Lots of businesses all over the world are facing failure largely because of poor branding. Several business research institutions indicate that among all business failures, half are the ones who’ve turned a blinde eye towards the significance of managing a brand personality. That’s why today, let’s talk about common brand management mistakes that will ruin you.
Brand management is the branch of marketing that delves into the promotion of a brand’s specific services or products.
When people hear the word ‘branding’, what comes to mind is a logo or a picture, or huge and popular entities like Coca-Cola. But brand management is more than just the picture you associate with the name of the brand.
All About Brand Management
If your business were a person, the brand is the personality. It would be how you introduce yourself to new friends and how you build trusting relationships with them. In other words, your brand (and how you manage it) is the living, breathing, entity that shapes customer’s perception about your business.
That means, it’s your job to implement strategic branding. And it’s your responsibility to find ways to help it grow and improve.
Brand creation is thrilling, but it’s not going to be enough. As your business grows and as your offerings expand, your brand needs to follow suit. However, caught up in the excitement of it all, it’s easy to fall prey to common brand management mistakes.
And that’s not good if the consequences entail a sabotaged business.
3 Common Brand Management Mistakes That Spell Trouble
You don’t have to work in a brand-centric organization to recognize and appreciate the impact of brand-related decisions in the life of your business. Today, let’s look over 3 common brand management mistakes that undermine any business.
#1 Using the House of Brands framework
There are two extreme brand architecture variants: branded house (products being sold under one brand), and house of brands (products being sold under separate brands). The problem is that these two variants are often presented as a choice between two options that are considered equal.
It can’t be further from the truth.
If you’re a small business, building your business on the House of Brands framework only works if you’ve got a substantial budget.
House of Brands involves owning a couple of different brands but marketing them separately. Think big organizations like P&G, Nestle, and Unilever. You need to understand that achieving a satisfactory level of brand awareness will take a great deal of money and time.
So for example, let’s say you’ve got 12 brands in your portfolio. In order to reach the goal for each of these brands, you’d realistically need a marketing budget that’s 10x higher than what you would normally spend on one brand.
Which is why it makes sense, and it’s more cost-effective to focus on building one strong brand. It makes financial sense.
Unfortunately, there are companies that have made this mistake and have insisted on launching new brands under separate entities. And truth be told, that’s a very expensive mistake.
#2 Lacking distinctive brand assets
One of a marketer’s key objectives is to ensure that their brand can be easily recognized in various environments. You can achieve this through effective branding, and being very strategic about how it’s being used.
Becoming recognizable through branding lets your customers locate your products on shelves faster. It lets your viewers find your channel on TV and YouTube more quickly. Recognizability gives higher response rates on cold emails as well.
In his book, How Brands Grow, Byron Sharp argues that distinction (made through strong branding) is far more important than differentiation (delivered via unique positioning).
“Rather than striving for meaningful, perceived differentiation, marketers should seek meaningless distinctiveness. Branding lasts, differentiation doesn’t.”
But for some reason, there are businesses that choose to go against these findings…
You’ll find them with no brand assets that can be linked to their brand. They would simplify their logotypes and make it blend in with the rest of their competitors, give up on brand personality, and even change their visual identity without paying attention to the reputation they’ve already built so far.
#3 Underinvesting in brand marketing
To be clear, the third common mistake is overspending on product development, and little to no investment in brand marketing.
Nowadays, product and marketing departments are two separate business units. And the common scenario is that product departments are more successful than the latter in building trust among stakeholders.
Ergo, you’ve got management granting a higher budget to the product development department. For them, it’s easier to get additional costs approved, and they are rarely asked how their work leads to positive ROI.
For marketing teams, it’s a whole other story. Positive ROI is required of them in every single activation they run. Additional expenses are rarely approved. It’s also not that outlandish for senior management to believe that good products sell themselves, regardless of marketing support.
That leads to situations where businesses spend a disproportionate amount of time on developing products and innovation, and not enough on communication activities (like social media marketing, email marketing, etc. )designed to build strong brands.
And that’s quite funny because strong brands remind customers why they should buy your products or use your services.
Brands that lack marketing support face decline.
Of course, I’m not saying investing in product development is bad. On the contrary, it’s very crucial. The point here is that it should not be done at the expense of a proper and sufficient marketing budget. They need to be equally taken care of.
For any business looking to build a brand while avoiding common brand management mistakes, here are 3 takeaways:
- Focus on one brand: Build brand awareness, and don’t launch another brand unless you have the budget to support its brand-building too.
- Create brand assets: This goes both ways; emotional and mechanical. Apply them wherever you can.
- Spend money to make your brand popular: Never presume that good products will find buyers and target customers by themselves.