What Is Brand Management? The Art of Creating a Lasting Impression

Learn about brand management, its key components and why managing a brand is integral to a company's overall competitive advantage.

Paul Bennett
19 Oct
October 19, 2023
 min video
19 Oct

Brand Management Definition.

Brand management refers to the process of creating and maintaining a brand's image, equity, and reputation. It involves strategically building and overseeing all aspects of a brand to ensure that it accurately reflects the company's values and resonates with its target audience. Brand management encompasses a range of activities, from crafting brand identities and messaging to monitoring customer perceptions and protecting brand integrity.

In order to have a healthy, growing brand we need to ensure that it:

  • Is distinctive and visible: For this you need to develop and manage distinctive brand assets;
  • Evokes a strong emotional connection beyond the product itself: Find a shared value with your audience;
  • Conveys meaningful benefits: Be focused and dominate your industry on distinctive and memorable experiences;
  • Drives desired behaviours: Get customers to want to engage, to purchase and to become advocates.

So, it is important to manage a brand with the above outcomes in mind as it can build a competitive advantage.

Paul Bennett
“Brands are built or destroyed by what a company does or indeed what its people do. It is not just a logo or an activity that is part of a marketing toolset.  Therefore, Brand Management is recognizing that the brand is a valuable company asset – as much as Talent or R&D – and being deliberate about how we build and manage this asset is key.”

Paul Bennett
Fractional CMO, VCMO

What is Brand Management?

Brand management encompasses a wide array of tasks, including:

  1. Brand Strategy: Developing a long-term plan for how a brand will be perceived in the market.
  2. Brand Identity: Creating and maintaining the visual, verbal and sonic elements that define the brand.
  3. Brand Positioning: Determining where a brand fits within its industry and against competitors.
  4. Brand Communication: Crafting and conveying messages that reinforce the brand's values and personality.
  5. Brand Monitoring: Keeping tabs on customer feedback and market trends to adapt strategies as needed.

Below we delve into the fundamental aspects of brand management, examining each of the above components and why it is integral to a company's overall success.

1. The Importance of Brand Strategy in Brand Management

Brand Strategy serves as the foundational element of brand management, representing the blueprint for how a brand will establish its position in the market and accomplish its long-term objectives. It encompasses several critical aspects, each playing a unique role in shaping the brand's identity and success.

Brand positioning

Brand Positioning is an essential component of brand strategy, defining the brand's place in the marketplace relative to competitors. This strategic step aims to clarify the distinctive value that the brand offers to its target audience. Successful positioning aligns the brand's mission and values with the expectations of its consumers. It's about understanding where your brand fits into the broader market landscape and how it can stand out. This can often be expressed in the form of an Organising Idea. A clear articulation of what you focus on and makes your brand unique (its unique selling proposition or USP). This is what your employees can gravitate around and what customers know you for.

Target Audience

Identifying and understanding the target audience is another crucial aspect of brand strategy. It involves creating detailed buyer personas to gain a deep understanding of who the brand's ideal customers are. This process delves into customer demographics, psychographics, behaviours, and preferences. It seeks to answer questions about what these customers need, what problems they're trying to solve, and how the brand can best meet those needs. In short, it's about knowing your audience inside and out.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive Analysis is integral to a brand's strategy development. Evaluating competitors provides essential insights for identifying opportunities and gaps in the market. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of other players in the industry, the brand can devise the best way to be distinctive and stand out. This strategy outlines how the brand will set itself apart and deliver a more compelling value proposition. It's about seizing opportunities in the market and outshining rivals through innovation and strategic positioning. Learn how Porter's Five Forces Model can help when performing a competitive analysis.

Mission & Values

Finally, a robust brand strategy hinges on defining the brand's Mission and Values. Driven out of the Organising Idea as explained above, this involves establishing a clear and concise mission statement that articulates what the brand stands for and what it aims to achieve. A brand's values are the principles that guide its decisions and actions. This step is all about crafting a brand identity that not only resonates with the target audience but also reflects the company's core beliefs and principles.

2. The Essence of Brand Identity in Building a Strong Brand

Brand identity is a pivotal component in brand management, comprising the visual and verbal elements that distinguish a brand and make it memorable. It is the vehicle through which a brand conveys its distinct personality and establishes a lasting connection with its audience.

