Brand Management Beyond Marketing

Brand Management Beyond Marketing

Brand Management - Beyond Marketing
In the​ past,​ the​ management of​ an​ organization's brand has usually been the​ sole domain of​ the​ organization's marketing team .​
However,​ with the​ evolution of​ the​ Internet and people's need for instant information,​ there is​ a​ greater call for public relations professionals to​ become more directly involved with an​ organization's brand management .​
The Dictionary of​ Business and Management defines brand as: a​ name,​ sign or​ symbol used to​ identify items or​ services of​ the​ seller(s) and to​ differentiate them from goods of​ competitors.
But according to​ Colin Bates,​ a​ brand management specialist from,​ brand means much more than that .​
More accurately,​ he says,​ brand is​ a​ collection of​ perceptions in​ the​ mind of​ the​ consumer .​
Essentially,​ brand is​ more than simply a​ corporate logo; it​ is​ anything people can associate an​ organization with,​ whether it​ is​ a​ paid advertisement or​ an​ article found in​ a​ newspaper .​
This is​ where brand management becomes important and PR professionals must be vigilant .​
It is​ not enough for public relations professionals to​ simply communicate news to​ the​ media; they must somehow communicate the​ persona of​ their organization .​
For example,​ Google,​ the​ company that runs the​ best-known and most-used search engine on​ the​ Web,​ has a​ very distinctive brand .​
Most Internet users could visually identify its logo .​
However,​ Google's branding efforts do not stop there .​
The company has worked hard to​ combat Internet users' doubts about the​ quality of​ Web search results .​
Most of​ the​ main stream search engines sell advertising in​ order to​ make money and many people have accused these companies of​ skewing search results for money - giving certain web sites a​ higher ranking in​ exchange for purchasing paid advertising .​
However,​ Google is​ well-known for the​ clear division it​ places between its search results and its advertising business .​
The visual separation on​ Google's Web site is​ an​ example: search results are prevalent on​ the​ left and occupy at​ the​ very least 90 per cent of​ the​ page,​ while advertising occupies very little space and is​ not intrusive to​ the​ user .​
Most importantly,​ the​ search results are generated from the​ intelligence of​ Google's product and are not influenced by purchasing advertising .​
Google makes this very clear each and every time it​ speaks to​ the​ media .​
When a​ spokesperson does an​ interview or​ the​ company issues a​ press release regarding its search engine,​ it​ is​ quick to​ point out the​ division .​
In fact,​ it​ says it​ is​ part of​ its corporate philosophy - hence,​ it​ has become part of​ its brand .​
Google is​ known for its technical innovation and the​ quality of​ its search results,​ and not as​ a​ company that is​ just interested in​ money .​
Furthermore,​ to​ ensure the​ organization's branding is​ being effectively communicated to​ the​ media,​ it​ also must be properly managed .​
If the​ brand or​ persona of​ the​ organization is​ not being properly communicated,​ problems can be identified through analysis of​ the​ media coverage and the​ necessary adjustments can be made by the​ PR team to​ get the​ proper message out .​
By tracking key messages,​ taglines,​ or​ buzzwords in​ the​ media coverage,​ the​ public relations team can measure how well its organization is​ communicating .​
It could be there are stop words the​ PR team wants to​ avoid using to​ prevent confusion and miscommunication .​
These too can be measured .​
Media coverage can also be measured against other performance indicators such as​ sales and stock prices .​
This could be a​ good indicator to​ measure how well a​ brand is​ being perceived in​ the​ media and with an​ organization's key publics .​
To most companies,​ brand is​ just as​ important as​ the​ products they create and services they provide,​ and it​ must be properly managed .​
Public relations professionals have a​ key role to​ play in​ shaping and maintaining an​ organization's brand - this responsibility cannot be left solely to​ the​ organization's marketing team .​
Not only is​ the​ PR team responsible for communicating the​ brand,​ but it​ also must be vigilant through media analysis.

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