If you are in charge of marketing for a brand or business you are probably passionate about what you do and how you do it. Being in charge of a brand and its performance can be intoxicating. However, like everything else in life, too much of one thing may be counterproductive. (Who said that?)
Having such a strong connection with the Brand, or as you see it your Brand, can make it very difficult to separate yourself. But you must. As a Brand Manager you are responsible for a brand’s marketing strategy by deciding what makes the most sense. You are the keeper and caretaker for brand character which involves everything from brand and logo guidelines, brand tone, brand voice and brand style… including brand body language. SO… the big question is, how do you as a brand manager separate yourself from the Brand? Chances are, during the course of your marketing career you will be fortunate enough to handle many different brands, even competitive brand. They can’t all be you! Here’s a quick checklist on how to separate yourself from your Brand.
Pleased to meet you: I have always thought of a Brand as a person. When my team and I first come on board to develop campaigns for a brand that we don’t know, we get to know it. We are respectful. We learn about its past, how it came to be, how it evolved, who its friends are and who its foes are (competitors). We discover where it lives and where its market is… and where the Brand needs to be.
Not all change is good: Understand the Brand’s character and its potential to evolve within that character and tone. Too often I have seen new Brand Managers come into an organization and change everything without any thought to the Brand’s franchise, community, marketplace or its potential. Remember it’s easy to judge what you think is right or wrong when you are new to a Brand. But making changes too soon can lead to market confusion. It takes time to nurture a Brand and for it to attain its rightful place in its community and market space. Brand making isn’t cookie cutter… sure, tactics can be interchanged, but brand personality and character need to stay the course in order to prevail and be a Brand.
Brands evolve: Take a very open view of a Brand that you’ve lived with for a long time. Just because you’ve tried a tactic in the past that hasn’t worked, doesn’t mean that same tactic with some tweaks, won’t work today. By the same token, keep your eye on the future. Find out what’s new and what’s exciting, maybe it’s just the thing to rejuvenate your Brand. Make sure you always place the Brand first and always evaluate. If a Brand is its own entity then it has its own style.
Be impartial: Separate your own likes about colour and style from those of the Brand… especially when working on brand creative. Ask yourself if the concern you have is really going to make or break the communications. Don’t strangle the creative process… and don’t confuse what you like with the Brand’s style… you will doing it a big disservice.
Be passionate. Be respectful. Be mindful. After all, it’s all about the Brand’s success… and yours.
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