There are already many studies that show that a strong brand is a real competitive advantage and a source of value creation for companies. Analyzing the financial impact of a
properly coordinated
brand strategy and business strategy leads to a more holistic approach to traditional brand management . Considering that brands are a set of expectations and associations lived through experiences at all their touchpoints, their management is something that completely exceeds marketing departments, even brand departments (if they exist). In practice, building a brand affects the entire organization and is too important to be left to one department.

While it is difficult to create a brand, it is even more difficult to sustain it over time. This gives rise to the need for expert management, in an ongoing effort to add value.

A brand can’t just be a promise, it has to be the perfect delivery of that promise. This is not achieved from the correct application of a Brand Manual or Style Guidelines . Today, brands are no longer a static concept but something that is experimented with, lived and evolves every day.

Richard Branson said that ” branding demands a commitment to continuous revision and reinvention.”

Pillars of Brand Management

From this perspective, Brand Management is called upon to constantly examine the following pillars.

  1. Brand awareness and recognition. A cycle that goes from creating awareness about the brand among its target audience to getting them to identify it with what it represents.
  2. Brand loyalty. Translated as commitment,

    Brand Engagement

    impliesthe culmination of a relational cycle that moves the brand from the transactional terrain to a terrain of value exchange.


  3. Brand reputation

    . Brands are perceptions, working on brand reputation implies a global view.
  4. Brand Equity. Brand equity is based on the value perceived by its audiences. It is generated from the opinions, emotions and experiences that different stakeholders feel as a result of interactions with the brand.

What happens is that this approach completely considers the management of the tangible and intangible characteristics of a brand. And this is something that cannot be delegated exclusively to marketing departments. It needs to be driven from a global business approach, which leads to brand governance, rather than mere management. This implies taking on a role more of a coach than a policeman, providing a better vision of the company’s leaders about how the business strategy, the brand, the financial results, the development of talent…

The Mission of Brand Governance

The concept of Brand Governance is based on the premise that it is the customers who are in true control, therefore, the vision of a brand from the inside, as something static, is no longer effective. Nowadays, brands need to adapt, to incorporate fluidity and to evolve as fast as their environment evolves. And the implications that derive from this have to be based on the principles of coherence, flexibility, agility and global vision in brand management, always aimed at adding value.

The mission of Brand Governance can be summarized in 3 areas:

1. Brand Culture Cohesion

It begins with the identification of the variables that define one’s own way of being, which must be shared by all. Brand Governance places culture as a fundamental axis that connects the brand’s purpose

with brand stories, visuals, communication, etc. Both internally and externally within the company.

2. Coherence and Consistency of Brand Assets

Consistency involves being consistent in order to express a unique value proposition. I could say that of deed and word (and image). Consistency, rather than the monotonous repetition of a pattern, is today called to a certain flexibility framed within coherence. Both involve an advisory approach, which shares, strengthens and reinforces the meaning of the brand. This aspect connects people, processes, and tools.

3. Coordinating the evolution of the brand

Brands are living beings, and as such they evolve over time. Brand Governance helps the brand in its growth in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Any brand needs governance. Brand governance is therefore not only for large corporations. The brand is an equally important asset for all of us. Only from this point of view can companies become the true hinge that unites businesses with customers (the main responsible for their growth).

Thus, we see that the variables of
culture and behaviors
acquire a leading role. Therefore, in the first place, leading and defending this vision must be the CEO, then the management team, and finally (and inclusively) the entire Company, which will have to be aligned in the same direction. The most advanced organizations in this regard constitute the so-called Brand Councils, which oversee the construction, activation and development of the brand. These committees are usually made up of leaders from various business areas and/or geographies, with the advice of external consultants.

The Brand Council, the brand’s governance committee, aims to act as a strategic lens that facilitates the making of indispensable brand decisions that affect the business itself. It should inspire and instruct the organization in brand building, so that each member of the company knows how to interpret and reinforce the brand under their field of action.

Brand Councils usually focus on 4 areas of greatest interest:

  1. Product development, ensuring that innovation adds up to brand creation.
  2. People development, ensuring internal alignment.
  3. Message development, ensuring the proper interpretation of messages.
  4. Development of alliances, ensuring that external relationships contribute to the creation of value.

Brand Management, Brand Governance, Brand Council… In short, they are nothing more than concepts or approaches. The important thing is to understand that society has changed. Business has changed. And behind the concepts, brand governance has to progress, it must ensure that it inspires and instructs the organization about what the brand represents, leaving the door open to its own evolution, without compromising any of its uniqueness.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó
CEO of Branward