Visual Identity

Visual identity is a cornerstone of brand identity. This element encompasses the design elements that make a brand instantly recognisable and distinguishable. It includes components such as the logo, colour scheme, typography, and other design elements consistently employed in various marketing materials. A well-designed visual identity serves as the face of the brand, ensuring that customers can easily and immediately identify it.

Visual identity plays a significant role in brand recall and recognition, helping consumers associate specific design elements with a brand. The most successful brands such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola have done an incredible job to build and maintain a recognisable identity over decades. More modern brands such as Air BNB and Spotify also are good reference points for identity in digitally led businesses.

Verbal Identity

Verbal identity delves into the way a brand communicates with its audience. It includes the brand's voice, tone, and messaging. The voice is the distinctive way the brand expresses itself, while the tone sets the mood for communication. Messaging encapsulates the stories a brand tells and the language it uses to engage with its audience. An effective verbal identity ensures that the brand's communication style aligns seamlessly with its mission and values. It also ensures that the brand's stories resonate with the audience and convey a consistent message.

Sonic Identity

A sonic identity is the essence of your brand translated into sound. Sound or a set of auditory elements can also be essential to distinguishing your brand and building a preference. Brands such as Mastercard and SNCF in France are great examples to look at.

Brand Consistency

One crucial aspect of brand identity is Consistency. Maintaining consistency in both the visual and verbal identity is essential to solidify the brand's image. This consistency should be evident in all brand materials, ranging from the official website to social media posts. It fosters the perception that the brand is cohesive, reliable, and true to its core values. Consistency reinforces the brand's image, making it more reliable and familiar to the audience.

"Brand identity is the soul of a brand, with visual, verbal and sonic elements as its voice. Consistency is the key to a strong and trustworthy connection with your audience."

Paul Bennett
Fractional CMO, VCMO

3. Mastering Brand Communication: Connecting with Your Audience

Brand communication is the lifeblood of brand management, encompassing the intricate process of effectively conveying your brand's message to your target audience. This critical aspect of brand management involves a range of strategies that cohesively work to engage, inform, and resonate with the intended audience.

Content Strategy

Content strategy stands as a pivotal component of brand communication. It is the method by which a brand determines the type of content to create and share with its audience. This content may encompass a diverse range, including blog posts, social media updates, videos, and more. What distinguishes effective content is its ability to not only inform but also reflect the brand's values and resonate with the audience. Content strategy is the key to creating a meaningful connection with your audience, as it should address their needs, concerns, and aspirations. A well cited and worthy example of emotionally driven, target driven brand content is the Dove Real Beauty campaign.

Integrated Marketing

To reach a broader audience and reinforce the brand's message, Integrated Marketing is employed. This encompasses the strategic utilisation of various marketing channels, both online and offline. These channels may include email marketing, social media marketing, public relations, and advertising, among others. Each channel chosen must serve the purpose of delivering the brand's message and positioning consistently. This integrated approach ensures that the brand is visible and relevant across various platforms and caters to a diverse audience. Research of the most impactful campaigns show that taking a big idea and deploying it over multiple channels drives better results than being selective.


Storytelling is another powerful tool in brand communication. It serves as a means to create an emotional connection with the audience. Effective storytelling involves sharing the brand's narrative, its origin, values, and the tangible benefits it offers to its customers. Through storytelling, brands can humanise themselves and build a deeper emotional bond with their audience. This storytelling aspect not only educates but also captivates, making it instrumental in developing brand loyalty.

Brand Guidelines

In order to maintain consistency and coherence in brand communication, the development of Brand Guidelines is imperative. These guidelines serve as a set of clear instructions that outline how the brand should be represented in all communications. They establish the standards for brand messaging and appearance, ensuring that all team members and partners follow a uniform approach. Consistency across various touchpoints is crucial to building a strong and recognisable brand image.

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.”

Jeff Bezos

4. Navigating the Seas of Brand Monitoring: A Crucial Aspect of Brand Management

Brand monitoring, an integral aspect of brand management, is a continuous and dynamic process aimed at gauging how your brand is perceived in the market and adjusting your strategies accordingly. This practice plays a pivotal role in shaping and maintaining a brand's image, helping it stay relevant, resilient, and responsive to changing market conditions.

