If your company is like most, you likely have a marketing manager — someone who develops your marketing strategies in alignment with your corporate objectives, creates campaigns, oversees the marketing budget, and works with outside vendors to design and implement marketing programs. There is no question that marketing is a very necessary function within any organization. However, any marketing initiative will only be as good as the strength, uniqueness, understanding, and relevance of the brand it is promoting.
If your company doesn’t have a brand manager or at least someone who is responsible for managing and leveraging your brand to grow your business, you may wish to consider appointing someone to manage your most important asset. Here are eight compelling reasons why:
- Your brand can be the difference between a sale and no sale. You may have great salespeople, but if your brand is weak, blurry, or lacks relevance, it simply makes the sales process longer and more challenging.
- Your brand should be the number one thing to protect in a crisis. (Think about the recent problems with Papa John’s and Starbucks.) And don’t forget about one of the most significant and notable brand crises engraved in our memories – Tylenol. A crisis can strike any company at any time. If, and when it happens, a brand manager will take the immediate steps necessary to protect and rebuild brand trust and credibility.
- With a strong and well-maintained brand, employees will be proud to work for your company and will become your greatest brand advocates. With a clear brand, employees have a sense of purpose, they understand the vision of the company, they understand your differentiation, and all will be motivated to deliver on your brand promises.
- Someone must be thinking in terms of what your brand can become one year, two years, and even ten years from now. Growth-minded companies are always thinking about what is next and they keep both eyes open for new opportunities. A good brand manager will know what opportunities to look for to complement the brand and will intuitively know which opportunities to ignore. (i.e. brand extensions)
- A brand manager will make sure your brand is consistently delivered and represented throughout the three stages of the sales cycle (pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase).
- A brand manager will be in charge of making sure the actions of everyone throughout the organization are aligned with the purpose and values of your brand. When employees don’t understand your brand and are not aligned with it, you’re just another employer.
- A brand manager will ensure there is a system in place to properly define the brand in all internal and external communications.
- A brand manager will see to it that all unique selling points are delivered without a hiccup, and can be supported with evidence. Consumers are skeptical and want to make sure a brand can prove what it claims. For example, if you are a manufacturer claiming to lead innovation, you should be able to prove that your company consistently introduces new, improved products and game-changers ahead of the competition.
These eight points can be turned into a job description for the right person. If your company is small or a start-up, you may need to fill this role. If you’re a larger business with a marketing director, consider modifying his/her job description to match the responsibilities listed above. Keep in mind that the brand must drive the marketing – not the other way around.