Sales and marketing, Small business

Are You Managing Your Brand Effectively?


Brand management is not just a skill you 'should' hone. It’s an essential skill. But what does it take? Here are five ways to manage your company's brand more effectively–online and off line.

1. Define your uniqueness – That includes your unique selling proposition, but it also goes beyond that. What are your key differentiators? In other words, what sets you apart from other brands within your industry or niche? That could be the way that you manufacture your product, the materials you use, your customer service procedures, or even the colors and sizes of product you offer.

2. Who are your customers? – Have you defined your various customer personas? You might take the time to do that. Doing so ensures that you know all the quirks, likes and dislikes, and values of each of your customer types. Knowing this can help you craft a different approach to reaching each type of customer. It also ensures that you don’t leave out any particular type of customer in your marketing plan.

3. What is your brand personality? – Did you know your brand has its own personality? It’s true. Think of the different brands that people are used to interacting with on a daily basis. How are McDonald’s and Burger King different? They both serve burgers and fries, but each has its own personality. The same goes for Lee’s and Levi’s, WalMart and Target, and Texas Roadhouse and Steak & Ale. Every brand has its own personality. You should define yours.

4. What do you value? – Try to think outside of the box here. Don’t just come up with something bland and generic, like, “we value our customers.” Instead, think of unique ways that you can set yourself apart through your values. Know what you are not willing to do as well as what you are willing to do.

5. Establish yourself as honest and trustworthy – If people don’t trust your brand, nothing else matters. Be honest, first with yourself, then with your customers. Know your weaknesses as well as your strengths. If you can’t accomplish something, don’t promise that you can.

You cannot separate your brand from your customer’s perception of it. Manage your brand effectively and you’ll be a force to reckon with in the marketplace.

Caroline Melberg, founder of Small Business Mavericks, is an online marketing strategist with more than two decades of experience. Read all of her ChannelE2E contributions here.