’s not all budget what is it I hear you ask? The reason some brands stick in the mind is a combination of a few key Elements: product/service, positioning, values, alignment, strategy, creativity, consistency, and commitment. .
Elements of a memorable brand
All of the products and services, values and positioning have the potential of being changed but they are generally set in stone early on once the initial testing phase is out of the way.
After this, you are left with alignment, strategy, creativity, consistency, and commitment specifically in that order. This is what will help to make your brand memorable. After these Elements have been set up they will need to be continually monitored and evaluated based on results.
Alignment of your brand should flow from the core of the business model and company DNA (see get to aha! by Andy Cunningham), company culture, and values through to your end customer.
Strategy – Is a malleable way of presenting your aligned brand message and offering to your audience. It is a strategic ongoing result based iterative process with clear goals defined.
Creativity – Creativity isn’t just eye-catching design or media it’s also an ongoing way to present your brand in innovative ways to reach your audience. Whether that’s through social media, an advertising campaign, event sponsorship or leveraging influential athletes/individuals as brand ambassadors.
Consistency – With branding, messaging, the tone of voice and being true to your core values and positioning is the key point on this list to creating a memorable brand.
Commitment is a skill to be mastered at all costs. If you have done your research, tested the market and started to see results you must stay committed to the brand strategy and true to the brand. It can be easy and exciting to try something you have seen another brand do, try a new trend or just change things up for the sake of it. This is the single biggest mistake you can make if you want a memorable brand, you need the commitment to stay consistently aligned no matter how creative you get with your strategy and design.
Consistency and commitment are key5-7 impressions of your brand are necessary on average before your audience will remember it Click To Tweet
Your audience builds a mental picture of your brand that can be multilayered from visually (logo, colours, imagery), auditory (messaging, brand music, commercials), kinesthetically what you feel when interacting with a product or service, lifestyle, and self-actualization, what the brands means to them on an identity level and why they connect with it.
For example Nike
when you read that your mind goes through the process of everything associated with it –
Visually – blocks of black, the tick, white writing, simple slogans, lots of space, athletes running or images of trainers/sportswear
Auditory – Just do it slogan
Kinesthetically – Thoughts of exercise increase your pulse rate, getting you motivated and coupled with the just do it slogan feeling empowered.
Memories – Remembering sporting achievements, events you’ve been involved in.
Self Actualisation – If Nike clicks with your identity and ideal self you might start to visualize the things you can do and achieve when partnering with the brand.
All before you’ve thought about price, whether you are a fan of exercise, do you need new sports clothing/equipment, it happens almost instantaneously and all of this is reliant on a consistent brand message.
If any of the key elements above were out of alignment or not on brand you create a discord with your audience, we’ve all felt it with certain brands when something doesn’t feel right or it’s not matching up. It could be the tone of voice is off, the logo doesn’t represent what the company stands for, the colours are not quite right, the ad campaign misses the mark or the general experience with the brand doesn’t sit well with you.
When interacting with great brands that are well aligned and consistently stick to their strategy it is effortless to interact with them, to the point that you don’t take note consciously of all the elements that have gone into the branding – Think of your experiences with Nike, Starbucks, and Apple it’s instantly recognisable, without effort, and no discord when interacting with them. This is great branding and it stems from an aligned idea of who the company is, why they exist (see Simon Sinek’s talk on the power of why) and a ritualistic sticking to this idea at all costs.
So how can you achieve this for your own brand or business?
The brand needs to be aligned. If you are not clear on who you are, why you are doing what you are doing, what unique product / service you have to offer and what position you currently hold or what you would like to hold (if different) then you need to go back to the drawing board and get absolutely clear on this.A simple but good question to ask yourself is why would someone buy from me over my competitor Click To Tweet
If you can’t find a concrete reason other than the price you need to go back and think about the market, competition and audience to see if there is a position you can own with a uniqueness that is not currently being used.
Once you have this foundation in place you need an aligned strategy built on the brand story, values, philosophies that are targeting the audience from your unique position.
Then consistency and commitment are key and the brand needs to be managed across all channels with a commitment to stay true to the brand vision, so that any interaction your customers have is in tune with your brand and true to who you are.
What is brand management and how can it help your business?
The idea of brand management is to keep consistency and commitment to the brand and strategy regulated in a way to increase memorability and build a brand that is in service to the customer from a familiarity point of view (like the Nike example above). Humans are habitual and we all have a slight aversion to change and the unknown. Managing a brand so that it stays true to itself long-term and feels, looks and sounds the same to the customer fosters greater brand recognition, brand awareness, and ultimately memorability.
Effective management of your brand is key in today’s multi-channel world to being a brand that sticks in the mind of your audience, has them coming back to you and has them promoting your brand through word of mouth or via social media.
You have three options when considering a brand management strategy to build your brand
1. You can do it yourself – The pros of this are reduced or no cost, the cons a potential lack of knowledge or experience with branding, strategy and marketing, drain on time and resources that could be spent on other areas of your business.
2. Multiple Agencies – The pros of which are – working on individual bits as you want to, cons of which are – time to interact and oversee multiple agencies, build new relationships with each, the potential for increased cost and disjointed branding that
isn’t correctly communicated efficiently by multiple agencies.
3. Single Brand Management agency like Elements – The pros of
which are packaged or ongoing cost, one company to interact with and grow a relationship with, only one company to understand your vision and brand, cons of which are having more time than you know what to do with!
If you are looking to build, grow, re-brand or need help aligning, positioning or managing your brand get in touch we would be happy to help.
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