Customer Feedback

One critical dimension of brand monitoring is customer feedback. Regularly collecting and analysing feedback from customers is an invaluable practice. This can be done through surveys, customer reviews, and interactions on social media platforms. Customer feedback serves as a direct window into understanding how your brand is performing and where improvements may be needed. It provides insights into consumer sentiments, preferences, and pain points, which can guide strategic decisions aimed at enhancing the brand's performance and customer satisfaction. Learn about Net Promoter Score (NPS) and how it is used to measure customer satisfaction.

Competitor Analysis

Another essential component of brand monitoring is competitor analysis. In today's competitive landscape, assessing competitors and their branding strategies is indispensable. Continuously staying informed about your competitors is key to staying ahead in the market and adapting to the ever-evolving preferences of consumers. By understanding the strategies and tactics of competitors, you can discern opportunities and gaps in the market that can be leveraged to set your brand apart.

Market Trends

Equally vital in brand monitoring is the scrutiny of market trends. Staying attuned to industry and market trends is essential for brand managers. The ability to grasp and interpret these trends provides a compass for adapting your brand strategy. It ensures your brand remains relevant and capitalises on emerging opportunities. Market trends can encompass shifts in consumer behaviour, technological advancements, changing regulations, or even cultural shifts. Brands that are adept at identifying and leveraging these trends are better positioned for sustained success.

Brand Reputation Management

In the ever-fluctuating world of business, brand reputation management is a fundamental aspect of brand monitoring. In the event of negative events or crises, the proactive management of your brand's reputation is vital. Swift and transparent communication is essential in these situations to minimise damage and regain trust. By addressing issues openly and honestly, brands can demonstrate their commitment to their values and their customers, often emerging from crises stronger than before.

"Brand monitoring is a compass guiding your brand's journey. Customer feedback, competitor analysis, trend awareness, and reputation management form the pillars of a dynamic strategy for brand resilience and relevance."

Paul Bennett
Fractional CMO, VCMO

5. The Pillars of Brand Protection: Safeguarding Reputation and Integrity

Brand Protection is a crucial facet of brand management, dedicated to the safeguarding of a brand's integrity and reputation. In today's interconnected and competitive landscape, it is imperative for brands to be proactive in preserving their identity and trustworthiness.

Intellectual Property Protection

Intellectual property protection stands at the forefront of brand safeguarding efforts. This encompasses the registration and protection of trademarks, copyrights, and patents, aiming to prevent unauthorised parties from using a brand's assets without permission. By securing these legal rights, brands shield their distinctive elements, such as logos, slogans, and product designs. This legal protection serves as a deterrent to potential infringement, ensuring that a brand's identity remains exclusive.

Brand security is the second bastion in brand protection, necessitating vigilant oversight to detect and address instances of brand misuse or counterfeiting. This comprehensive endeavour requires brands to monitor the marketplace for any unauthorised usage of their identity. When violations are identified, taking legal action is often necessary to enforce compliance. This rigorous vigilance is paramount in preventing the dilution of a brand's reputation and ensuring that consumers are not misled by counterfeit products.

Crisis Management

In the dynamic world of business, crisis management is a fundamental component of brand protection. Unforeseen adverse events can occur, ranging from product recalls to public relations crises. Effective crisis management necessitates the development of protocols that enable brands to respond promptly and effectively in such situations. Transparency and clear communication are pivotal, and brands must be prepared to address issues head-on. Proactive crisis management not only mitigates damage but can also demonstrate a brand's commitment to its values, potentially strengthening the brand's reputation.

Reputation Repair

In cases where a brand's reputation is damaged, effective reputation repair strategies are pivotal. This may entail actions such as public apologies, corrective measures, and ongoing communication to rebuild trust with the audience. Reputation repair is a delicate process that requires empathy and transparency. By acknowledging mistakes, taking corrective actions, and ensuring consistent and open communication, brands can rebuild their reputation and regain the trust of their customers.


In summary, brand management is a multifaceted discipline that combines art and science to create and maintain successful brands. It involves defining a brand's strategy, nurturing its identity, effectively communicating its message, monitoring its performance, and protecting its integrity. Understanding and implementing these principles are vital for marketing professionals seeking to establish enduring and powerful brands in today's competitive business landscape.

About VCMO

VCMO helps SMEs and investor-backed portfolio companies with a £2 million or higher turnover that operate without a full-time Chief Marketing Officer. Our Fractional CMOs and tailored services transform marketing potential into a competitive advantage that delivers scalable and predictable growth, increased profits, and enhanced enterprise value.

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Paul Bennett
Virtual Chief Marketing officer

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