Saturday, December 19, 2009

A new twist to BUMming - Brand under management

To keep a brand alive and kicking is the brand manager's only mandate... sounds simple but it actually involves looking at the BUM (brand under management) as a stand-alone business because keeping it at the forefront of the consumers mind is no mean task.
Why? ... because a brand should stand for something and what it stands for should be repeatedly delivered to the customer... satisfy him... everytime and delight him as far as possible.
So basically the brand has to maintain relationships with the customers, his preferences which are in constant flux and also with its backbone - i.e. the guys who work it... the employees who manage the BUM
It is the brand managers task to figure out the integrated marketing and communication plan, and which functional, rational and hopefully self expressive attributes will be communicated.
Communication, I feel, is the key to kickstarting or boosting a business but it's so easy to get it wrong because even though the objective is decided, suppossedly, this objective which should be the centrum turns out to be the most fluid part of the campaign!
That's where the brand manager needs to ensure that he doesn't lose sight of whether the campaign is an Awareness, Interest creation, Desire generation, Call to action, Reminder campaign.
While preparing the brief it can be easy to lose sight of the main objective, try and do a bit of everything because we as human beings are greedy and end up spreading ourselves too thin.
Communication budgets are too material an amount to make this mistake. Usually research is conducted at the end of a campaign to determine how successful the campaign was... can you imagine the difficulty in getting quality and accurate feedback for a campaign with a confused objective? And then the brand manager will mostly have to resort to window dressing to save his bum (of the arse variety)!
At the end of it, even something like brand management comes down to basics:
1. Knowing exactly what the objective is
2. Sticking to the objective
3. Establishing and maintaing relationships - with not just consumers but business partners and employees as well, a because a successful brand will have each of these stakeholders as a brand ambassador.

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