How important is your brand to the success of your business?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 89% of B2B marketers say brand awareness is the most important goal, followed by sales and lead generation.
So, no matter who it is you’re trying to market to, your brand management, or everything you do to make your brand noteworthy, intriguing, noticeable, successful, and profitable is a key part of your business.
To help you with your brand, here are seven effective brand management principles to help you find success.
Make Your Point of Differentiation Clear
Figuring out how to rise above your competition is perhaps the most essential part of your brand management. It’s critical that you clearly articulate what makes your brand special — specifically what your unique value proposition is.
If you fail this, your brand will simply get lost in the large sea of your competitors.
Perhaps the best example of this is Microsoft’s Zune, which failed to set itself apart due to a confusing value proposition messaging and no longer exists as a product.
Robbie Bach, a former Microsoft executive, said of the marketing efforts revolved around Zune, “I think our marketing message was very confused. I don’t think people walked away saying, this is what Zune is and this is why it’s different.”
Being consistent with your branding is how you’ll ultimately build strong brand awareness.
When we talk about consistency, that means your packaging, marketing messages across all mediums, and what you stand for (such as values, mission statement).
In addition to building awareness and being more memorable to your target market, being consistent in those areas will also help you build trust with your consumers.
This is especially important for packaging. According to a shopper survey by Esko, 28% of respondents surveyed had switched brands in the past because the brand packaging was different. If your product has a certain look, shape, or color for your packaging, being consistent with those attributes will help the shopper feel secure and trust your offerings.
A packaging management software — such as Esko’s WebCenter — can help you reach the level of consistency you want. With label and artwork management software, you’ll be able to store all your packaging assets, content, images, and more in one central location. When everyone involved in the design process has easy access to these assets, you’ll be able to achieve consistency across all marketing channels in all countries.
…But Be Able to Adapt and Innovate
When Apple revolutionized the cell phone industry when they released the iPhone, it seemed like they were destined to run away with a large market share of the newfound smartphone market.
However, due to Samsung’s ability to adapt and innovate with the market by matching the iPhone’s innovation with its own smartphones, as of the end of 2018, the South Korean company is the global leader in smartphone sales at 19%.
Apple still holds a large portion of the market at 14%, but this is a great example of how being willing to adapt and change your brand management is a key to survival.
Find a Social Cause…And Believe in it
Consumers have grown more and more suspicious of brands these days. That’s why it’s important to prove to your target market that you’re not just in it for the money but have instead adopted a strong corporate social responsibility platform that you truly believe in.
Finding a good social cause to fight for and actively working towards making a difference in the world is a great way to solidify your brand as one that consumers can trust.
Just how important is it to have a social cause that your brand stands up for? Well, according to a recent study, 90% of Americans are more likely to trust brands that back a social cause. Shoppers also agree that they support brands that share their values, with 65% reporting so in the Packaging and Digital Shopping Esko Survey. This helps lend credence to the idea of corporate social responsibility.
Find the Right Partners, Influencers, etc.
The celebrities, social media influencers, athletes, and whoever you work with to help promote your brand really matter. Make sure that when you’re looking to team up with an influencer you carefully consider whether or not he or she is a good fit. Aligning his or her, the brand and the consumers’ values is imperative here.
Furthermore, without a partnership, anyone with a social media account can be an influencer. Did you also know that 13% of shoppers have taken a selfie with their food or beverage product in the past 3 months? If you can get shoppers to place your product in their selfies, they are saying the brand or product is part of their lifestyle. This makes it all the more important to make sure that your brand is easily recognizable.
There are many ways to ensure your brand is recognizable, for example…
Don’t Ignore the Importance of Packaging
We briefly mentioned the importance of keeping your packaging consistent earlier, but on top of that, the overall design of the packaging for your products is extremely important when it comes to your brand.
It’s no coincidence that some of the most popular, influential brands also have some of the most iconic packaging. Look at Coca-Cola for example, whose has slightly altered aspects like their logo over the years but whose packaging can always easily be recognized by consumers.
You’d also be hard-pressed to find a single one of their packages featuring any slight variations in terms of their iconic red color — which illustrates the importance of color consistency. Inconsistent colors in your packaging will definitely harm your brand image. If you’re packaging is inconsistent in terms of quality, who’s to say your products aren’t the same way?
As previously mentioned, when it comes to creating consistent packaging with designs that will stand out amongst the competition on shelves, it’s important to have packaging management software that allows you to achieve just that.
Bonus Tip: Focus on the Consumer and Profits Will Come
At the end of the day, your brand is for your consumers. Therefore, when you focus your attention on what it is they want — as well as what they need — and make decisions about your brand revolved around your findings, you’ll be in good shape. For example, conducting A/B testing or focus groups to see which packaging is most effective on the shelf.
If you can nail that down, the sales and profits will surely follow.